We live in extraordinary times. Never before have we been able to access knowledge from the entire human matrix from a device that can fit into a pocket.
You can inhale expertise, views and opinions over your morning latte.
Listen to podcasts on your commute to work.
Subscribe to expert’s newsletters and follow along to influencer’s skincare regimes.
I see my own industry misrepresented and misunderstood often.
And I get it!** To the outside world, the health and wellness space looks like a homogeneous sea of celery juice, yoga pants and raw desserts.**
I’m going to clear up some of the common myths that can stand in the way of you finding the right kind of practitioner and right kind of solution for your specific needs.
MYTH #1 – ALL HEALTH KNOWLEDGE = POWER
Knowledge is power, yes. Knowing the right knowledge for you takes some more discerning.
I have clients with master’s degrees and be at the top of their professional game and still don’t know what to believe or trust.
Seed cycling? Doterra essential oils? Bulletproof coffee? Diatomaceous earth? Coffee enemas? Water fasting? Liver cleanses? Fertility apps and devices?
There’s a whole lotta noise out there! I spend a lot of my time tracing back evidence to determine the quality of these fads, and it’s my industry. So there’s no shame in not knowing fact from fiction!
The danger of jumping on board these fads is some of them can be a waste of money at best, and dangerous at worst.
The danger of dismissing all wellness professionals could keep you stuck. When it comes to health, don’t try to DIY the whole dang thing. Find a sensible path through the noise with a trained professional.
MYTH #2 – IT’S NORMAL TO HAVE PMS & PERIOD PAIN, EVERYONE WITH A UTERUS GETS THAT
“Period pain or PMS symptoms are signs that something within your body is not in balance. Your period is a monthly health report. If there are imbalances in your body, your period will issue you a warning.”
What could these symptoms be telling you?
They could signal:
- a hormonal imbalance
- thyroid issues
- nutritional deficiencies
- more severe conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids/polyps
- an infection
- detoxification burden
…to name the more common ones.
MYTH #3 – THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS NATURAL BIRTH CONTROL, FROM WHAT I’VE HEARD IT’S ALL VERY RISKY
To be fair, there are many methods out there that claim to be all-natural that are not effective.
I’ll keep this myth bust simple and tell you which one is effective: The Sympto-Thermal Method. Also known as the Fertility Awareness Method.
Based on the science done by Drs Eric Odelblad, John Billings and Evelyn Billings, this method involves recording and interpreting your cervical mucus and basal body temperature. Then, depending on whether your intention is to avoid or achieve pregnancy, you follow different sets of rules.
This method is 99.4% effective for preventing pregnancy when you:
- are taught by a trained educator
- have protected sex in the 3-month learning phase
- charting is continuous (no days skipped)
- your educator reviews your charts monthly and tests your knowledge
I’m a trained Sympto-Thermal Method educator and help women transition from hormone-based contraception to this method safely in my practice.
MYTH #4 – “I HAVE PCOS/ENDOMETRIOSIS/PMS/HYPOTHYROIDISM…AND MY DOCTOR SAID MEDICATION IS THE ONLY OPTION”
In most healthcare scenarios, there’s always more options available to than exclusively medication.
As a naturopath, I seek to understand how your body is functioning. None of these conditions occur in isolation, and no two people are going to have the same constellation of root causes.
Working with a trained holistic practitioner will help you work out what this constellation is for you and work with you to create a tailored plan that will often include nutritional, lifestyle and herbal options.
If you have any of these conditions, you may like to read what a naturopathic approach would look like for PCOS, endometriosis, PMS or hypothyroid.
MYTH #5 – I’VE HAD NO ISSUES WITH MY PERIOD BECAUSE I TAKE THE PILL TO REGULATE MY HORMONES
The pill does not regulate your hormones nor your period.
It’s a medication that shuts down ovarian function creating a temporary pseudo-menopause in the body. The bleeding experienced during the sugar pills is a withdrawal reaction to the drug, not a period.
If you started the pill for health issues, such as painful periods, PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, acne, irregular periods or heavy periods, the symptoms are being controlled.
If you come off the pill, these symptoms will likely return if deeper healing does not take place.
THE GOOD NEWS
If you work with a trained naturopath and fertility awareness educator, it doesn’t take a long time to develop your wellness-BS-detector and know what’s right for you.
To listen to this blog, press play:
Billings, E. (2011). Billings Method: Controlling Fertility without Drugs or Devices(New Edition) by Evelyn Billings (Illustrated, 10 Jun 2011) Paperback (16th Revised edition edition). Gracewing.
Bland, J. (2015). Functional Medicine: An Operating System for Integrative Medicine. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 14(5), 18–20.
Bland, J. S., Minich, D. M., & Eck, B. M. (2017). A Systems Medicine Approach: Translating Emerging Science into Individualized Wellness. Advances in Medicine, 2017, 1718957. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1718957
Frank-Herrmann, P., Heil, J., Gnoth, C., Toledo, E., Baur, S., Pyper, C., … Freundl, G. (2007). The effectiveness of a fertility awareness based method to avoid pregnancy in relation to a couple’s sexual behaviour during the fertile time: a prospective longitudinal study. Human Reproduction, 22(5), 1310–1319. https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/dem003
Hampton, K., & Mazza, D. (2015). Fertility-awareness knowledge, attitudes and practices of women attending general practice. Australian Family Physician, 44(11), 840–845.
Trickey, R. (2004). Women, Hormones & the Menstrual Cycle: Herbal & Medical Solutions from Adolescence to Menopause (Fully revised and updated edition). St. Leonards, N.S.W.; London: Allen & Unwin.
Weschler, T. (2015). Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 20th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health (Revised, Updated edition). New York: William Morrow Paperbacks.