Imagine a scenario in which?a patient is’seeking the help of a practitioner for pain in?her wrist. Practitioner number one does a physical examination, has an assistant take x-rays, examines the x-rays, and may talk to’the patient?for a moment about what’the patient?does?with her wrist. She ends the consultation by prescribing a pill daily, a brace to be worn by the patient, and?recommends cutting?down on wrist movement as much as possible. Practitioner 1 notes that 90% of’the wrist pain should be gone in X amount of days and that there could be a few side effects from the pills.
Practitioner number two has a long discussion with’the patient?about not only what’she does?with her wrist, but what is going on in the rest of?her life, if anything changed around the time that her wrist started hurting, etc.Practitioner 2?would likely give?her a couple of ideas, and perhaps even provide a couple of treatments that may not seem related at all.Practitioner 2?would encourage?her to examine a couple spots in?her life that seem to be related, though’she doesn’t understand the relation at all, and?practitioner 2?would tell?her to tune into her wrist and ask what it wants.
Who would you visit for medical advice? Most people in our culture would certainly choose practitioner number one. They have the education, so they should be able to figure out what is wrong and how to fix it with a drug that is patented and approved. Practitioner number two is likely labeled a quack, since they seem to focus on unrelated things, aren’t quickly decreasing your pain in whatever way possible, and are asking you to participate heavily in your own journey back to health.
Unfortunately, in our culture we are taught to trust medical professionals above all else. This is even true in terms of alternative practitioners. We believe that they have the education and skills that we need and we look for the ?hero? to help us out of whatever situation we are in. What do I mean by the hero? We want someone to figure out what is wrong with us and intervene with our bodies’ processes and stop whatever symptom we are currently experiencing. We want them to do this through proven scientific processes that we?may not understand so much, but that are developed for the sake of making our bodies in accordance with our will.
Overall, we have not considered that our bodies in totality are a reaction to their environment. We harbor certain beliefs that if we just do things in a different way we will reach salvation, but rather we may need to think things a different way, notice things a different way, ask our bodies what they want and see the signs they are trying to show us.
My biggest concern with our culture not trusting our bodies is in the realm of birth control. Many healthy women choose to voluntarily course artificial hormones throughout their bodies. Many women choose to implant devices into sensitive bodily areas (Side note: ever notice how any birth control method for men is almost completely innocuous?) all in the name of the ?higher good,? which of course is not having children.
I have two issues with this. First is that those are not the only effective methods of contraception. Second, I believe that it is blatant disregard for our bodies, particularly women’s bodies.
This is a particular issue that I come across as a teacher of the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness. Women can easily identify their fertile times of a cycle, while ALSO noticing what is going on with their bodies and not distorting any processes that are meant to happen in any healthy individual. Being able to do this and still have an amazingly effective form of birth control is a huge boon; regardless, most women do not trust their own bodies enough to even think about practicing the method.
This is not because they are women, this is due to the fact that we have been inundated with information that anything trusting the body over a credentialed practitioner is not to be trusted. Our bodies are only mechanisms that hold us back and are there as a liability, breaking down more and more each day.
The first ‘treatments? we should seek are those that we can use all of the time. Rest, good food, love, changing thought patterns, etc. These lead to overall better relationships with our bodies and will not cause unwanted side effects. The sympto-thermal method fits in here because not only does it not destroy our fertile period, which is a healthy process our body naturally goes through, but we understand and tune into our bodies better. This leads to overall better health because we are able to both trust in our bodies and understand better what is happening with them and what they are trying to tell us.
Hannah Ransom teaches?a live,?online?Symptothermal Method of Fertility Awareness class the last Saturday of every month through the 180D Get Help program. Price has been reduced for the July class to just $79 (normally $100) and includes private follow-up consultation with Hannah?after class.
First! This is the best thing that has happened to me
omg, i can’t stop laughing henk!
Henkel, like ever or just today ? ;)
I meant Henk :)
Practitioner 2 is trying to get the patient to discover the message that their body is sending them. Allopathic medicine is about suppressing those messages by making symptoms go away!
I believe that illness is the result of a disagreement between what your head is telling your, and what you “know in your heart”. Then the body responds with a signal, by showing you there is some di-stress.
Any person can understand what it means when they are in dis-ease. What would your body part be saying to you if it could talk? What is the literal meaning- if you call a person a “pain in the neck, or ass?
If you don’t “know” all you have to do is make it up! That’s the correct answer. The only question is: will you pay attention, or “push through” the pain and the sickness. The likelihood is, your symptoms will ramp up, until you HAVE TO listen and honor the body!
Allopathic medicine, and diets teach us to ignore what our body is telling us: take a pill and make the symptoms go away; starve yourself to lose weight, although you are hungry…. It just makes matters worse!
