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Genneve wants to empower women to feel confident, sexy, and happy in the face of hormonal change. Join the conversation!

Jul 17, 2017

On July 10, we published Part 1 of our conversation on Naturopathic Medicine with Dr. Jane Guiltinan, recently retired Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University.

In Part 1, we asked Dr. Guiltinan to give us a sort of Naturopathic Medicine 101 – since many of us are unfamiliar with the practice, we wanted to know what it was about, how it worked, and how we could find a qualified naturopathic doctor (ND).

In Part 2, we dug a little deeper into what being treated by an ND is like and the advantages this practice has for women in midlife and menopause.

Here’s what she told us.

1:18 What is my first Naturopathic Medicine appointment going to be like?

We’re quickly becoming convinced of the benefits of Naturopathic Medicine, so we asked Dr. Guiltinan what we could expect from that first appointment. How long will it take, what kinds of questions will we be asked, what should we walk away with? Some of the process will seem very familiar, she told us, like filling out insurance forms, but expect a much longer appointment and a more in-depth conversation about lifestyle, diet, underlying causes – not just the complaint you came in with. PS: there may be “homework” to prep for your next appointment!

“I’m a very strong believer in shared decision making and that this is a partnership.”

5:33 Honesty is the path to recovery – how to share ALL THE INFORMATION with your Naturopathic Doctor

Working with a naturopathic doctor is most effective when you have open and frank communication, we discovered. There’s no help claiming you eat healthfully if you really don’t. NDs are looking for the root causes of your concerns, so hide nothing! Chances are your ND has been trained to develop a relationship based on trust and to listen without judgment.

6:26 The “meaty” stuff about menopause – what do women in midlife want to know?

According to Dr. Guiltinan, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a cause for concern because many of us aren’t sure of the risks versus the benefits. So many women turn to their ND for information about bio-identical HRT which is considered “safer” and more “natural” in some circles (though research studies don’t necessarily support this belief). Dr. Guiltinan goes into the details on HRT, the length of time considered safe, and who qualifies as a good candidate.

11:00 Where do we get the idea that bio-identical hormones are safer?

Uh….let’s just say that while everyone is entitled to their opinion, and lay people can be extremely well informed, it’s probably best to check with a qualified medical professional before making a decision. An ND can be a great partner in helping you determine the healthiest, more effective path through midlife and menopause.

12:17 What can an ND do for me if I can’t utilize hormone replacement therapy?

Women with a history of breast cancer or other risk factors aren’t good candidates for HRT; what options do they have to manage menopause symptoms? Women in this category have many options, says Dr. Guiltinan. Diet, lifestyle changes, adding herbs and supplements like black cohosh or maca: all of these can be very helpful in making menopause easier, and your ND can work with you to balance all the factors and reach your healthiest you. (Bonus: maca may help rekindle a limp libido….)

15:09 That’s a lot of herbs. Which one works best?

If you’ve ever braved the “supplement” section of your grocery store, you’ve likely seen a bewildering array of choices: pills, powders, teas, creams … so many configurations, dosages …. Help? We asked Dr. Guiltinan how we can make informed decisions. Supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA the way prescription medications are, so there is plenty of snake oil on those shelves, she told us. She gave us some great tips on how to determine which providers are legit and what questions to ask producers.

18:03 How long are we going to be meeting like this?

Perimenopause and menopause can affect a woman’s life for years. We wanted to know how long, typically, Dr. Guiltinan worked with clients to help them reach and retain optimal health. Like all things menopause, it varies with the woman and at what stage she came in for help, the Doc told us. The goal is to find what works as quickly as possible, get them on the path to health, and then only see them when things change.

19:25 What about those other hormones, progesterone and testosterone?

We talk a lot about estrogen in menopause, but progesterone and testosterone (yep, women produce small amounts of testosterone) also change during this time, and the difference in levels can be felt. There are dangers to taking some hormones without others – the ideal is to keep the body in the optimum balance – so testing by a professional is critical.

21:44 What else should women know as they travel the menopath?

“Menopause is not a disease,” says Dr. Guiltinan. Even though we talk about “symptoms,” it’s a natural and normal part of life, just as periods are. And here’s a news flash: “You don’t have to do anything about menopause if you don’t feel bad.” Crazy, right? If you’re not having symptoms that interfere drastically with your life, great! Carry on and enjoy your life.

Next week we talk with nutritionist Julie Duffy Dillon on “food peace,” so be sure to stay tuned to genneve.com!

 Dr. Jane Guiltinan recently retired as Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. A practicing naturopathic physician for thirty years, Dr. Guiltinan graduated from Bastyr in 1986, and has served as a clinical professor, medical director and dean of clinical affairs during her tenure there. She was the co-medical director for the first publicly funded integrated health clinic in the United States, the King County Natural Medicine Clinic. She served on the board of trustees for Harborview Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center and part of the University of Washington Medicine system for twelve years and was the first naturopathic physician on the board of a large public hospital. In 2012, she was appointed by Kathleen Sebelius, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, to the Advisory Council of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a center within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Guiltinan’s practice is focused on women’s health, primary care, disease prevention, and wellness promotion.

