Dancing with Menopause’s Magic

dancing wise woman

It has been a bit of time since I posted here! Take a seat dear female friends… I have much to tell you and good Menopausal Magic to share with your feminine spirits.

My Natural Health Education / Functional Medicine Consultation practice is a busy space for me to be in!  And… I have been up to other stuff as well: new book released co-authored with a dearly loved, local healer friend, Jenny Morrill.

And…Keep reading for a peak into the new Vaginal Love herbal product I am releasing, soon, with another local healer and dear soul sister: Acupuncturist Shelby Connelly of Five Elements Living Retreat Center in Colton, NY.

final book cover front

Our New Book To Inspire Your Self Healing

I am here today to share a bit of Menopausal Magical Wisdom. I confess, I do not have many symptoms of menopause. Once in a while a skipped period… but that is to be expected at 52.

Keeping the body healthy and avoiding symptoms of any dis – ease is an easy path to walk when you commit to self-care, self healing:

  1. Whole Food Eating 100% of the time
  2. Whole Health Lifestyle Choices

If interested in healing self… the resources on my Natural Health Education website can get you there for Free if you are committed to you!

So, what if I do have some symptoms of menopause, Paula?

Hot flashes, gushing periods leaking all over the place, moodiness, heart palpitations, etc., etc., etc?

Following the above whole food & whole health choices will self heal these menopausal change challenges.

Using herbs to nourish the body back to health is another great choice to assist the above whole health living habits. Herbs are plants. Plants are food. Food nourishes body cells.

IMG-1382

Red Raspberry Leaves tone the uterus. Who doesn’t want a fit, muscular, sexy uterus at any age? This helps to prevent all the “medical reasons” we get advised to cut it out of our bodies. Keep your beautiful uterus… it was meant to be in your pelvis: the bowl of your feminine wisdom!

Red Clover Flowers balance hormones and help to clean the blood.

Stinging Nettle Leaves are an awesome, amazing, whole body cell nourisher. If you took the time to read the Whole Food link back there… you now know that nourishing your body cells is key to vibrant health!

Motherwort: Hot flashes, heart palpitations, and moodiness anyone? Feel like you are about to snap? Let your Mother love you up.

IMG-1384

 

Sarsaparilla Root: a healthy liver breaks down hormones to be excreted through the colon. Sarsaparilla root helps to keep the liver healthy and doing its job of detoxing and breaking down hormones. Dandelion root, burdock root, and milk thistle seeds are other liver nourishing herbs to assist in healthy liver menopausal magic. (Shhhh, I did not make this tincture!)

sarsaparilla

Flooding periods leaving a mess in your life (and clothes? Not to mention car seat, bed…) Wild Yam to the rescue! Years ago I used wild yam for birth control but that is another topic.   ; )     I came home to wild yam after I had my first, and only I might add, flooding period. I take 3 of these capsules every AM & every PM. No floods ever again for me. I suspect Wild Yam also nourishes my body cells to create a peaceful & magical menopausal transition for me (along with my whole food & living habits.)  So many women suffer from flooding and are told to get ablation (I would never, ever, recommend this procedure to anyone… find the root cause of your struggles and heal them!) and/or a hysterectomy (another procedure I would not recommend save for the very extreme reasons). Wild Yam also helps to keep our bones strong well into our Medicine Woman / Crone Wisdom Years! (This Link will take you to several post I have written on the magical nourishing effects of Wild Yam.)

Stay with me here good Women… I have a lot to say after so long a hiatus!

wild yam

OK, another HUGE issue with the menopausal years in what the medical field calls vaginal atrophy. Let me just say, creating such negative terms around the female body is just wrong. It keeps us in the mentality that there is something wrong with our bodies, that our feminine organs are innately weak and malfunctioning. This my friends is pure and unadulterated bullshit. We are strong; we have powerful and wise feminine organs!

If we follow Wise Woman Nourishing Healing Ways… see all my whole food / whole health suggestions above… our vaginas can remain strong even as we age.

