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Medicine That Empowers You

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Medicine That Empowers You

Dr. Christiane Northrup
Dr. Christiane Northrup More by this author
Jun 15, 2010 at 03:00 AM 0 comments

As a physician, I’ve seen time and time again how our inner guidance also comes in the form of bodily symptoms and illnesses—especially when we are living lives devoid of pleasure, joy, and hope. Our illnesses are designed to stop us in our tracks, make us rest, and bring our attention back to the things that are really important and that give our lives meaning and joy—aspects of life that we often put on the back burner until “someday.” The insights catalyzed by decades of medical practice as well as my own health problems challenged everything I learned in medical school and residency training about women’s health.

Over the years, it became abundantly clear to me that premenstrual syndrome (PMS), pelvic pain, fibroid tumors, chronic vaginitis, breast problems, and menstrual cramps were related to the contexts of an individual woman’s life and her beliefs about herself and what she thought was possible in her life. All of these factors are associated with very real biochemical changes in our cells. Learning about their diets, work situations, and relationships often provided me with clues to the source of women’s distress—and, more important, what steps needed to be taken to relieve that distress. I have learned to appreciate the thoughts, beliefs, and behavioral patterns behind medical conditions in ways that simply aren’t addressed in medical training. These insights are the missing link to optimal health on all levels.

As I have developed more sensitivity to these patterns of health and illness, I have come to the conclusion that without a commitment to looking at all aspects of our lives and accessing our power to change them, improving habits and diet alone is not enough to effect a permanent cure for conditions that have been present for a long time. I’ve worked with many women whose illnesses could not be ascribed simply to what they eat and could not be cured solely through medication or surgery. Following a special diet or running three miles a day won’t make a woman feel well if her health is being adversely influenced by a subconscious belief that she isn’t good enough, or that she is the wrong gender, or that it’s a woman’s lot in life to suffer. If she has experienced incest and hasn’t allowed herself to feel the emotions that are often associated with that history, or if she was unwanted or abused as a child, then no prescription drugs exist that will heal that wound and the physical aftereffects that often result.

The reason I became an author was so that I could reach more women with this important message: Your body is designed not only stay healthy but also thrive physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I want you to know that it is pleasure, not pain, that is your birthright. When we finally make the connection between our thoughts, our beliefs, and our physical health and life circumstances, we find that we are in the driver’s seat of our lives and can make profound changes. Nothing is more exhilarating or empowering.

Adapted with permission from Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Bantam, 2010.


This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. 
All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.

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