What you need to know about your cervix and 3 things to do to increase your cervical wellness

I did a poll in my community support group about what you would guys would like to know more about and I got a yes for cervical wellness, HPV and pap smears.

So here goes!

Firstly, do you even know what your cervix looks like?

Honestly they only time I ever thought about the cervix was in sex edu class in highschool or when I was going to have a baby. Seriously, it blows my mind that my child’s head come out that way. That’s the magically thing about it all, how everything just comes back together.

So we’re told the cervix means the neck of the uterus in Latin. It’s the passage way between the uterus and the vaginal canal. It’s about 2-3 cm long and cylindrical in shape.

What’s the purpose of the cervix?

Good question! Some people say is a gateway to the uterus for sperm to travel up when you’re ovulating aswell as a barrier to keep unhealthy stuff out of your body. But the cervix is more than just a door.

Did you know that your cervix feels different than the walls of your vagina? The cervix is firm in texture similarly to the tip of your nose while your vaginal walls feel more like the inside of your mouth where your cheek is.

It’s a place where transformation happens.

Quite literately. The cells of your uterus travel throughout the cervix and transform into different cells and this process is very delicate. If you can imagine a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, this is a vulnerable stage in the process. When women are having a pap smear, the test is checking for abnormalities is cells transformation that haven’t quite got it right.

HPV stands for human papillomavirus which is a common sexually transmitted infection that can disrupt this delicate process and increase the chances of developing cervical cancer too.

Choosing to get a pap smear is a personal choice. For many women, it can be a very uncomfortable or even painful. But if you are concerned about your reproductive health and have concerns about fertility, you can request the service of a female midwife to do this test.

As someone who has had some really painful and uncomfortable pap tests, I know how vulnerable and even degrading it feels when you get a practitioner who isn’t sensitive to how it feels for the patient. Personally, I’d prefer a midwife.

Can you touch your cervix?

Many women don’t know that they can touch their cervix. In fact, your cervix rises and falls throughout your menstrual month. It’s at its lowest position when you are menstruating.

I recommend you start to get to know this part of your female anatomy and develop a connection to it. It’s a part of the body we don’t see and it’s difficult to feel the sort of sensations you might feel when touching the back of your hand. Symbolically it represents the circle of life, death and life plays out each month with each menstrual cycle. When you view it from this perspective, like I said, it’s not just a door!

Mindfulness Practice to Tapping into Your Cervical Wisdom

Right now, take a moment and bring your awareness to the mind’s eye inside your head. Imagine a small round rose quartz crystal emitting beautiful energy from that place. Then image this crystal drop straight down to where your uterus is, then deeper into the bowl of your uterus. This is where your cervix is. Bringing this awareness can get quite grounding and a way to bring healing attention especially if you’re wanting to balance your hormones and boost fertility.

If you think this seems all too woo woo, then check out The Connection doco that details the science between the body and mind connection when it comes to health.

3 things you can do to increase cervical wellness:

Eating the colours of the rainbow. Photo by Ella Olsson
  1. Self-examination – It’s important to know what your cervix looks like. Just seeing it can give you a sense of connection to your body by simply acknowledging it. If you choose to have a pap smear, ask to see it with a small mirror. Curious to see what a cervix looks like? Click here to see photos.
  2. Self-exploration – If you’ve never felt your cervix, have a feel. This part of the cervix is what we call the face of the cervix. Being able to feel your cervix, you can start to get attune to sensations and developing more of an awareness to that part of the body. The cervix sits within the root chakra and is responsible for your sense of safety and security in the world. When there is an imbalance, people can experience anxiety and fear. Using the mindfulness exercise above, is all about bringing awareness to this place and begin to clear any sexual or birth trauma and fear of infertility as well as the actual act of giving birth.
  3. Boost your immune system and reduce stress – When you have a strong immune system, you are giving your body a fighting chance to kill any harmful bacteria and viruses from your body. When it comes to food, think about eating the colours of the rainbow. Stress not only lowers your immune system but what most people don’t know is that the vagus nerve connects your brain, throat, heart, uterus together and terminates at the cervix. Studies have shown stress increase the risk for women developing cervical cancer and I believe it is because of the relationship of these organs have with each other. Happy mind and heart leads to a happy cervix!