Will they not age?

No, we can’t be silly, aging happens.

But, we can age with grace, strength, and divine dignity!

Eat well, play well, whole food – whole health yourself up, use herbs to nourish that which needs nourishing, have sex, do kegels… AND… here’s the biggy I have been waiting to share:

Untitled

A while back in my Wise Woman blogging career, I wrote a post on Voluptuous Vagina™’s.  At that point, I had been making a vaginal cream / ointment for a couple of years. I had friends and clients who complained of the vaginal dryness and issues that accompany aging in our amazing female bodies. I, of course, recommended all of the whole health lifestyle changes but I also whipped up this above Luxe Feminine Emollient pictured as I had a 60 year old gal friend who wanted relief and comfortable sex with her new man. It is now several years later and I have shared the formula with a handful (or two) of friends and clients who just love it!

I was telling my acupunturist friend & soul sister, Shelby Connelly, of this magic elixir I make for friends and she said…

  • Let’s perfect it and go into business together. I said,
  • You are kidding, right?  To which she replied…
  • Hell No!

And so the story goes… we have started our self care, self healing business together.

Voluptuous V™ is available now, click here.

Sending healing, feminine love, Paula

 

IMG-1383

 

Advertisements

Menopausal Mind… Forever Young

I recall during pregnancy having lapses of memory that were blamed upon the Mommy Mind and the hormones of pregnancy. Here I am at 50 and I am wondering about my menopausal mind. I was keeping track of 2 weeks time to remember to stop and say goodbye to a friend who leaves for the winter. The day I planned to stop and hug her goodbye I find I am 1 week late. How DID I lose track of a whole week?

I asked my dear male partner in rhetorical humor:

“Why can’t I go back to 20?”

To which he replied with his hand over my heart:

“You are always 20 in your heart.”

Funny, but not in my head!

ME hands on my head

I would take memory herbs… IF I could remember to take them. Seriously, I am not that bad, just sad about not saying goodbye.

So I remind myself of the beauty of the Menopausal Years:

At menarche a woman enters her power, 
                      Through menstruation she practices her power, 
                           At menopause she becomes her power.
                                                                              Native American Wisdom

Later that day, while driving to pick up my kids at school, I am blessed by this song on the radio: (I am pretty certain the universe was telling me all will be OK.)

Forever Young
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young,…
About those menopausal years… If you have followed the last 2 years of the Red Tent Summit, then you are wise to the empowerment of female energy spreading in our world. I was invited to share my Wise Woman Wisdom as one of female presenters in February 2016’s Womb-Wise Circle for Red Tent Summit 2016! 
I am honored and excited to share my years of wisdom as a
  • Female,
  • RN,
  • Health & Wellness/Fitness Educator, and
  • Natural Healing Wise Woman Nurse with the world.

If you have not watched the Red Tent Summit in 2014 and 2015, I invite and encourage you to do so in 2016. Red Tent Summit

Blessings of Love, Peace, and healing energy, Paula

Being A Wise Woman

maid mom wild wise

We are all Wise Women.

We are born Wise Women.

We remain Wise Women every step and stage of our lives.

Living in our modern culture, most of us are not encouraged to use our Wise Women Wisdom.

This Wisdom fades from our memories.

woman hands plant ecology

My path in life has blessed me with many opportunities to regain my Wise Woman Ways: herbs, reiki, holistic health education.

I offer you the opportunity to re-open the door to your Wise Woman Wisdom. Join me in my Herbs for Natural Health online class.

This at home, learn at anytime that is convenient for you class is a simple introduction to the methods of making herbal medicines and herbs specific for each body system.

woman holding up crescent moon        woman holding globe

Call up your Wise Woman Wisdom. Accept my invitation to learn the magic of herbs. We will work together in an attitude of plant spirit gratitude!

me yoga

Menopausal Effects On Our Vulvas & Vaginas

vagina & female reproductive WORDS

Vaginal Atrophy, Atrophic Vaginitis… Hmm, not very positive or friendly sounding words.  As an OB/GYN Nurse working in a variety of clinical settings for years, I heard these terms quite frequently.

