Want to know the ins and outs of your menstrual cycle? Get access to my free talk and discover what the hell goes on every month.

Fertility

When it’s ok to not be ok

photoI know it’s happened to you. You’re having a rough patch in life, like grieving for the baby you can’t conceive / the end of a relationship / miscarriage / death of a loved one / life just isn’t measuring up to your high expectations.

You see a friend, share a bit, and they say, “you’ve got plenty of time to have kids / it wasn’t meant to be / at least you know you can get pregnant / it’s going to be okay.”

And right about then is when you want to punch them. Grief sucks and we are taught in this society not to do it. Lost relationship? Chin up, pull through it….

But how do you get to self-care when you are smack in the middle of grief? When your heart is hurting it can be really fucking hard to take care of yourself, in fact you’re probably not even thinking about it. You’re consumed by what’s going on in your heart, and you’re falling to pieces.

When my world changed.

Several years ago, I realised that I could no longer be with the man I was with. No matter how much love I felt for him, my love wasn’t enough to fix him … and yeah, I know, how arrogant to think that my love could do that. He had issues (hey, I did do too), and when I found out the extent of them, the behaviours associated with them, I had to put my big girl pants on and get the hell out of there. So after five years of living together and a couple of years of fighting hard to make it work, I left. And it fucking sucked.

Then came the rapid weight loss.

When I’m stressed my stomach goes into lockdown; it feels like there’s a vice in my solar plexus. You know what I mean, when it feels like there’s a hand twisting your insides so you can’t breathe properly let alone eat. Unless of course you’re someone who binges to push through the tension, bugger all wrong with that, I just tend towards the no eating side of things.

How did I handle it?

I discovered Japanese rice crackers; delicious air, perfect for someone with a non-existent appetite. I coaxed my way back into eating by letting them dissolve in my mouth, a packet at a time. I also started training for the Caledonian Challenge. Twice a month I would do a 16-24 mile walk, and when it comes to stimulating the appetite, I’m not sure there’s anything better than exercise (other than smoking weed). In pretty much every picture of me walking, you’ll see a peanut butter sandwich in my hand (crunchy, never smooth), and bit by bit I regained the weight I’d lost.

A couple of years later, I realised that there were a few places deep inside where I was still holding onto this hurt, and it was seeing an Arvigo therapist which helped me to unlock and begin the process of letting go. Now I massage my belly every day as part of my daily self-care routine, it’s how I stop my stomach going into lockdown mode.

When you’re hurting, practice self-love above all else.

Give yourself some space to not be ok.

  1. Phone a friend. Let someone else in, tell one person what’s going on, let them hold your space. Text five friends and say, “hey, I’m having a shit time at the moment, I’d love it if you could check in with me once in a while or if we could hang out soon”. Be proactive in asking for help; I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve kept quiet till everything has been resolved, only to be reprimanded by friends months down the line for not allowing them to help.
  2. Get raw. Stick on the music which makes you feel all the hurt and loss. Don’t block it, feel it. Get lost in the emotion. I know it feels like it’s never going to end, but it will change, at least.
  3. Get your arse outside. Trees, rocks, soil; they’ve all been around a hell of a lot longer than we have, they can hold the energy we can’t (yes, I’m a hippy at heart). Let it go. Let your face be battered by wind and drizzle. Sob till your nose runs and then sob some more.
  4. Express yourself. Grab a notepad and write, if that feels uncomfortable, just write over your own words again and again so that nothing is readable, that way you get it out of you but there’s no way to revisit what’s come out, unless you want to of course. Buy some crayons and draw. Why crayons? We associate them with childhood, not grown up “proper” art, which helps to keep things playful and about expression, as oppose to producing something.
  5. Move. I have this theory that moving forwards physically moves you forwards mentally. So get walking, running or cycling. It needn’t be as extreme as a 54 mile hike, but if you get stuck on the sofa (been there), you’ll stay stuck in your head. Dance; surrender to the music, free that shit up and get it out of your system.

Need a kickstart?

Then come and get some love in the form of a treatment. It’s the first thing I do when shit hits the fan. Letting friends in etc is all well and good, but going for a treatment works on a different level. For a start, I don’t think any of my friends would be up for massaging me for longer than two minutes, if that. Mainly though, there’s something incredibly nurturing about doing something which is all about you.

Right now I have an offer on which will run till the end of January, and there are 20 13 8 spots left. It’s for a 90 minute Arvigo session, during which you’ll receive a nurturing belly and back massage, then I’ll teach you how to perform it on yourself, so that you can treat yourself every day. You can read about it in full over here, but here are the basics:

One treatment: £90 (£35 off)

Three treatment bonus offer: £250 (£125 off)

This offer is short-term, the price will increase to £125 per session as of Feb 1st 2014, and I’m only offering twenty spots at this amount. You must book and receive your first treatment by the end of January.