If you’ve enjoyed exploring this topic on cervical wellness, share with me what you found helpful in the comments below and say hi!

Want to have a deeper relationship with your reproductive organs and menstrual cycle? I’m running an event called Discover the Missing Link in Reducing Your PMS Symptoms in Just 5-Days. Click here to register, starts Friday 6/11.

Do you have a thyroid problem?

I have a client and in her first coaching session she said that she thinks she has a thyroid issue. As an Integrative Health Coach my role is not to diagnose, treat or try to cure any medical health conditions but what I do know is that a client’s intuitions is often right.

McCall McPherson is the founder of Modern Thyroid Clinic and TEDx Speaker and shares that women especially new mothers tend to make excuses for why they are feeling exhausted because of the new reality of being a mum.

They might be overweight, constantly exhausted, experiencing brain fog, depressed and have a low sex drive and blame it on the kids but in fact, if could be to do with their hormones and particularly their thyroid.

Statistics show 1 million Australians have an undiagnosed thyroid disorder and that ten times more women than men worldwide will be diagnosed with some form of thyroid disorder.

Thyroid health is so important because when it’s not functioning properly, it is the beginning of hormone dysfunction and significant hormone dysregulation.

What Causes Thyroid Disorders?

According to the Australian Thyroid Foundation, the many causes of thyroid disorders include:

  • Iodine Deficiency
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Viral and bacterial inflammation causing thyroiditis (subacute thyroiditis)
  • Familial Disorders
  • Nodules which have formed on the Thyroid Gland
  • Benign and Malignant (cancer) tumours on the Thyroid Gland

So if you feel that your declining health could be something to do with your thyroid, then the first step is to get a full round of tests.

You can visit your local GP or I would recommend looking at finding an Integrative Functional GP.

The Australian Thyroid Foundation recommend diagnosis using biochemical testing include TSH, T4, T3 and Thyroid Antibodies.

McPherson shared that sometimes misdiagnosis can happen even with an Endocrinologist because of inadequate lab tests and ranges of what is considered “normal” can vary between labs.

So if results come in negative and you feel that there is something wrong with your thyroid, then it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion.

It’s important to get tested because the long term effects of having a dysfunctional thyroid can lead to diabetes and elevated cholesterol.

What’s the difference between Hypothyroidism (under active Thyroid) and Hashimoto’s Disease?

Although both have something to do with the thyroid, they are very different.

Hypothyroidism is a dysfunction of the thyroid in which everything in the body slows down and dries up.

While Hashimoto’s Disease in an auto-immune condition which can lead to hypothyroidism but it’s when the body is mounting an immune response and attacks the thyroid cells.

What you can do now

There are some immediate dietary and lifestyle changes you can do to help with supporting the thyroid and balancing your hormones:

  • Remove the top #2 inflammatory foods for 3 months which is dairy and gluten
  • Increase detoxifying and alkalising foods such as your dark, leafy greens for fibres, marine greens and garlic
  • Eat quality fats because they are the foundation for hormone production
  • Use herbs and essentials oils to balancing hormones such as wild yam, chaste tree, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, lavender and geranium – I personally use and have seen amazing results with my clients using the Balancing Cream
  • Take some really good quality multi-supplements and colloidal minerals
  • Incorporate a mindfulness practice to help reduce stress

In addition, when buying food try to get organically grown food. If this is a stretch to your budget, see if you can buy locally sourced from the farmer’s markets.

Sometimes it costs a lot of money for farmers to get certified organic so it’s worth starting a conversation with farmers and you might find some they use very little pesticides on their produce anyways.

EWG’s Clean Fifteen

Even still, that can be an effort especially if you’re already time-poor, so using the Environmental Working Group Clean Fifteen is the 2020’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce is a really useful if your shopping at Coles and Woolies.