My reaction was varied depending on the day, my mood, etc.:

  • negative, why do female health matters always seem to be labeled in negative ways
  • clinical (see negative above), why does a normal aging function of  a woman’s body get labeled like it was a disease? Women are not supposed to be reproductively capable for life. It only stands to reason that the reproductive parts of our bodies will not always function like a highly fertile 20 year old.
  • won’t happen to me… sort of like the won’t get pregnant the first time I have sex or as a teen. We are invincible young people and our vaginas will never get old. Our faces won’t wrinkle. Our boobs won’t sag. Oh yeah, and no grey hairs either!

Ta Da! Time to think about these things as I am now 50 and continue to work with women around their health and health care issues. When I hear the words vaginal atrophy or my clients describing symptoms about their vulvas and vaginas, well, the whole things seems closer to home. At 50 years old I can see the changes in my body, in my reproductive tract, and my general level of energy. (Dorothy may not be in Kansas anymore and I am definitely not feeling 20 anymore!)

Symptoms of vaginal & vulva atrophy can include:vulva

  • thinning of the vaginal walls and labia
  • shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal making intercourse difficult or impossible
  • lack of vaginal moisture (vaginal dryness), vulva dryness
  • vaginal  & vulva burning (inflammation)
  • spotting of blood after intercourse
  • discomfort or pain during intercourse
  • pain or burning with urination
  • more frequent urinary tract infections
  • urinary incontinence (involuntary leakage when you cough, sneeze, laugh, lift that bag of groceries or your grandchild…)
vagina

This picture, to me, depicts the Divine Vagina, the Divine Female Reproductive Tract!

So what’s a gal to do to keep her vaginal area comfy and functioning at the capacity she desires at any given time in her peri-menopausal or menopausal life? I have suggestions. They are just that, suggestions. Find what works for you and do it. What works may change over the seasons of the year and at different stages of your life.

My Advice:

Whole food diet: Your body CANNOT function in a healthy manner unless you feed it with the foods nature intended. Yes, for those of you who have listened to me say this for years… decades, I do get sick of hearing myself say it, write it, repeat it over and over. The fact of the matter is your body cells function best with real food. Anything else passing through that trap door on your face and you risk the consequences: unhealthy body including that voluptuous vagina and her friends the vulva, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. And yes, I will continue to rattle on about whole food eating the rest of my life.

Herbs to THE Rescue: Herbs are foods and will contribute to your whole food lifestyle and your cellular health.

My home made herbal oil infused wild yam lube for all sorts of vaginal needs!

My home made herbal oil infused wild yam lube for all sorts of vaginal needs!

Make a wild yam cream to slather onto your vulva and into your vagina. I made the wild yam lube cream and will share it in a video in my Herbal Online Course for teaching you the basics of starting to make and use your own herbal preparations: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/herbs-for-health-healing/  Join me for this fun, informative, and health liberating 1 week course.

Or buy it from me!

Voluptuous V™ is available now, click here.

Rack Card NEW

red clover vaginal atrophyUse herbs in tinctures, medicinal strength teas, and capsules to enrich your female organ’s health. Three herbs that I love for female health are stinging nettles, red raspberry leaf, and red clover blossoms. Make use of the plant magic we have in our world to prevent and heal health concerns.

female reproductive tinctures

My homemade tinctures for menopausal health. Motherwort is good for hot flashes, moodiness, and a few other common menopausal symptoms. The nettle, red raspberry & red clover tincture is good for cellular health, uterine health, and vaginal atrophy. If you are younger and want to conceive, it makes for a good fertility tonic too!