Jul 10, 2017

Your body is powerful.

We don’t just mean for lifting weights or doing hard physical work, though women’s bodies can certainly do that too.

We mean your body is a powerful healer. Given the right conditions – good food, enough rest, movement, etc. – your body has “an innate capacity to restore itself to health.”

Naturopathic medicine is the practice of providing ideal conditions and removing barriers for the body to get on with what it does so well.

If you’ve ever wondered about naturopathic medicine or considered seeing a naturopathic doctor (ND) but just weren’t sure what to expect, Dr. Jane Guiltinan, recently retired Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University, explains it all.

In this Part I of our two-part series on naturopathic medicine, we talked with Dr. Guiltinan about what naturopathic medicine is, how and why it works, the state of naturopathic medicine in the US, and how to find a qualified ND.

1:38 – What is naturopathic medicine?
Most of us on team genneve are new to the idea and practice of naturopathic medicine, so we asked Dr. Guiltinan to explain the difference between naturopathic medicine and what we consider “traditional” western medicine.

Dr. Guiltinan described how we often get in the way of our body’s natural ability to heal itself. Naturopathic physicians both treat and educate patients to get them to health and maintain optimal health going forward.

4:35 – Why “doctor as teacher” is so empowering for patients.
Naturopathic doctors teach their patients to become an integral part of their own healing and health. Docere, the Latin word for “teacher” is a founding principle of naturopathic medicine. Dr. Guiltinan explained why it’s so powerfully healing to put patients in charge of their well-being.

6:20 – What it means to be aware of your own body.
In the western-medicine tradition, many of us are taught to hand over control to medical professionals – one outcome being that we’re often ignorant about our own bodies. How do NDs work with patient to bring them back to an awareness of their bodies? Dr. Guiltinan said all NDs practice very active listening, which can educate both the doctor and the patient. Hear how. (bonus: margaritas are NOT off limits)

8:10 – Preventing illness before it happens
Most western medicine focuses on the treatment of illness or injury. Naturopathic medicine is also about maintaining wellness, and in an ideal world, says Dr. Guiltinan, people would visit their doctors before problems appear. NDs are working to shift our mindset from “cure” to “prevention,” and it’s a powerful sea change.

10:40 – Yeah, but are they “real” doctors?
Naturopathic doctors are unevenly credentialed and recognized across the US, and many of us aren’t sure if NDs are “real” doctors. Dr. Guiltinan takes us through how a true naturopathic physician is educated, licensed, and credentialed.

15:08 – Dr. Guiltinan’s evolving practice and career.
Dr. Guiltinan has been practicing naturopathic medicine for more than 30 years, and during that time, her practice gradually evolved to focus on women’s health. Most of her patients now are women in the menopausal transition and beyond, looking for ways to maintain health as they age.

17:26 – What do women in midlife want “fixed”?
Because she has such a depth and breadth of knowledge on women in midlife, we asked Dr. Guiltinan what symptoms women in that category come to her to “fix” most often? Classically, it’s hot flashes, she told us, but naturopathic medicine can help treat a wide range of symptoms, including headaches, dry skin, vaginal dryness, weight gain, joint and muscle pain, and depression, among others.

19:25 – Why women consult an ND
Why do women come to NDs? For a variety of reasons, Dr. Guiltinan told us: they’ve exhausted “conventional” options or they want a more natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or, in many cases, they just don’t feel well but aren’t sure what the problem is.  

20:44 – How to find the right ND for me.
So, we asked Dr. Guiltinan, if I think a naturopathic doctor might be able to help me, how do I go about finding the right one? Do NDs specialize? NDs don’t have recognized specialties the way conventional medicine does (neurologists, dermatologists, etc.), but practices often evolve around a natural focus, such as women’s health, she told us, so it’s worthwhile asking the questions to determine if an ND has a focus on the area you need.

22:18 – Is my ND legit?
I’ve decided I want to talk with an ND, we told Dr. Guiltinan. Now what do I do? Depending on your state’s regulations, some people may be able to call themselves “naturopaths” with little formal training or licensure.

To be sure you’re getting someone qualified as an ND (whether they’re able to call themselves “doctor” or not in your state), be sure they graduated from one of the seven accredited doctoral programs in North America. States that have licensing have a state record of licensed NDs, as well as professional associations. Washington state, for example, has the Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians. If your state doesn’t have licensing standards for NDs, you can find a credentialed naturopathic practitioner in your area on The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians site.

In Part II, we explore with Dr. Guiltinan some specific ways naturopathic medicine can help women in menopause. You won’t want to miss it.

Check in next week and subscribe to genneve on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher, so you never miss an episode.