These foods you can safely buy with peace of mind as they will contain the least amount of pesticides:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet Peas Frozen
  7. Eggplant
  8. Asparagus
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Cantaloupe
  11. Broccoli
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Cabbage
  14. Honeydew Melon
  15. Kiwi

Check out EWG’s Dirty Thirty where you can at least try to get these organic wherever possible.

Live Clean

Lastly, consider switching your bathroom, cleaning and skincare products over to safer natural products.

Modere is a Live Clean Company and does an extensive range of clean label products for the whole home that our family has been using for almost a decade. Use my discount promo code 7022017 at AU www.modere.com.au NZ www.modere.co.nz USA www.modere.com EU www.modere.eu

For more support, you can download my free 7 day hormones cleanse. Stay tuned on my Instagram @merlyhartnettcoaching as I will be launching an additional free resource on how 5 Simple Strategies to use Mindfulness to Conquer Chronic Stress.

What is the number one cause for hormonal imbalances?

This week on my Instagram I shared how I was attacked by a deadly, massive, hairy, scary, spider and my stress response was lightning fast! So when I say stress affect’s a women’s endocrine system instantly, this is a good example.

It makes evolutionary sense for a women’s fertility to be reduced when the body is in a state of prolonged stress. When we’re flooding our system with cortisol, the primary stress hormone, it’s aim is to protect the body from famine.  It curbs bodily functions considered “non-essential” such as baby making. Long term overexposure (chronic stress) suppresses our immune system and impairs digestion and mental function.

If you read my Instagram post, the spider turned out to be a strand of hair from my bun and although the spider was imaginary, the hormones flooding my system was real. So just imagine those stress-inducing hormones flooding your system continuously on tap and the impact it has on your body.

Okay so perhaps you might not necessarily “freak out” when you’re running late from an appointment, get an unexpected bill, read a misunderstanding in a text message or your partner forgets to pick up some food on the way home while you try to piece together what’s left of your sanity after looking after the kids on your own all day.

But I can guaranteed there are nights when you all you want to do is crawl into bed and never come out because you’re feeling anxious, depressed, got a headache, having digestive problems, your heart is racing and can’t sleep or remember who you are anymore.

Get the picture?

This is why the number one cause for hormonal imbalances is stress, it’s so pervasive and sneaks up on you.

So what can you do about it?

Much of the stress that we encounter in our day to day life is usually because our mind is in default mode.

When we’re in default mode, we’re not aware that we’re not our thoughts or emotions and therefore don’t get consumed and become reactive. Shall I say that again, we’re not our thoughts or emotions.

Mindfulness is a wonderful tool and has lots of research on its effectiveness in reducing stress but also increases our resilience to stress.

According to a study on the Effects of Mindfulness on Psychological Health, some of the benefits of mindfulness is that it “brings about various positive psychological effects, including increased subjective well-being, reduced psychological symptoms and emotional reactivity, and improved behavioural regulation.”

Disclaimer, I’m not a Mindfulness Guru just a Health Coach that has seriously been upping her mindfulness skills since becoming a mum of two, a wife, juggling a business, studying at night and well … just life!

But on a side note, one of my client’s PMS symptoms and migraines had magically disappeared after we worked on the major stressors in her life.

On the 2nd of July, I will be delivering a 5-day email course on The Power of Mindfulness to Decrease Stress.

Learn the power of mindfulness to help you decrease stress with practical exercises in this 5-day email course to help you cultivate a sustainable practice to use as a tool to thrive in today’s fast-paced world.

This course will start on Thursday the 2nd of July 2020.

Click here to register here.

Feel free to forward the link to a friend who might need some stress-busting tips too and start balancing your hormones naturally.

5 Mental Health Detoxing Tips for Balancing Hormones

I took my two boys out for lunch and we had sushi. My 3 year old always get the mini tuna sushi rolls but he also enjoys trying new varieties from my plate.

Today he said “mummy I want to try that one” whilst pointing at a plate on the conveyor belt and I grabbed it off without looking exactly what it was. He took one bite and gave me a disapproving look and said “no mummy, I don’t want this anymore.”