Next step?

If you’re ready to jump in, holla at me and let me know a few options with regards to times you can do in the coming weeks. Once we figure out a time, I’ll email you a pre-treatment form for you to fill in and return to me by email.

Belize, gin, & 90 minutes that could change your life

FertilityWomen’s health is my thing.

I’m big on helping women with menstrual cycle issues, women on fertility journeys, as well as supporting women through menopause. Some women come to me for acupuncture on a weekly basis for a few months to resolve their problems, but not all of them are able to commit to that kind of treatment schedule. If I’m honest, this *really* pisses me off.

Don’t get me wrong, I get why they can’t come; time, money, distance etc. They’re all important things to consider before embarking on a course of treatment. I’ve been in your shoes and I know how this feels. However, I want them to come and see me, because most of the time, I’m pretty damn sure I can help them, if I only I could get my hands on them (that may have sounded creepier than I intended). So I kept thinking about how I could find a way to help the women who aren’t able to see me on a regular basis, I started looking out for a form of healing which clients could take away from one session with me, so that they could treat themselves.

Maybe you don’t know me so I’ll let you in on something: I’m a problem solver. Now, not all of my problem solving techniques work, taping a lightbulb to a light fixture, for example, didn’t. My former boss (and lovely friend) just yelled at me for setting off the fire alarms and being an idiot. But I truly feel that this time, my finely tuned problem solving skills have come up with something pretty sweet and helpful.

How did I solve the “I want to make some changes to my health but I can’t come that often” dilemma? Like this:

GinEvery day for a week, at 6pm on the dot, I drank a G&T: Lots of ice, three four generous fingers of Bombay Sapphire, lots of lime, and fresh tonic. None of that slimline nonsense either, give it to me proper or don’t bother. I can’t tell you how bloody good that first sip was. Ok, I will. It was flipping delicious, good enough to go for a second … Then I went swimming, gleefully naked.

I went away to Ridge Farm and spent the week with fourteen wonderful women, and Spanner and Badger, the Farm’s dogs. I drank gin, ate lots of cake, and took advantage of having sole use of the pool, jacuzzi and sauna. It was bliss.

Failing to see how this helps you? Alright, alright, the reason I went there was to spend six full days training in the Arvigo techniques of Mayan abdominal therapy. I admit it’s a bit of a mouthful, especially with sticky toffee pudding in your gob (just kidding, I don’t talk with my mouth full, my mum did a good job of raising me). Not heard of it before? It’s an external abdominal and back massage which originated in Belize, and was taught to Rosita Arvigo by one of the last traditional Maya shaman, Don Elijio Panti.

I’m now offering this massage and it could be the bees knees for you, if:

  • You struggle with your menstrual cycle
  • You have stopped using the birth control pill or have had your coil removed, and want help getting your cycle in check.
  • You’re preparing to conceive or you have already started trying
  • Your digestive system is prone to hissy fits of some kind
  • You’re transitioning into a new phase of your life and looking for ways to support yourself (motherhood and menopause, for example)

You’ll receive a nurturing and effective abdominal and back massage, and learn how to carry out the self-care so that you can go away and massage your own belly. Ultimately, this is 90 minutes of belly and back love, which can lead to a life-long practice of taking care of yourself. In fact, that’s probably what you’ll love the most; the fact that you can come for one treatment, learn the techniques, then go away and do it all yourself, should you want to. Yes, that means you don’t have to come back week after week to see me, unless of course we both feel that a period of treatment would be best for you, but even then, it would be unlikely to occur on a weekly basis.

You’ll probably end up being surprised at how effective that one treatment can be, and at the changes you can make to your health by carrying out the self-care.

Ridge FarmI’ve just completed the ATMAT training. That means I haven’t had a chance to form any bad habits and that I’m raring to go. You’ll benefit from my eight years experience of massaging people and specialising in women’s health.

If you’re still reading, surely you must be thinking, “holy crap, this sounds bloody amazing, gimme the details”, so here they are:

I treat out of Sadhaka Yoga Centre in Camden, London. Daytime and evening appointments are available.

One treatment: £90 (£35 off)

Three treatment bonus offer: £250 (£125 off)

This offer is short-term, the price will increase to £125 per session as of Feb 1st 2014, and I’m only offering twenty spots at this amount. You must book and receive your treatment by the end of January. For the smart cookies wanting to book a course of three treatments, your first session must be before Feb 1st 2014, the other two treatments can roll over.

20 17 15 14 10 8 spots left.

Next step?

If you’re ready to jump in, holla at me and let me know a few options with regards to times you can do in the coming weeks. Once we figure out a time, I’ll email you a pre-treatment form for you to fill in and return to me by email. For now, do your belly a favour and take three slow deep breaths all the way down into your belly. Feel everything relax and flow …

Then have a G&T.