Dr. Jane Guiltinan recently retired as Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. A practicing naturopathic physician for thirty years, Dr. Guiltinan graduated from Bastyr in 1986, and has served as a clinical professor, medical director and dean of clinical affairs during her tenure there. She was the co-medical director for the first publicly funded integrated health clinic in the United States, the King County Natural Medicine Clinic. She served on the board of trustees for Harborview Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center and part of the University of Washington Medicine system for twelve years and was the first naturopathic physician on the board of a large public hospital. In 2012, she was appointed by Kathleen Sebelius, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, to the Advisory Council of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a center within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Guiltinan’s practice is focused on women’s health, primary care, disease prevention, and wellness promotion.

Jun 29, 2017

Modern sexuality is … complicated. And talking about our sexual health, even with a doctor, can be awkward – awkward enough that many of us will avoid it, even when we have a problem that needs solving.

Enter consultants like Bianca Palmisano, owner of Intimate Health Consulting, who’s helping doctors, nurses, and other medical and health care professionals speak openly and non-judgmentally to their patients about issues of sexuality.

genneve CEO Jill Angelo talked with Bianca about sex, sexuality, and why it's so darn hard to have those important conversations. 

1:50
“Sex positivity” means understanding sex and sexuality as a normal, healthy part of life with a wide range of modes of expression. We asked Bianca if the notion of sex as a positive part of life is gaining some traction in a culture that has an often unhealthy approach to sex.

3:25
What are the trends out there when it comes to sex positivity and women in midlife? Bianca has good news for us – one, the medical profession is innovating on give women “more options in the toolkit” for treating menopause symptoms that impact intimacy, and two, more sex educators are talking about sex at midlife and helping women understand the physical and emotional changes at menopause.

6:27
So, if it’s a good idea to talk about these things with your doctor, how do we start the conversation? Bianca talks about how she provides both medical professionals and patients with strategies for starting, continuing, and finishing the conversation satisfactorily.

9:16
How can women get educated about healthy sexuality? The problem with a taboo subject is that …well, it’s taboo. So, not much info. Except there is. Bianca says you can look beyond your doc if that person isn’t someone you can go to, and she gives some ideas on places to look for answers.

11:22
So what is “sexual health competency” and why do medical professionals need it? “Knowing how to have conversations in a way that puts your baggage on a back shelf,” says Bianca. We all have ideas and opinions on sexuality and what we feel is “right” or even “normal” – how and why should you shelve those when talking with patients?

13:25
Why is good sex so important? Bianca talks about the dynamic between sex and relationships. But relationships can get thorny in midlife, given all the life-stage stresses and physical changes, so how do we stay intimately connected to one another?

15:00
How do women initiate conversations about sex with their partners? Probably not when pulling out the condoms in the 10 minutes before Johnny comes home from soccer practice, Bianca says. Hear her ideas on a better way to bring it up.

16:30
Women in midlife often experience some profound changes in their sexuality. Careers are solid, kids are grown, the house is settled on its foundations … are you? Bianca addresses how some women make important decisions and have major revelations about themselves, their lives, and their sexuality.

Want to learn more about sexual health? Visit Bianca’s website, Intimate Health Consulting, and these other sexuality experts: Walker Thornton, Joan Price, Melanie Davis, PhD, and Dr. Myrtle.

Bianca Palmisano is a sex educator and medical consultant serving the DC community since 2012. As the owner of Intimate Health Consulting, she specializes in training healthcare providers around issues of sexual health, as well as LGBT, sex worker, and sexual assault survivor competency. She also serves as the Community Outreach Chair for the Metro DC PFLAG Board of Directors.

Palmisano is the primary author of "Safer Sex for Trans Bodies," an outreach and education guide for the trans community sponsored by Whitman Walker Health and the Human Rights Campaign. She has been a guest lecturer at George Washington University, Johns Hopkins, and University of Chicago.

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This podcast originally appeared on genneve, the solution for women in midlife and menopause. Join us for more great conversations, information, and answers.

 

Jun 12, 2017

Women can be awfully good at getting in their own way.

We have the skills, the knowledge, the drive, we’re ready to realize our dreams … and yet. We flail, we stall, or worst of all, we sabotage the success we so desperately want. How can we identify what we’re doing wrong and get on the path towards achieving our goals? Sometimes we just need a partner.

We found that partner in Lara Dalch. Lara is a health and lifestyle coach to "women on the rise" – women who crave practical tools for feeling healthy, confident, and powerful again so they can have the career and life they really want. 