After closer inspection, I realised it was eel. Last time I had eel, I was a tween at home with my parents and had an all body reaction. I was covered in hives and I was itchy for days.

I was torn. Do I encourage my son to try something new by trying it myself and risk getting hives or do I just let him get off the hook and miss an opportunity to teach him the consequences of food wastage.

So I ate it and realised after an uncomfortable wait for about 20 – 30 minutes I had grown out of the allergy but not the fear until that moment.

Have you ever held onto fear, guilt or anger Which has been holding you back in life?

Through my experience coaching women with hormonal health issues, sometimes the cause of a lot of their problems has been as a result of disharmony in the area of self-love, relationships, career and finances.

Cultivating a happier and positive outlook can help with boosting mood but also has a healing effect on hormones by reducing tension, stress and fortifying the mental strength to juggle the complexities of life for the modern woman.

So here are 5 mental health detoxing tips for balancing hormones:

Negative Self Talk

Set yourself a challenge to avoid saying anything negative to yourself for 48 hours. Most of the times we are so unaware of the internal dialogue of negative self-talk, we don’t realised the accumulative toll it has on our health.

If you catch yourself starting to say something negative, hit the pause button and say “stop” then try again. Reframing and choosing more empowering words will leave you feeling lighter.

Reassessing Outdated Beliefs

Reassess beliefs that you are holding and start questioning if they’re serving you still. For a long time I held the belief that I’m terrible writer and people wouldn’t want to read my posts so I never blogged until now!

Next time you say I can’t do something, ask yourself why? Then break apart your why and see if that belief is still relevant.

THE COMPARISON TRAP

Avoid getting into the comparison trap because when we compare we let go of what’s going great. We look at someone and see what we don’t have. There is a clear distinction between admiration and comparison.

Admiration is about reflecting on what we want more for ourselves without needing to compare what we don’t have. Admiration has no judgement therefore it’s a force that propels us forward rather than holds us back.

RESISTING CHANGE

When we make the decision to change, often we encounter resistance because it’s something new, it requires stepping outside of our comfort zone and doing something we may have never had to do before. People find change scary but choosing to stay stagnant in our circumstances is still change, we’re just changing backwards.

Making small incremental changes, consistently adds up and you’d be surprise what can happen in a year.

BUT I’M RIGHT!

Whether your right or wrong, our ego can get in the way of us feeling happy. We’ve heard the saying, it’s better to choose your battles and I really never understood this until I got married.

Sometimes it’s better to choose to be peaceful than to be right (all the time).

Share with me your thoughts

I hope you found these tips useful and would love to know what other tips have helped you.

To support you on your journey to balance your hormones naturally, you can download my free 7 day hormone cleanse click here.

How being overweight impacts fertility

One of my coaching clients was told she needed to lose weight by her specialist to increase the chances of falling pregnant while doing IVF. She’d come to me to help her shift the extra weight and boost her chances of having a successful transfer.

During our recent session I asked her if she knew the reason behind why she had to release the weight? She didn’t know, only that it would help.

I know for me, when I’m aware of why I’m doing something, I’m more likely to follow through and stay motivated. So if you’re also in the same situation as my client, then read on.

When we look at couples who use IVF to conceive, it’s been shown women who are overweight or obese have a lower chance of a live birth and significantly higher miscarriage rate than women with a normal BMI.

But this applies to everybody however you conceive your baby.

So why does being overweight and obese such a weighty issue when it comes to FERTILITY?

Being overweight impacts a woman’s chance of conceiving a healthy baby because it:

  • Causes hormonal imbalances
  • Triggers problems with menstruation and ovulation
  • Increases risk of complications with pregnancy such as a miscarriage, diabetes or premature birth

How?

When we have excess fat, these fat cells produce a hormone called leptin that can disrupt the hormone balance and impacts the menstruation cycle.

Another reason, in a study of 726 Australian women aged 26-36 years old, they found the women who were considered obese were significantly associated with having irregular menstrual cycle which was influenced by the high amount of insulin in the blood and decrease levels of sex-hormone-binding globulin (a protein that is responsible for regulating androgen and estrogen).

