Delivering health care.  It’s what I do.  What I’ve done my entire adult life.  This calling has morphed and evolved in such a way that some, as they survey my working field, would not call it health care. I beg to differ.  Through this morph and evolution I‘ve been challenged, bent sideways, shaped, pushed, grown….and ultimately divinely supported and nourished.  Today I’m writing about three ways women can be pro-active about their health.  Not excluding you men readers, read on.

Hysterectomy and women’s rights:  My eyes were forced wide open last November when I joined the sister-ectomy club.  By the age of sixty, one in three women have undergone this major procedure.  Not going to tackle the bigger question: “Is this really necessary?”  Because the littler question is what I’ve been living with: “Why is the post-op care so incredibly puny?”  Sum total of rehab advice I received: walk. 

Seriously ladies, I needed to do much more.  Every woman will have different needs.  So much of it depends on the pre-existing body challenges brought to the operating table.  The troubles other than the reproductive organ issues.  Post-surgery, I had profound weakness of right psoas and strain of the right adductor muscles.  My surgeon blew it off.  After six months of subtle self-directed care I’m probably 80%.  This would not be the case if I had followed the walking advice.

Why is this a women’s rights issue?  Much current research points to the lack of investigation surrounding women’s health.  You better believe that if one in three men had their reproductive organs removed by the age of sixty there would be a different standard of rehab available.  Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Perez dives into this realm.  The story about Viagra research is amazing.

I absolutely know many women undergoing this procedure will look back and feel that this surgery marked the beginning of some type of decline.  Since my surgery I’ve had the honor of treating two other women who will not be feeling this decline.  So this is a direct call to my sister-ectomies out there.  A single visit will enable you to address the often subtle changes that, untreated, will slowly manifest as trouble.  Come see me for that assessment and education.  Head home with a personal cell phone video of your very own specific 15 minute mat program.

Food first: That’s what my doctor said when I asked about boosting my immune system. After one month into this new way of eating, I wrote in April about time-restricted eating or intermittent fasting.  It goes by both names.  A super simple approach that is basically 1) late breakfast  2) early dinner  3) STOP.  I’m now four months in and pretty much astounded by the shifts that have nothing to do with my immune system: weight loss, mental clarity and the return of all night sleeping. 

Same doctor encouraged me to complete a fasting mimicking diet for five days, four times a year. There needs to be more research, but the current indications are that this is a stem cell (think immune system) booster.  This diet is not as simple as intermittent fasting, but I was surprised how mostly I breezed thru each day on 500 calories.  Well, breeze may not be quite accurate.  There was some cranky and some  hunger that felt entirely emotional, no small thing for sure.  Definitely easier than anticipated.  The equinox will find me there again.

This whole quarter year investigation brings Gabrielle Roth to mind.  She was big on renunciation, asking us every year to write and tell her what we were giving up for one month.  It was a big deal for me.  It cultivated some discipline needed to free spirit.  Anytime we work with the habitual, it’s gonna be a life changer.  Food is huge in everyone’s life.  In mine, it is homogonous with strong generational ties to restaurants including cooking in my son’s café, big hearted love for all things cooking, joy in feeding people, love of gardening and harvesting and eating food right off the vine.  This habit- changing experience has brought all of this proclivity into a new light.  It’s a good thing.

Putting bodies in motion: My life’s calling. I stand for the value of this work.  An instructional class is the best route to support people in developing a movement habit.  When that class is nourishing and pleasurable, invites creativity and curiosity and leaves you feeling like a million bucks…well this is exactly what I’m aiming for.  I adore teaching 5Rhythms. I am incredibly moved teaching yoga.  I am in a love trance when turning folks on to releasing with the toys.  The fact that I’m finally teaching a 90 minute class with all three woven together and people are really responding…well, this is making me very happy.  While we share this enjoyable experience of free flow movement, the skills we’re practicing totally translate to home practice.  Bingo.  I truly feel I’m exploring a health frontier on Tuesday morning.  There are four mornings left if you care to drop in.

Your health:  I deeply care about it.  Join me in this care….be pro-active.

Love, bella