The Uterine Health Companion

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2010-02-23
  • Publisher: Celestial Arts
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The uterus is a remarkable organ-it is our first home, it contributes to womenrs"s sexual pleasure, it houses some of the strongest muscles in the body, and it even helps to prevent heart disease and high blood pressure. However, the uterus seldom receives our attention except when it becomes problematic or when we focus on getting pregnant or giving birth. And while health-promoting strategies for organs like the heart and lungs have become common knowledge, preventative measures for lifelong uterine health have been largely absent from Western medicine. Consequently, U.S. women have the highest rate of hysterectomy in the world. InThe Uterine Health Companion, Eve Agee demonstrates why the uterus matters and how we can take care of it, from menarche to menopause-and beyond. She presents mind-body practices to create lasting health so that issues such as PMS, fibroids, and endometriosis do not have to be our destiny as women. A comprehensive holistic plan including nutrition, exercise, cognitive restructuring, and visualization shows us how to promote uterine wellness and enhance conventional medical therapies. Chapters dedicated to specific uterine issues illustrate how to support our health through simple daily practices and fundamental attitude shifts in our relationship to our bodies. The book also includes strategies for women who have had hysterectomies. This empowering resource offers a prescriptive, balanced approach to developing and maintaining optimal uterine health, for every woman at any stage of life.

Author Biography

EVE AGEE, PhD, is a holistic healer and medical anthropologist specializing in women’s wellness. She is a certified Spiritual Life Coach and Conscious Breathing Facilitator with extensive training in holistic nutrition. Before entering private practice, she served in the Clinton Administration, taught at the University of Virginia, and conducted women’s health research in the United States and Africa.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction Celebrating the Uterusp. 1
Understanding Uterine Health
Holistic Health Foundationsp. 15
Your Uterus: A Road Mapp. 27
The Optimal Uterine Health Plan
Transforming the Mind: Breathwork, Visualization, and Cognitive Restructuringp. 51
The Power of Food: Uterine Wellness Through Nutritionp. 79
Strengthening the Body: Movement, Postural Alignment, and Bodyworkp. 103
Uterine Health Conditions
Menstruationp. 121
Endometriosisp. 135
Fibroidsp. 151
Fertility, Pregnancy, and Birthp. 167
Menopausep. 185
Hysterectomyp. 201
Conclusion Creating Lifelong Wellness: New Possibilities for Uterine Healthp. 217
Resourcesp. 221
Notesp. 225
Bibliographyp. 231
Indexp. 241
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


Chapter One
Holistic Health Foundations
As a young girl, you might have giggled, squirmed, or looked away as you learned about the female reproductive system in school. Many of our mothers rarely shared much additional knowledge about “what goes on down there” except to tell us how to stay clean and not get pregnant. This incomplete introduction to the uterus epitomizes most Western women’s relationship to this purely female organ. Forgotten, cursed, or ignored, our uteruses are considered by most of us to be either problematic or insignificant—except on the occasions we focus our attention on becoming pregnant.
However, for every human being, the uterus is our first home. It is our original source of life as humans and, at least so far, essential to our continuance as a race. You and I both began in a uterus and so did everyone else we know.
In my mid-twenties, it was my interest in our society’s attitudes about the uterus that kept me home in the United States to study menopause instead of going to West Africa as I had originally planned. At the time, I was a doctoral student in anthropology at the University of Virginia. I was intrigued with the then-blossoming field of medical anthropology and knew I wanted to study women’s health as an anthropologist.
I had previously lived, studied, and taught in the small West African country of Togo. When I began grad school, I assumed I would move to Togo for several years to conduct my dissertation research, a traditional anthropology rite of passage. However, political conditions in Togo had exploded, making it no longer a viable option. While doing anthropological research in the neighboring country of Burkina Faso, I learned more about the divergence of uterine health patterns between American and African women. I discovered that some West African women looked positively on menstruation and menopause, which made me wonder why our society approached these same bodily processes with such embarrassment and apprehension. I felt that I needed to understand my own culture’s gender attitudes and experiences before continuing my research elsewhere.
I decided to follow in the footsteps of some of the most cutting-edge ethnographic research at the time, which involved turning the cultural microscope on ourselves to better understand the patterns influencing our lives and health care. I chose to stay in the States and focus my investigation on African-American and white women to explore how race and class affect women’s attitudes and experiences with their health. I conducted a portion of my study in clinical settings to learn more about the ways in which women are treated in our health care system.
When I begin my fieldwork, I was not certain that I would have as much access to my research subjects’ lives as I was honored to have as an anthropologist in Africa. To my surprise, the people in my study graciously welcomed me into their work and their lives. Doctors, nurses, and health educators let me observe their interactions with their patients. These health care providers took the time to talk to me about their hopes, concerns, and grievances about their careers. Women invited me into their homes or met me for interviews, where they shared intimate pictures of the ways their uterine health impacted their lives and bodies. During interviews, women frequently told me I was the first person other than their doctors with whom they had spoken so candidly about these issues. A few women expressed embarrassment in talking about their uterine health. Several women told me that they were so reluctant to talk about menstruation that they generally put off visiting their doctors about excessive bleeding or painful periods until their situation was so debilitating that they had to seek help. However, the majority seemed to enjoy being freely able to discuss t

Excerpted from The Uterine Health Companion: A Holistic Guide to Lifelong Wellness by Eve Agee
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