In other words, insulin can disrupt the hormone balance and impacts the menstruation cycle.

When your menstruation cycle is impacted, this reduces fertility as it’s difficult to track or know if or when you’re ovulating.

Now get this, excess weight and obesity also increases the risk of anovulation which is when no egg is release by the ovaries and if this happens, fat chances of you getting pregnant (mind the pun.) Women with a BMI above 27 are three times more likely than women in the normal weight range to be unable to fall pregnant because they’re not ovulating.

Now if you’re overweight or obese and are ovulating, the truth of the matter is that the quality of your eggs are also reduced!

Which explains why being overweight impacts a woman’s chance of conceiving a healthy baby due to increased risk of complications with pregnancy such as a miscarriage, diabetes or premature birth.

so what can you do about it?

According to IVF Australia, a “healthy BMI range is between 18.5 to 24.9 for young and middle-aged adults. Under 18.5 is considered underweight and over 25 is overweight. If a woman’s BMI is greater than 35, the risk of problems become more significant.”

If you suspect your overweight or obese and is affecting your fertility, then let’s find out what your BMI is:

Click here to calculate your BMI

overweight or obese?

It can seem a bit overwhelming to hear some of the facts on how being overweight and obese impacts fertility but there is good news.

If you have clicked on the link above to checked your BMI and realised that you fall in the category of being overweight or obese, you have the power to change this, just like my client is doing right now.

The good news!

According to IVF Australia here are a few things you can start doing now:

  • Stopping smoking, as it reduces fertility by around 40%, and also increases the risk of miscarriage
  • Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Optimising weight by following a healthy diet and exercise routine
  • For a female, taking folic acid, ideally for three months prior to trying to conceive, as it is one of the few nutrients known to prevent neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida
  • Managing known conditions, such as diabetes. This improves the chances of a healthy baby, and reduces the risk of miscarriage
  • Reviewing current medications and any implications for pregnancy with a GP
  • Understanding your menstrual cycle

As an Integrative Health Coach, my role is to support my clients to make those diet and lifestyle changes so they can start balancing their hormones naturally and increase their chances of falling pregnant.

If you feel you need support, then apply to book in for a free hormonal health and fertility assessment.

Photo by Negative Space

References:

The one thing that women overlook when it comes to getting baby ready

This week I’ve been working on putting together a workshop to help women who are wanting to increase their chances of falling pregnant.

There is a lot of things that women think about when it comes to getting baby-ready. We eat better, we might give up alcohol and start taking prenatal supplements but there seems to be one thing we tend to overlook.

Stress.

This workshop isn’t about 5 tips about managing stress.

Let’s face it, if you’re serious about wanting to conceive, a how-to guide on stress management isn’t going to cut it.

I’ve put this workshop as a tool to help you transform areas in your life in order to create space for a new baby.

You’re literally going to be doing some work in the workshop.

This workshop is to help women who want to fall pregnant by boosting their fertility and avoid stressing out during that dreaded 2 weeks waiting window before peeing on a stick.

Register now by clicking here.

Dr.Oz shares the benefits of Health Coaches in the healthcare system

“What role can Health Coaches play in the ongoing healthcare crisis in America? A very significant one, says Dr. Mehmet Oz, who recently sat down with IIN founder Joshua Rosenthal to discuss the issue.

Their probing conversation explored the different roles of doctors, patients, and Health Coaches in our current system, and how each can help contribute to a wellness revolution. Rather than overhauling the entire healthcare system, Dr. Oz says, Health Coaches should function as an added layer between doctors and patients, helping patients be healthier and doctors be better practitioners.

In fact, Health Coaches are essential in this equation, as most doctors don’t learn fundamental nutritional principles while in medical school—principles that can often serve as a replacement for medicine or invasive operations!

Today, 20% of Americans drive most of our healthcare costs, and these people “desperately need Health Coaching,” according to Dr. Oz. By focusing on this group, Health Coaches can not only help a large group of people lead healthier and happier lives, we can also take an enormous burden off of our economy and transform our society into one with a raised standard of nutrition and complete wellness.”