Avoid synthetic hormones: birth control pills, estrogen replacement, etc. While the short term fix for the inflamed and irritated vagina may seem liberating… the long term consequences are not worth it. Let see: Cancer or an aging vagina… hmm, I’ll work with and around my vagina’s needs thank you very much.

Continue to have a regular sex life. Having sex on a regular basis helps to keep the vagina juicy and the tissues stronger. This makes sense as having sex, having orgasms, enjoying playfulness with your partner releases sexual hormones that keep us younger in more ways than one!

As I walk daily into the menopausal years, I welcome them with open arms. Every season in life brings with it its beauty, its challenges, and the potential for growth as a human being. In the meantime I listen and learn from my elders: what did they do to naturally ease menopausal concerns and welcome their wise woman years? Womanly wisdom is wisdom meant to be shared.

To Learn More About Using Herbs To Contribute To Cellular Health, Reproductive & Menopausal Health, And Longevity Join My Herbs For Natural Health Online Course.

This Is A No Sweat, Straight Forward Class On Making Simple Herbal Medicines And Learning about 3-5 Herbs That Enhance Each Specific Body System For Your Vibrant Health.

I Look Forward To Sharing This Time Honored, Wise Woman Wisdom With You, Paula

herbal medicine

Lost In “The” Vagina

vagina

In my last post: Voluptuous Vagina™s I spoke of placing a split open aloe leaf into the vagina for soothing many common vaginal irritations. I mentioned that if removal of this aloe leaf was a struggle…

Remove in AM by inserting a finger inside the vagina and dragging out the aloe. Removal an issue for you? Stay tuned, more on this later.

Well, I am back for the more on this later part!

Over the years working as a Registered Nurse in various Ob/Gyn settings, I have been able to support and help many women with many things lost in their vaginas. I remember thinking the first time our office (after I started work as the Ob/GYN Nurse) needed to help remove a condom from a woman’s vagina: “why did she not just reach up and get it herself?” I soon forgot this dilemna as the day rolled on with many more patients and their needs and challenges in reproductive health. Over the months and years working in this office the “lost in the vagina” issue arose on many occasions: condoms, tampons forgotten from weeks ago, sex toy objects, and interesting items placed into the vagina to relieve irritations and infections (like my aloe suggestion).

I confess, I was never quite able to wrap my head around the inability to just remove it yourself. Over the years and gently – kindly – lovingly questioning women I realized that lack of anatomical knowledge was a big part of the problem. Women worried the lost item would somehow get lost forever, move into the uterus and perhaps on into the pelvic cavity, etc

Things in the vagina can only get out the way they went in: through the vaginal opening at your vulva.

vulva

The cervical opening at the top of your vagina is tiny. It is just large enough for sperm (microscopic organisms) to enter. Your uterus cramps (contracts) to make the cervical canal open a bit larger for menstrual blood to flow out… even larger with labor contractions to allow the cervix to open for passage of your baby and placenta. Trust me, nothing is moving up into your uterus from the vagina (unless it is microscopic: sperm, bacteria, virus or a health care person purposefully diltates your cervix open to insert an IUD contraceptive device.

If an object got into your vagina, you can get it out.

Vaginal Lost Item Removal Suggestions:

My best suggestion is to just sit on the toilet with legs spread wide and relaxed. Relaxed is key here because if you are tense… so is your vagina and it will clamp down on the aloe (tampon, condom, sex toy, etc.) Deep breathe, relax, and send love to your vaginal area. Reach up into your vagina with your index finger. Push your finger all the way in until you can feel your cervix. Explore a bit, feel around the rim of your cervix. This is such a cool experience to feel and then be able to visualize the inside of your vagina and cervix. Hook your index finger and grab the aloe (or other object) on the way out.

cervix vagina

My next suggestion is using a simple kitchen spoon. Not a large one but a teaspoon you would eat with. Again, assume a relaxed position sitting on the toilet or squatting down towards the floor. Breathe, relax. Place the spoon gently into your vagina, run it up the side of the vaginal wall (not straight up the center of the vaginal vault) and again see if you can reach the cervix. The spoon will stop, see picture above, as it cannot get into the cervical opening. Use the spoon to gently scrape down the sides of the vagina to remove the aloe, tampon, condom, etc. Pretend you are using a small rubber spatula to remove food from the sides of a bowl. Use a small rubber spatula if you are more comfortable with that.

