The wellness movement is having a moment- finally- and I couldn’t be more thrilled. However, things happen for a reason. Most often, things happen in REACTION to something. And in this case, the wellness movement is having its moment, I believe, because women are tired of being ignored and treated as if their symptoms and problems aren’t real.

  • In the emergency room, women routinely wait longer than men to receive medication for acute pain.
  • At the gynecologist’s office, severe period-related pain is often dismissed or underestimated.
  • Often, male doctors regard women as either “earth mothers or hypochondriacs; that is, either women possess deep wellspring of internal pain control that they ought to be able to channel during childbirth, or their pain is psychological in nature—a symptom of hysteria.”1
  • Depression and autoimmune diseases (like fibromyalgia) that affect women at higher rates than men “are much more likely to be dismissed as having a psychological rather than a physiological source.” 2
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers are still instructed to rely on exercise and positive thinking, despite research that indicates these measures do not cure the condition.
  • “Many women with autoimmune diseases, endometriosis, or even multiple sclerosis go undiagnosed for years, despite multiple trips to doctors and specialists—all the while being told that their symptoms could just be stress.” 3
  • Women have lower survival rates from heart attacks than men, in part because their symptoms often present as “atypical” and because they receive less aggressive treatment once they are admitted to a hospital.
  • Clinical trials for medicine tend to include more men, and the male body is the medical default. 4
  • MANY women in the U.S. who have their babies in the hospital have very little control over their care and which procedures they are subjected to. (The national C-section rate is about 30%, triple the World Health Organization’s target of 10%.)

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And so, as a reaction to this, and so much more, women- who are able to- have tapped into the alternative health-care system. Some women are even willing to sacrifice other comforts/needs in order to be able to see the integrative health practitioners they know will listen to them and ultimately, help them.

“Wellness products and services are designed to make women feel that their unique, individual needs are being addressed, whether it’s via a smoothie, a mud bath, or leech therapy. And it’s not all bullshit. Deep twists in yoga may not literally be “rinsing out the kidneys,” as many teachers like to say, but research has shown a variety of benefits from the ancient practice that go beyond simple stretching and movement. The Mayo Clinic touts the benefits of meditation. The Federal Drug Administration just recommended acupuncture for pain relief. There are plenty of yoga teachers, massage therapists, and the like who are well-educated in their fields, talented, and dedicated to the people they work with.” 5

(Duh, we’ve known this for awhile. It’s nice to know Western medicine is finally catching up to Eastern medicine! Just because information is old doesn’t negate its truthfulness.)

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What’s your take on Western and Eastern medicine? Do you rely on one over the other? Do you use and trust them both? Share below and as always, be kind to one another, please. We are all here to learn and care for ourselves and our families.

 

Sources and References

  1. QZ, June 15, 2017.
  2. QZ, June 15, 2017.
  3. QZ, June 15, 2017.
  4. QZ, June 15, 2017.
  5. QZ, June 15, 2017.