As a former entertainment marketing executive and busy entrepreneur, Lara understands the challenges of balancing good health with a busy schedule and is passionate about helping women harness the power of good health to fuel their lives through a practical, “whole life” approach to health 

Lara is a regular contributor to popular health and wellness website MindBodyGreen and has been a featured speaker at Microsoft, Flywheel Sports, Orangetheory Fitness, the University of Virginia, and the University of California, Berkeley. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia, is a Certified Pilates Instructor, and received her training to practice health coaching via the State University of New York and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

1:26
Lara has had a very colorful and non-traditional career path. We asked her, how do you go from working at Comedy Central to health and lifestyle coaching? Perhaps not surprisingly, her own hectic lifestyle was the inspiration behind helping others get control of theirs.

3:01
Lara gives us a few more details on how her own improved life was her light bulb moment. “I stopped falling asleep at my desk!” Now she helps others be fully present – and awake – in their lives and work.

5:18
We wanted to know, how do clients know it’s time to seek help? If you’re saying things like, “I’m exhausted all the time,” or “My food is a disaster,” or if you feel like you’re just not “showing up” in work and life the way you want, you might need a Lara. 

7:17
Lots of women (and men) undoubtedly fit the criteria of needing a Lara. What keeps us from getting the support we need? Lara says, “They’re afraid they’re not going to show up for themselves.” Hmmmm… having a great idea, getting all excited and prepped, then just not moving forward. Sound familiar?

20:00
Asking for help is often seen as a sign of weakness in modern times. But Lara says it’s one of the most courageous things a high-achiever can do. Lara takes us through the many ways we show we need support and the benefits of getting it.

21:30
On the surface, we should be getting healthier: we have more knowledge, more health care and treatment options…so why are we feeling so bloody awful? First, there is such a thing as “too much information” – Lara tells us how to stop looking outside your body when the answers lie within.

23:40
Lara sees herself as a “partner” in achieving optimal health and wellness – a partner to her client but also to the network of other supports in a woman’s life. Often we have tons of advice from lots of expert sources, but we’re missing the "practical know how" piece. It’s great to have a nutrition plan; even better if you know how to follow it.

25:00
Women over 40 have different challenges than their younger sisters, and they often seem much less doable in our 40s than they did in our 20s. According to Lara, there’s no reason to think you can no longer achieve your goals just because you’re older. The magic pixie dust that’ll get you there? Time.

27:02
Lara actually really enjoys working with women in the 40s and 50s. She gives us the low down on the special gifts women in midlife bring to the table.

27:58
We all know it’s true, even if we can’t seem to make it happen: women who are successful are those who are focused on integrating self-care into their lives. In her talk on the Five Powerful Habits of Women on the Rise, Lara details what successful women have in common. Here’s the good news: it’s all stuff you can have too. Lara shares the details.

30:52s

Finally, we asked Lara what a woman should do if she’s considering finding herself a coach. “Be open to going a little out of your comfort zone,” Lara tells us. Openness to experimenting, tuning into your body in a new way, making the decision to move forward toward your goals, those are the beginning to your healthier, more fulfilled future.

Want more Lara? Get her free guide to discover your unique way of getting in your own way when it comes to eating healthier, exercising more, getting more sleep, and kicking the habits that have gotten you out of shape and out of sorts.

 

Thank you to The Riveter for lending us the space to record today’s podcast! The Riveter is a new collaborative workspace built by and for women. The doors of the first location opened on May 1, 2017 with more to come. A community that amplifies women’s big ideas through shared resources and innovative connections, The Riveter offers dynamic programming in beautiful, light-filled spaces and invites members to focus on self-care with daily yoga and meditation. In a culture that embraces the glorification of busy and ignores self-care, The Riveter is a new way to work. If you’re in Seattle, be sure to check it out!

May 22, 2017

genneve CEO Jill had a chance to sit down with Dr. Lora Shahine, reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist at Pacific NW Fertility. 

01:40  
Dr. Shahine explains what a “reproductive endocrinologist” is and why someone might seek out her care if they’re trying to start or add to their family.

02:32
How does a couple know it’s time to visit a specialist? Dr. Shahine explains the impact “Dr. Internet” has had on her practice. She gives some guidelines around when it’s time to get help in getting pregnant.

4:54
What are the different fertility paths? How do you choose between IVF vs pills to promote ovulation vs insemination? Dr. Shahine explains both high tech and low tech treatments, as well as how she and her patients determine the roadmap to achieve desired goals.

07:00
How does Dr. Shahine judge where to start with a patient? It starts with the patient’s story from her own point of view – what she’s experienced so far, what she’s tried, what her goals are (soccer team vs one kid). Hear from Dr. Shahine how new technologies have opened up lots of new options.

09:25
There are a lot of myths surrounding fertility and how much science can do to promote it. Dr. Shahine gives us the truths around making babies and the wonders – and limits – of technological intervention.

12:34
Making a baby requires having a good egg to start with. Dr. Shahine lets us in on what makes an egg “good.”

13:40
Where do you see innovation? Dr. Shahine explains the importance of mitochondria in reproduction and how new research may allow us to move healthy mitochondria from a young egg into an older egg to give the egg that youthful energy.