Suggestion 3: get your partner or a friend to help. If you were choking no one would hesitate to help remove the foreign object from your throat. Your vagina is no different. Just a beautiful part of your body.

I urge you to get comfy and familiar with your vagina, your reproductive tract, and your whole beautiful body!

My home made herbal oil infused wild yam lube for all sorts of vaginal needs!

My home made herbal oil infused wild yam lube for all sorts of vaginal needs!

Wild Yam Lube Update:  I made the wild yam lube cream and will share it in a video in my Herbal Online Course for teaching you the basics of starting to make and use your own herbal preparations: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/herbs-for-health-healing/  Join me for this fun, informative, and health liberating 1 week course.

Voluptuous V™ is available now, click here.

Rack Card NEW

Taking Care of Mother Earth & All Her Life

DSC01917

The kid on the right is not mine but got caught up in the lawn mowing fun. A little tit for tat after they stacked wood at his home this AM.

So this morning I sent my kids out to mow the lawn. This always entails a lengthy briefing, weed walk, about the yard to warn them what to avoid cutting.

back yard plant menagerie

milk weed, wild mint, white clover and black eyed susan, red clover, marshmallow

  1. Be careful…Don’t mow the marshmallow plant next to the sandstone steps. Marshmallow is a healing herb.
  2. Avoid those purple flower patches too. That is self-heal, another good healing herb.
  3. Stop at the edge of the yard where the plants get taller. I have a whole garden of wild mint and I want it to spread.
  4. Please avoid all of the milk weed plants. To which Eli responds: “Mom, there are hundreds of them.” Yeah, I know. They are for the Monarchs. Just be careful.
  5. And remember, mow around the Mullein plants. They are great lung & ear healers and bone building plants. Eli sighs and says… “Why can’t you just be normal?”  Jake retreats into the house to work on school work; probably a good choice right now!
  6. We pass by a patch of white clover… oh, don’t mow that white clover. The bees and butterflies are feeding on it right now. Sometimes a deer or two comes into the yard to eat it. And look, there are Black Eyed Susans growing in the middle of the white clover patches. Which reminds me, don’t mow the red clover patches either. “Mom, the whole back yard has huge patches of white clover. What am I supposed to mow?” Ok, you are correct. Skip the backyard for now, let’s go look at the side yard.
  7. OK, about that side yard boys… there are Indian Paintbrushes and Buttercups starting to bloom. Please don’t cut them. They add such pretty orange-red and yellow color to the sea of green plants. “Mom, they are all over the place.” Yeah, I see that. OK, skip the side yard.
  8. “Mom, the part you let us mow on the other side of the driveway (most of that part of the lawn is left to bloom wild flowers of all sorts)… it is covered with white clover. Are we to try and mow around those patches?” Nah, ‘ya know what… skip that part too. We’ll get it when the white clover blossoms turn brown and shrivel.

So Mom… what exactly do you want us to mow? Ok, just skip mowing most of the yard and just mow up near the steps to the house and along the fence. It is all just grass there. Well, except for the Mullein growing by each fence post. Be careful, I transplanted them from the middle of the back yard so you would not have to mow around them.  To which Eli rolls his eyes and his buddy, Aj, just chuckles. All weeds (they are healing herbs!) are welcome in our yard.

How about we go for a walk in the woods instead and leave the good plants from Mother Earth to feed all her living beings?

happy face sun

woman holding globe

Voluptuous Vagina™s

vagina

The Voluptuous Vagina™ (located in the box!)