I went to a doctor once after hurting my wrist from flailing about in a nightmare. He took an x-ray and said he saw nothing wrong with it. He asked how it happened and seemed to laugh about it, that wrist was stiff and sometimes painful from that time onward. I think there are lots of situations like that where doctors can’t even figure out what the problem is and they make you feel silly for even reporting the problem because they can’t see it on an x-ray or they judge you for hitting something by your bed during a bad dream. Not everyone has a king size bed with no posts and plenty of empty space around it, dipshit.
If it makes you feel better, one of the site authors (not me or Hannah, not saying who) who sleeps in a loft recently ran off of it during a dream and fell 8 feet with ankle and back injuries.
“Allopathic medicine is about suppressing those messages by making symptoms go away!” *This* is exactly what the vast majority of the population does not understand, and is at the root of our over-medication. People think medication makes them well. They do not understand that most medications actually just suppress symptoms. I believe that if people understood this basic truth, it would completely change their expectations of medicine and people would start to want to address real root causes.
(There are some exceptions to this, of course. Antibiotics can suppress, but they can also save lives, and hormonal medications like insulin and thyroid do actually address the issue rather than suppressing.)
I believe this is very true, at least for myself. Ever since I started feeling trapped in life, a few years after having my first child, I’ve had feet, leg, knee and hip issues.
Practitioner number 2 sounds like a kinesiologist :)
Just a shout out in favor of Fertility Awareness. Been using it for 10 years successfully. It’s not always easy, but so, so many benefits. And I wouldn’t trade my fertility or my husband’s for “ease.” What an affront to our dignity, as though either our bodies were made faulty and need to be fixed, and/or as though our fertility is somehow unimportant and disposable. Or so it seems to us.
Also for us, the huge, major fact that sex makes babies is not something we want to just forget. That feels… dangerous.
I believe it takes a certain amount of maturity and wisdom for a women to be in a place where she would consider a “natural” form of birth control.such as you teach. Our society is not geared to teaching young women about these issues. Too many teens are having unplanned pregnancies despite all the types of birth control available. Clearly many are out of touch with their bodies. I think it would take a huge culture shift to make a change toward “natural” birth control. Plus let’s face it – most people will take the easiest path and that is most likely some hormonal type of birth control. Here’s to the hope that things can change.
I don’t think getting pregnant in your teens automatically means you’re out of touch with your body. To the contrary. The problem is that as a culture, we’re mentally and emotionally unprepared for adult life because bringing up competent and self-sufficient, emotionally stable adults, is not a priority; to be a competent and obedient worker is. Reproduction is fairly easy and straight forward; parenting is not. But there’s nothing ‘wrong’ or ‘unenlightened’ about having children, or having many children.
On a similar note, I wonder what the effects of continual menstruation has on women’s health. I imagine it’s somewhat like not using the muscles we’re given. Not only do the muscles become weak, but it has an effect on our overall health.
Biologically, we’re not meant to menstruate year after year, but to menstruate only as a means to becoming pregnant. While pregnancy is certainly hard work, it is what our bodies are designed for just as hard physical labor. I’m not intending to pass judgement on those who don’t wish to have children for personal reasons, just curious about this from a strictly biological point of view.
We know breastfeeding has a protective effect, and I imagine that pregnancy does too.
i’d like to mention night lighting (or the lack of it). i’ve been using fertility awareness for a long time and it helps if your cycles are regular. “night lighting” helped regulate me. in short…you keep your room completely dark (you should not be able to see your hand in front of your face). for some people this is enough. for others, it helps to add a night light or open a window shade starting about day 13 for a couple nights and then return to darkness.
if complete darkness at night helps women to regulate their hormones, i think it follows that it helps HUMANS to sleep in complete darkness. just a theory of mine.
It’s been studied at least unofficially, so it’s no theory :) It really does help.
I drop like a rock everytime I sleep in complete darkness – seemed to really help me with insomnia. Last school year I used duct tape and garbage bags to completely black out the (floor to ceiling window in) the room I was staying in. Looked like a meth lab but it works haha
I use huge cardboard boxes that I have unfolded and then cut to shape to jam in the window frame. I also made curtains out of black felt. This gives me the option of being able to easily remove the cardboard to let the light in during the day.
This is such an important conversation to have! Thank you! I wish more people had been discussing it when I was staring a family (or especially before). At least now I can talk about it with my two teens and they won’t be suckered into harmful hormonal treatments or take every med under the sun to “erase” symptoms. Broda Barnes is my new hero– thanks to Matt. I’m almost done with his book and am in awe of all the studies that have been overlooked in thyroid health and corresponding symptoms.