14:28
What is it with age anyway? Dr. Shahine explains why Mick Jagger can have a baby at 72 but most women’s peak reproductive years are over by age 40. Chromosome imbalance is the largest cause of miscarriages, and the older the egg, the likelier the chance of this happening.

17:29
Dr. Shahine answers those questions you’ve always wondered about: How do sperm live and die and what happens to them if they’re not ejaculated? What happens to unused eggs? Why don’t women who’ve been on birth control pills – and therefore not ovulating – have a “reserve” of eggs? 

19:40
“My job has very high highs and very low lows,” says Dr. Shahine. How does she help women cope with the feelings of shame, guilt, and failure that often (and wrongly) surround miscarriage? There’s lots of cause for hope, she says, and a big part of her job is convincing women and couples to stay positive.

19:50
So, how does she help women stay positive? Dr. Shahine is a huge believer in education and knowledge and grounding hope in the possibilities that science and nature provide. She talks about the importance of self-care and how women so often struggle to prioritize themselves appropriately.

23:41
Does stress affect your fertility? Dr. Shahine wants people to understand that while there is a mind-body connection, stressing about stress is the wrong focus. She gives great tips on how to shift thinking to healthfulness, mindfulness, and being present and positive.

26:39
Dr. Shahine wants to change the conversation from guilt and shame to knowledge, empowerment, and support. Awareness will lead to funding for more research and more innovation around fertility, so it’s important to have open conversations.

29:20
Your takeaway? There’s so much fear and pressure around fertility, says Dr. Shahine, yet there are options for those who are finding it difficult to conceive. Have hope.

You can find out more about Dr. Lora Shahine on the Pacific NW Fertility website or by following her on Twitter: @lorashahine.

May 8, 2017

The experience of menopause differs from woman to woman, but in our conversations with women, one thing seems nearly universal: the more information a woman has, the more in-control she feels over her body and her transition.

The problem? Because menopause is still so taboo, many women struggle to ask questions and get answers.

Dr. Anna Garrett has been a clinical pharmacist for over 20 years, working in a variety of practice settings. Happily for us, she discovered along the way that working with women in midlife is her true passion. Dr. Anna offers her clients a variety of services including hormone balancing, weight loss, and GeneSNP testing. Her health coaching is designed to help women in perimenopause and menopause escape from hormone hell and feel amazing in their bodies so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond.

Dr. Anna is a Doctor of Pharmacy and Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist. She is also a Certified Intrinsic Coach®, and has studied through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.

Clearly, Dr. Anna has answers on midlife and menopause. So we asked her some questions.

1:25
We asked Dr. Anna how she got started on the path of working with women in midlife and menopause. Dr. Anna shared with us how seeing women floundering and not living life to the fullest prompted her to go into practice helping women reclaim their bodies, lives, and selves.

3:40
What do we mean by “hormones,” “hormonal” and “hormone management”? These are kind of important terms to a woman in or approaching menopause, yet most of us are a little unclear on what they really mean. Dr. Anna educates us on hormones, their interactions, and the impacts when they’re out of balance.

6:05
We wanted to understand the difference between traditional HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and B-HRT (bioidentical HRT). So we asked. Dr. Anna tells us what they are, how they differ, when they’re called for, and the “laundry list” of lifestyle changes women should consider first before you go down the HRT road.

8:50
In this part, we asked Dr. Anna to take a little deeper dive into the differences between HRT and B-HRT. She gives us some great details on the risks and benefits and some of the factors to consider if a woman decides to pursue hormone replacement.

11:30
OTC progesterone is available and does have some benefits, but Dr. Anna schools us on the risks of self-medicating without the oversight of a health care professional.

13:12
How do you know if seeing a professional coach/consultant like Dr. Anna could help you? She explains the profile of an “ideal client” – eg someone who is dealing with hormone challenges and is ready to “do the work” necessary to feel better.

14:55
You’re ready to consult someone like Dr. Anna – how do you go about it? What’s that first appointment like, what expectations should you have? Dr. Anna has a range of possible paths to feeling better in your body, depending on where a woman is in her journey, what symptoms she’s experiencing, her financial circumstances and so on.

18:10
Women may not even know that they’re in perimenopause or menopause, and when symptoms are gradual, they may not even realize how poorly they’re feeling compared to how they could feel. Dr. Anna speaks to the issues women face in getting properly diagnosed and treated and offers suggestions how a woman can prepare in the years before midlife to be their own best advocate. Don’t have the joy sucked out of your life when what you’re experiencing can be solved, she advises. Oh, and don’t rely on your Facebook group for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

21:48
Dr. Anna shares stories of women who got their “midlife mojo back.” When hot flashes and body image issues threatened their quality of life, Dr. Anna helped them get balance and perspective back.

24:14
I’m sold, let’s work together – so what does that look like? Dr. Anna talks about why she thinks six months is the right amount of time to do the serious work of getting your body balance – and your mojo – back on track. And because hormone fluctuations know no borders, Dr. Anna talks a little bit about how and why she set up her business to be able to help women globally.

