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.

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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.

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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.

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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!)

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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:

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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.

Stay tuned for more info on Voluptuous Vagina being released for sale. Info will come through:

Sending healing, feminine love, Paula

 

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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…)
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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:

  1. 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 myslef 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.
  2. 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!

  3. Make a wild yam cream to slather onto your vulva and into your vagina. My recipe is in this earlier blog post: https://wisewomenredtent.com/2014/04/18/voluptuous-vaginas/  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.red clover vaginal atrophy
  4. Use 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!

  5. 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.
  6. 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

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Lost In “The” Vagina

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In my last post: Voluptuous Vaginas 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.

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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.