I just came upon this interview with one of my She-ros, Dr. Christiane Northrup. She has extensive views on the health care and pleasure, on women’s health and nutrition. If you have not yet opened one of her books to help you research a question about your life as a woman, I highly recommend her work. I have spoken to women who don’t resonate with Dr. Northrup’s opinions, but I do urge you to read the complete interview that I have excerpted here.
My first live experience of Dr. Northrup was at a theatre in Portsmouth New Hampshire, where they were filming a PBS special about menopause. My women’s group took a field trip to be in the audience at the filming. Dr. Northrup spoke with such conviction, humor and care about her passion for women’s lives I was completely taken by her. Since that day I have come to know her and her work. Her work greatly impacted my decision to have a hysterectomy over 2 years ago. The protocols for preparation for surgery that she includes in her “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” were significant contributions to my well being as I traversed that scary terrain. I was comforted by her words. I am sure my healing was impacted by her suggestions. As she says, if you don’t like her books, they make great doorstops, each one weighing a few pounds. Her books are the heftiest on the library shelves in the women’s health section.
Here’s a section of Jason Wachob’s piece:
Could you speak about your work in using the discipline of pleasure in our lives?
When you decide that you’re going to be more positive, there’s a physiologic effect on the people around you. The mediator of this effect is an odorless, colorless gas called nitric oxide, produced by the endothelial lining of every blood vessel in your body under conditions of health and pleasure, meaning sustainable aerobic exercise. Marathon running and over-exercising does the opposite-it causes oxidative stress. Orgasm, or anything pleasurable that is sustainable increases blood flow to every part of our body.
…We have to think of it not just as sex, not just as “get him up and get him off” because a happy, healthy woman uplifts whatever she’s involved in.
Women think that women’s health is getting a PAP Smear and a mammogram — that’s what they’ve been brainwashed into, that’s the discussion of women’s health. It’s unbelievable to me. I’m actually going to talk about women’s health. When women feel great about themselves, their spouses are going to be happier and healthier. It’s a win-win. There’s no downside whatsoever. Because we are relationship-oriented, we are taught that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. Our role models of what is a good woman is Mother Theresa, someone who gives until it hurts. We see in award ceremonies: “She was a tireless worker for women’s rights. She never rested.” I don’t want that on my gravestone. Because you can’t get health out of working tirelessly, out of being a crusader who is always angry, tired, or depleted.
What I’m out to do is to turn this whole idea of self-sacrifice on its head, knowing full well that we live in a world where the majority of the population still prefers a son to a daughter. In India, China, and Muslim countries, women are seen as a burden. In North America and Europe, we women are in a very privileged position. The higher we take ourselves, the more effective we will be in turning around the entire planet. The Earth itself is female, and how an individual woman treats herself, how she allows herself to be treated and how the Earth is treated is the same.
As I spend time on the Web reading other writers, particularly women, I am struck with wonder and joy at the diversity of our expression.
Just do a Google search on women’s wellness or creativity and whammoooo…you could be reading for hours.
I dip in like the hummingbird in the bee balm and suck up the wealth and wisdom that appeals to me and run on that for a good while.
What has inspired you this week? Have you read or experienced something that incites you to action?
I must tell you my readers that I so appreciate the time you give to me here on the Laundry Line. It is no small gift and I am aware of the choice you make to be here.
Until my next post, or yours, if you share something here with a link to your work-
I send you love from the voluptuous bosom of summer,