27:00
Dr. Anna takes on the issue of shame surrounding menopause and aging. “It’s not like anyone gets to opt out of this!” she says; don’t suffer needlessly, don’t be ashamed, enjoy the wisdom you’ve earned and celebrate this special time of life.

28:36
One piece of advice for listeners? Find someone to reach out to, Dr. Anna says. Your problems can be solved, so don’t suffer them needlessly.

To learn more about – and from! – Dr. Anna, check out her website at drannagarrett.com.

For more great content on menopause, midlife, and feeling fabulous in your body at every age, join us at genneve.com

 

 

 

May 3, 2017

Jill talked with Dr. Patricia Van Santen, a California-based licensed practitioner of Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Dr. Patricia works with many women in midlife and menopause, and her patients have found great relief in her formulas and treatments.

Because many Westerners are still unfamiliar with the practice of Chinese medicine, we asked Dr. Patricia to share her learning and expertise with us.

1:30
Dr. Patricia got started working on bodies because, as a professional dancer surrounded by other professional dancers, she was familiar with bodies and the complexities thereof. She told us about how art, physicality, health, and celebration of movement came together to lead her to her current practice.

3:40
As a dancer and choreographer, you experience the world in different ways than other people, Dr. Patricia says. Hear her thoughts on how we should all, like dancers, learn to listen to our bodies to stay healthy or help ourselves heal.

5:20
How do we know we’re listening to our bodies and hearing them correctly? Dr. Patricia says to “start by listening to your doubt.” Hear how to do it and why it works.

6:00
How does your tribe help you be in the moment, listen, and thrive? There’s power in the help and support only your tribe can provide.

7:55
Dr. Patricia introduces us to the fundamental differences in approach to menopause between Western and Chinese medicine. Many women all over the world have found relief in both traditions, so it’s worth exploring all the options.

10:45
How do you change your health when you can’t really change your circumstances? You may not be able to change your job or move to another climate, but Dr. Patricia shares other, smaller changes you can make to bring your life and body into better balance.

12:50
To give us an example of what a consultation might look like, Jill shared her long-standing issue with night sweats. Dr. Patricia takes her through how she might identify the underlying issues and create a personalized formula to address them.

14:20
Once the formula is determined, what next? Since presumably your local drugstore won’t be able to provide, where do clients go to find the items they need? Dr. Patricia lets us in on the best ways to source the solutions. (hint: Oriental Medical Schools pretty much rock this)

17:30
How do Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture complement each other, and what other components should we be integrating into our self care?

19:07
Many Westerners are unfamiliar with Chinese medicine and acupuncture – Dr. Patricia shares how she brings her patients to a place of openness and trust.

21:03
If someone is looking for a practitioner of Chinese medicine, how should they go about finding one? What questions should they ask, and where do you even start?

22:20
How do you establish expectations when patients are impatient for solutions? Dr. Patricia lets us in on things women can do any time to start the process of feeling better.

23:35
Dr. Patricia advises us on what all women over 40 should be doing to nourish themselves inside and out. Observe yourself, she says: what makes you feel better or worse? What in life brings you joy? Do what Mae West used to do, Dr. Patricia says, and start your day positively. Walk, observe, be present.

26:46
How do we learn to embrace and celebrate midlife? Disentangle yourself from the notion that only fertile women are productive and useful, Dr. Patricia says, because you have a great deal yet to give.

If you’re looking for a practitioner near you, visit NCCAOM.org, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. To learn more about Dr. Patricia, visit her website.

 

Apr 21, 2017

We got to talk with Michelle Combs, blogger at RubberShoesInHell.com, writer for Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and others. Michelle’s hilarious and honest approach to the perils of midlife and menopause make her a welcome voice in an often depressing conversation. She talked with us about how she keeps her sense of humor in a time of absurdity.

1:17

What was the origin of “Rubber Shoes in Hell”? Michelle tells the story of needing an outlet for her writing and finding her path via an instant messaged conversation between cubicles.

2:34

How is talking openly about the absurdity of midlife a kind of release? Like many women, Michelle embraced midlife as a time to be more open and genuine about who she really is. She makes a convincing argument for why knowing we’re all going to die can be oddly freeing.

4:04

We hear it all the time from women: build your tribe. Michelle shares her thoughts on the importance of gathering around you people who “get” you and support you, no matter what.

5:45

Tribes don’t always gather in person; online communities can be every bit as powerful and important. Michelle has a robust online tribe at her blog, and tells us about the experience of “hosting” that conversation on Rubber Shoes.  

8:26

Menopause is a challenging time, and our culture’s “suck it up, buttercup” approach to it isn’t particularly helpful. We asked Michelle how she manages to honor what women are experiencing while keeping the humor intact.