The Vagina is an amazing organ. Truthfully, most females do not give their vagina a second thought unless:

  1. They are having struggles with it,
  2. They want to use it, or
  3. They discover they are pregnant (please refer back to #2).

Women’s mysteries used to be shared knowledge. All females knew the intricacies and expectations of puberty, menarche (first bleeding), sexuality/sensuality, pregnancy, laboring & birthing, postpartum, breastfeeding, and the menopausal years (peri-menopause, menopause, post-menopause) because females shared this information with each other in the moon lodge, menstrual hut, red tent, etc. Women no longer gather together at their bleeding times, taking respite from the world, and sharing womb wisdom with each other. Most females fumble through all these life transitions learning street information from friends, out of books, or the modern-day “Google Knows All” experience.

I am going to focus on #1 above: You are having struggles with your vagina and specifically help for the struggles of the menopausal years. I have clients in their menopausal years who are dealing with symptoms of vaginal aging and the distress this can bring:

  • vaginal atrophy (I truly dislike this word as it is so negative and medicalizes a natural, normal process of aging. Just as our skin on the rest of our body ages, thins, etc. the mucousal membranes are not any different. We cannot stay young, juicy, and plump celled forever. This process is the cycle of life of everything on this planet.)
  • low lubrication for every day living and more so for sexually active menopausal years
  • burning
  • itchiness
  • vaginal spasms
  • vaginismus (painful contracting of the vagina so penetration, even with a finger, is painful and even impossible)
  • achiness…

These vaginal issues are something I never gave a second thought (who does until menopausal years are lurking around the corner). Rarely do females share conversation about such things unless you happen to hang with an amazing groups of females. It is a touchy subject and females are often concerned there is something wrong with them, they will be different, or even seen as strange. As one drifts towards menopause (I still have regularly scheduled monthly bleeding but can see changes between now and 20 years ago) these struggles become more apparent in every day life.

I want to offer up 2 simple solutions for vaginal dryness, burning, itching (assuming symptoms are not caused by an infection): fresh aloe and a wild yam ointment.

aloe   wild yam

Let us start with aloe. If you are fortunate to have a huge potted aloe, like mine above, this aloe thing is easy. 1. When ready for bed I break off a big juicy leaf (thanking the plant) and 2. cut off a piece about 1 1/2 inches long. The remainder I put in a wide mouth canning jar, cover, and place in the fridge for nightly use) 3. Break open the piece so you expose the gel. 4. Go to bed. When you are lying down, insert the piece of aloe as high up in your vagina as you can. 5. Leave there until AM and then 6. Remove in AM by inserting a finger inside the vagina and dragging out the aloe. Removal an issue for you? Stay tuned, more on this later.

Aloe helps to keep the vagina moist, heals tissue, relieves symptoms of irritated menopausal vaginal mucosa, and even helps with yeast infections. More on vaginal infections later. I also recommend you do something to remove all yeasty discharge from your vagina before putting the aloe or any natural healing remedy into the vagina.

Wild Yam Cream/Lotion/Ointment/Lube

  • Make an ointment with wild yam as the base herb. Add in other soothing herbs for anti-inflammatory properties, healing skin properties, etc.

I teach this process in my Herbal Online Course for teaching you the basics of starting to make and use your own herbal preparations: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/herbs-for-health-healing/

I am also making this preparation at the Five Elements Living Retreat Center in Colton, NY. This Vaginal Love, Menopausal Magic product is available for purchase through Shelby & My collaboration to care and love up women in our circle (our women’s circle is going to get bigger!).

Voluptuous V™ is available now, click here.                 VV™ for short.

You can use Voluptuous V™ (VV™)on & in irritated, dry vaginas and vulvas caused from menopausal symptoms or too much sex!

OR…

Use as a lubricant for happy sex.

 

rack card with jar, biz card.jpg

Stayed tuned for my next posts on retrieving the aloe from your vagina and healing help for vaginal infections… that yeasty demon!

Cheers and happy wild yam lube making!