Today’s post is the final installment of our conversation on the wisdom of the womb as we turn to discuss Fibroids and PMS.
First allow me to credit Dr. Christiane Northrup for the great title of her blog post, which captures so beautifully the opportunity for growth and self-love when we, as women, are connected to our physical female form and monthly cycles.
From Dr. Christiane Northrup’s blog post, “The Wisdom of Heavy Bleeding: Are You Leaking Energy?”:
“I always ask my patients with heavy bleeding if they are leaking their life’s blood into any dead-end job or relationship that doesn’t fully meet their needs. Are you giving more than you are receiving in return? Is someone or something draining your energy by being a kind of Dracula? Take some time alone, sit right down on the earth, and pray for guidance and a boost of energy for yourself.”
FIBROIDS and PMS
Here are some quotes from various sources about fibroids— everything from the medical scientific description to “symbolic” descriptions of what the meaning of fibroids might be. When you read the descriptions, be aware of what you are thinking or feeling in response to the statements, and also check in with your physical body to see if you are sensing any response there as well.
Remember, there is no right or wrong with symptoms. Your symptoms are unique and yours alone as are your responses to your symptoms. Your vital force/immune system/defense mechanism is simply expressing its wisdom through the body the best way that it can in order to maintain healthy functioning in the body. This is where spending time in quiet can help us develop exquisite listening skills so that we can “hear” our bodies speak! Be fearless! Ask the questions, listen for the answers. Trust in yourself and your inner wisdom and you will learn…about yourself, about your body. This kind of asking, listening in self-love and self-gratitude is one of the most healing acts we can take on our own behalf. And above all else, be gentle with yourself. In being gentle, we accept ourselves the way we are, in sickness and in health.
“A fibroid is a non-cancerous growth composed of muscle and fibrous tissue that occurs in the wall of the uterus.”
~ The Merck Manual Home Edition
“Fibroids are benign tumors of the uterus. Fibroids are made from hard, white, gristly tissue that has a whorl-like pattern. They are present in 20 to 50 percent of all women. Fibroids are responsible for as many as 33 per cent of all gynecological hospital admissions, and they are the number- one reason for hysterectomy in this country. (United States) No one knows, from a conventional medical standpoint, what causes fibroids.
Caroline Myss teaches that fibroid tumors represent our creativity that was never birthed, including “fantasy” images of ourselves that have never seen the light of day and creative secrets of our other “selves”. Fibroids also result when we are flowing life energy into dead ends, such as jobs or relationships that we have outgrown. I ask women with fibroids to meditate on their relationships with other people and how they express their creativity. Fibroids are often associated with conflicts about creativity, reproduction, and relationships. One of my patients, after looking at her fibroid, said that it was easy to see a fibroid as a form of hard, implacable anger. The fact that so many women have these growths is perhaps evidence of our collective blocked creative energy in this culture.”
~ Christiane Northrup, MD, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
“Although they can appear in very young women, and I think that this is on the increase, they are more common in the pre-menopausal years. In my experience the newer they are, the easier it is to diminish them. Another interesting thing about them is that they almost always disappear by themselves after menopause, but their presence in the womb may in fact delay menopause. HRT (hormone replacement therapy) inhibits their disappearance. Fibroids will sometimes outgrow their oxygen supply and will degenerate by themselves. This might cause an unexpected bleed for a week or so.”
~ Women Ripening Through Menopause by Melissa Assilem
Both Northrup and Assilem recommend some dietary and physical activity changes for women with fibroids (both suggest eliminating refined products like white sugar/flour as a start and cutting back on meat, fats, and caffeinated drinks), but making a lot of changes quickly can be very stressful.
Mostly I would suggest that, yes, eliminate refined, packaged, heavily-salted foods from the diet (and aren’t those JUST the ones we seem to crave??!), but again, listen to the body, which requires that we stop long enough to be quiet and tend to ourselves. We KNOW when we are being hard on our bodies with too much coffee, too much alcohol, too many sweets/desserts, too much chocolate, and just plain old too much! When we take time to be quiet, that’s when we can ask our body what it is that we are really craving.
The same goes for exercise. Find the class or activity that works for you. I am NOT a spandex, jive it up in a thunka-thunka-rhythm class but lots of women love it! Get out there and tango, belly dance, and shake your booty if that is what you love. For me, I have found the perfect class for me that involves strengthening the inner abdominal core, stretching and flexibility, and growing these wonderful little biceps and back muscles that I love! The atmosphere is quiet with a lot of breath-work and, for me, is meditative. I need a lot of instruction and I like seeing improvement in increments.
At the beginning of menopause, I dropped 40 pounds with Weight Watchers and promised myself that I would keep it off by weighing-in monthly, even after I lost my weight. I also discovered my perfect fitness class, and so far, it’s been working. With writing these posts, I am reminded that it is important to continue an ongoing dialogue with my body. I have grown to love and appreciate what my body can do and how it supports me as I live my life and my purpose here on Earth. At this stage, I celebrate great health.
(For those who might be interested in my “perfect” fitness class, it is called the Fitness Table.)
Some possible symptoms of fibroids:
- Heavy bleeding in between periods or spotting just before the period. With the heavy bleeding there may be increased risk of developing anemia.
- Pelvic pressure and urinary frequency if the fibroid gets very large.
- Fibroids may be present with endometriosis, but not always. And if both are present, there may be menstrual cramps, pelvic pain, or both.
- Painful intercourse.
- There may be pain with fibroid degeneration. When the fibroid outgrows its oxygen supply, the nerves deep inside this tissue “register the lack of oxygen as pain, in the same way frost-bitten toes do.” The fibroid may eventually shrink and disappear, and with that, the pain will go as well—usually a week or so as the nerves adjust. Dr. Northrup’s book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom is so good at explaining this. I can’t recommend it enough. Plus she has some encouraging patient stories to share.
“Fibroids, like other disorders, don’t just come out of nowhere and land on your uterus. When you become willing to be in relationship with your uterus by letting its messages speak to you, you have taken the first steps toward healing, instead of just masking or eliminating symptoms. After you get in touch with the messages from your uterus, you can choose a treatment that works best for you, whether it’s surgery or brown rice or both. Many women can chart the onset of their fibroids to the onset of verbal abuse from their mates, job stress, or other problems in their relationships with the outside world. Inner work is often very useful for finding new ways to deal with these hurtful or limiting situations.”
~ Dr. Christiane Northrup, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
So for some of you, a consult with a homeopathic will be extremely helpful. For others, a “consult” with yourself and diet changes will be enough. For others, a “consult” with self, friends, doctor, psychologist, spiritual guide will be what is most helpful for you, and for others, surgery. The good news? You get to decide how you will learn and heal. It may even be all of the above that you do!
Being your own best healer with an exquisite system that knows best how to maintain balance within, you can find that quiet place to begin a dialogue with your own wisdom.
Being a homeopath, I can offer some remedies that have been very helpful in supporting the body’s vitality, giving it the energetic boost it needs to move through the symptoms that accompany uterine fibroids. This week’s handout has just a few remedies your homeopath might recommend.
Rather than write extensively about PMS in this post in addition to the fibroids — and rather than do a part 4 — I have chosen instead to direct you to some excellent, reputable websites that have suggestions for remedies for PMS. Mostly, it is recommended that you invest in a full consult with a homeopath as it will give you the opportunity of receiving a remedy that will be well-chosen and individualized.
- Dr. Dana Ullman’s site
- This article is wonderful…funny and informative as well! Tamara der-Ohanian is a homeopath practicing in Toronto.
- Dr. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman’s book Whole Woman Homeopathy is invaluable.
As always, yours in health and healing,