9:38

Finding her voice: has she? What does it sound like? What does she have left to say, and please o please, will she keep saying it?

11:00

What’s her favorite menopause story? Yeah, Michelle didn’t know she was in menopause until it was over. She tells her story of “battening the hatches” to prepare, as only she can tell it.

14:06

Why Michelle digs the aging process. Except eyebrow hairs. She really doesn’t like wiry eyebrow hairs.

15:06

Michelle gives advice to younger women – advice she admits she herself would have ignored as a 20- or 30-something. It’s perfect.

 18:09

Are women supporting each other the way we should? Michelle gives her thoughts on why she’s hopeful about the future.

19:02

What’s next for Michelle? For a woman who doesn’t have plans, she’s got a lot of… plans. Hear how she’s gotten where she is and where she’s going from here. Also, writing books is hard.

21:05

How to find more Michelle: read her blog at Rubber Shoes in Hell, see her do standup at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, check out her articles on Huffington Post.

For more great content, and lots of midlife and menopause solutions, visit us at genneve.com.

Mar 3, 2017

According to the United Nations, “International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.”

Globally, International Women’s Day (IWD) is a pretty big deal. Many countries observe the day with special traditions and celebrations, some even declaring it a national holiday.

However, in the US, observance of International Women’s Day has been quite modest. While most consider the US fairly progressive in terms of women’s rights and equality, the truth is gender equity is actually losing ground in the States, and there’s more reason than ever for the US to recognize IWD and its mission.

Two Washington women are working to make IWD a much bigger deal in Seattle: in 2016, they convened a gathering of about 80 women; this year, International Women’s Day Seattle has already outgrown one home, and the event is still a week away.

Team genneve is planning to attend (and volunteer, so look for us!), and we hope you’ll join us. We’re even more excited about the event after having the chance to sit down with organizers Kate Isler and Nickie Smith and talk about why International Women’s Day is important and why the work of feminists and feminism isn’t done.  

Event details: Facebook event page

Date/Time: Wednesday, March 8, 4.30 – 9 PM

Location: Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave

Tickets: available from Eventbrite.

Feb 6, 2017

We had the pleasure of talking with Lynette Sheppard, author of Becoming a Menopause Goddess and “scribe” and moderator of the Menopause Goddess website and blog. Lynette and her goddesses are tackling the lack of knowledge and awareness women have when approaching the “Big M.” Lynette spent more than 10 years as a  Nurse-Manager and head of Intensive Care and Coronary Care units in Santa Rosa, California. She knows her way around healing and the human body and is a terrific translator of medical-speak.

“Was what was happening to me normal?
My entire life was turned upside down.”

2:07
Lynette started providing menopause information 15 years ago. We were curious how she came to the realization that there was such a lack of information for women entering menopause. Like so many who carve out a new path, Lynette discovered the need when looking for herself. She quickly realized there weren’t many resources to help her understand her own “weird” symptoms. She described her unique journey from knowledge seeker to knowledge provider.

3:17
It takes a pretty big impetus to get someone to change their life track, so we wanted to know, how did menopause turn her life upside down? Lynette describes her overwhelming symptoms (including shingles!!) and how lack of knowledge made the experience so much worse.

5:11
We asked Lynette: So what was the start? Was there a moment when you said, “I’m going to take this on” and start not only finding out the information for yourself but sharing it with other women who are equally confused and concerned? The origins of Menopause Goddess lie in “a slumber party with a focus,” Lynette told us. Hear about that first Menopause Goddess gathering, how it led to the blog/book/website, and how you can host a gathering of your own.

“Just to find out that we were not alone, that all of us had been sort of
hit upside the head by menopause, was a huge relief.”

7:56
With so many years of Menopause Goddess research and writing behind her, we knew Lynette had some great remedies and solutions to share. So we went straight for the good stuff: what unique menopause remedies could she let us in on? She shared with us the biggest, best, most powerful remedy of all.

9:15
How did the group shape the blog and what sort of information and resources do you make available? According to Lynette, as the information started to come together in the group, one of their number suggested writing a book. There was simply too much information (and too much need for that information) not to share, so first there was a book, then the blog which “took on a life of its own.” Lynette tells us how her experience as a nurse really helped inform the Menopause Goddess and how, 15 years in, the blog is taking a new direction.

12:02
We wondered how the Menopause Goddess blog had affected Lynette personally. Had it changed her approach to her own experience? The blog “had us ask questions we would never have asked ourselves,” Lynette says. Learning how the menopause experience can be so different from woman to woman or even for the same woman from hour to hour made her more accepting of the experience, she says. Hear why that approach has worked better for her.

12:46
What are some important lifestyle changes that can help ease the menopause transition and help us thrive in the many years that come after the change? Lynette lets us in on some hard-earned knowledge about how to live now to live better later.

“Eat well, move, and love well.”

15:54
So what are some weird symptoms you’ve heard about? we wanted to know. Ever heard of “Burning Lip Syndrome”? Nope? Us neither, and neither had Lynette until a reader asked her about it. The remedy will surprise you! On a more serious note, a woman’s immune system can take a plunge during her menopause transition, and Lynette lets us in on what can happen and why we need to be doing what we can to boost our immune systems, no matter our age.

19:10
Most of us know the major menopause symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, irritability. But that’s not all we should be prepped for. Lynette gives us the rundown on the five “forgotten” symptoms you should know about before they happen to you. Bonus: she also has great tips on how to manage the symptoms and reclaim your life.

23:50
With so much talk about symptoms, it’s easy to understand why so many women dread this phase of life if they think about it at all. What, we asked Lynette, is there to celebrate – if anything? There’s plenty to enjoy, says Lynette. Hear the good news that she and her goddesses discovered from each other and in their own lives.

“Menopause will set you free, but it will really piss you off first.”

26:26
The Menopause Goddess blog has a very loyal following and continues to attract new readers; what’s made the blog so popular? “Plain talk,” Lynette says, and translation of medical information. It’s the “distilled wisdom” of many many women sharing their experiences and knowledge. That broader community is a wealth of riches for new readers to discover.

27:47
What’s the most important thing our listeners should know to survive and thrive during this time? According to Lynette: Treat yourself the same way you’d treat a pubescent teenager: with plenty of patience and understanding. Lynette lets us in on all the ways you can and should take care of yourself during trying times.

30:12
Where can we access all this wisdom? Lynette gives us the relevant places to dive into the wealth of information she and her goddesses have accrued over the years.

Jan 25, 2017

In this podcast, genneve CEO Jill had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Angela Jones, award-winning ob/gyn, media professional, and author. She’s delivered thousands of babies and answered hundreds of thousands of questions on every aspect of her profession. From menses (first period) to menopause and beyond, Dr. Angela has the answers, so we jumped on the chance to ask “Menopause 101” questions we have and have heard from you.

If you’re not always entirely sure what’s going on with your body, if you’re concerned what you’re going through isn’t “normal,” or if you want to be ready for what might lie ahead, Dr. Angela has guidance, reassurance, and answers for all.

2:04

One question we hear a lot is, what exactly is the difference between “perimenopause” and “menopause”? Dr. Angela gives us the lowdown on the definitions, what women might experience during these phases, and how to get a ballpark idea of how long the process might take for you.

4:06

So what exactly is going on in our bodies during these phases? Dr. Angela filled us in on the science of what’s going on in there.

5:10

Because the experience of menopause is still such a taboo subject, women don’t always know if what’s happening to them is “normal.” We asked Dr. Angela what we should know to take care of ourselves correctly.

6:26

Dr. Angela speaks specifically to the question of thyroid disorders, the symptoms of which can be mistaken for symptoms of perimenopause.

7:04

As we age, we may need to do a little more “maintenance” to stay healthy and vibrant. Dr. Angela talks us through some of the tests we should do or do more often as we get older to ensure we’re in the best of health.

8:30

Dr. Angela gives her recommendations on “lifestyle modifications” and why these can act as preventative medicine. As she says, the right diet and exercise will take you a long way.

12:08

When we hit our 40s, is it time to change up our birth control? First things first: “If you don’t want to get pregnant, you need to be doing something!” But you do need to be sure your birth control is right for you, and Dr. Angela gives some tips on how to move forward.

15:20

But low-dose hormonal birth control can have other benefits for the over 40s in addition to avoiding pregnancy, and Dr. Angela fills us in on how birth control can help alleviate or moderate perimenopausal symptoms.

17:20

We asked Dr. Angela to “coach” us on how to talk to our doctors, what information we need to have ready when we walk into our appointments, and what questions we should ask. Because women are often embarrassed to talk about their bodies, even with their ob/gyn, Dr. Angela has some best practices for getting the information you need.

21:40

Why is there so much shame and embarrassment about this completely normal phase of life? “I have no idea!” Dr. Angela says, but she offers some ways we might move forward to celebrate this time of our lives rather than dread it.

25:12

How does Dr. Angela feel about using supplements or other methods to manage menopause symptoms? While our doc adheres pretty firmly to ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) standards, she says, “Go for it!” to patients who want to try acupuncture, black cohosh, or other alternative treatments. However, Dr. Angela does want anyone trying something new to follow important guidelines, which she outlined for us.

28:10

Need to find a new ob/gyn? Dr. Angela gives her insights on how to find a doc who’s current, certified, and reliable.

30:15

Dr. Angela offers her concluding thoughts about how to thrive during menopause. As she told us, “Aging doesn’t scare me, and it shouldn’t scare women. Women should be embracing the aging process.” Like a bottle of fine wine, Dr. Angela says, we’re just getting better.  

Learn more from Dr. Angela by checking out her “SAY WHAT” blog and podcasts at askdrangela.com.

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