I’ve been told by my clients there is a lack of support and guidance around what to do about making improvements to their health and lifestyle at home when they have been given a diagnosis.

Often, coming to be because they have exhausted all other options and feeling fearful of the future.

I believe we can help many people before it’s too late. Alleviating the pressure on the healthcare system and the economic impact to a rise in preventable chronic illnesses.

When a patient goes to a medical centre to discuss a health issue such as trouble with sleeping, perhaps a persistent headache, infertility due to an irregular cycle or unable to shift excess weight, there is so much that can be done for people if they were referred to a health for ongoing support as an extension to the care a doctor provides.

I’m a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and have a private practice based in Western Sydney, offering health coaching virtually.

If you are a GP or Medical Specialist who would like to refer a client for health coaching, click here.

Click here to learn more about health coaching.

What are the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Some of the more commonly known symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) include:

  • Irregular periods or no periods
  • Excess hair growth on the face, stomach and back
  • Loss or thinning of hair on the scalp
  • Acne and pimples
  • Difficulty falling pregnant naturally
  • Easy to gain weight or trouble releasing the weight
  • and being a light sleeper or inability to get a good night’s sleep

But did you know that having PCOS also means you are also at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes? I’ll explain a little further why.

So firstly, what is PCOS?

There is a misconception that women with PCOS means they have lots of cysts on their ovaries but that is not necessarily the case.

Often women with PCOS have underdeveloped eggs within their ovaries, so when they ovulate, the egg they release might not be mature and result in irregular cycles making it challenging for women to fall pregnant.

PCOS is a hormonal condition that is caused by a higher production of insulin and androgens (a male type hormone) in the body that impacts the way the ovaries function.

Is there a cure for PCOS?

From what we understand about PCOS, the short answer is no.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t women who are thriving with PCOS and who have gotten pregnant naturally.

Here is one of my clients, Liza sharing her experience with overcoming PCOS and adulthood acne:

Merly changed my life. How? Well, let’s go back to 2012. Life wasn’t exactly as I imagined my life would be. At 31 I was newly married with multiple health issues including adult acne, polycystic ovaries, stress and dare I say extremely unhappy. You see my husband and I had been struggling for a year to get pregnant without success. Another pregnancy test with only one line… Then there was Merly. (more…)

Liza, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

So what’s with these hormones?

Earlier I shared how women with PCOS tend to have higher levels of insulin and androgens in their bodies. The androgens are responsible for things such as the acne and excess hair.

Many women with PCOS, about 75-95% are insulin resistant which means the cells won’t let the insulin to do its job, so you end up with too much insulin and glucose in the bloodstream.

Insulin’s job is to to help the cells use glucose as an energy source.

The problem with this, is higher levels of insulin in the body results in an increase of male type hormones being produced and it becomes a bit of vicious cycle with the immature eggs within the ovaries.

Not only does that impact fertility but it also becomes a contributing factor for women with PCOS to be a higher risk of developing pre-diabetics and type 2 diabetes.

Tell me some good news Merly!

It’s not all doom and gloom. The wonderful thing is PCOS symptoms can be managed through diet and lifestyle such as:

  • Exercising to feel good but also to help balance hormones by reducing the levels of insulin in the body and managing weight
  • Eating a balanced and nutritious foods aswell as developing a positive relationship to food
  • Maintaining a healthy weight range, simply by reducing your weight by 5-10% can help with regulating your cycle and increasing your chances of falling pregnant

To support you on your journey to balance your hormones naturally, you can download my free 7 day hormone cleanse click here.

Thriving with endometriosis

Living with endometriosis is a silent condition because it’s not visible to the outside world. A woman could look happy and healthy but inside she’s in immense pain. Having witnessed one of my best friends struggle with it, I know how debilitating daily life can be even for her who has a high pain threshold. The first time I saw her in agonising pain and curled up in a ball on the floor, I panicked and wanted to call the ambulance because it looked that bad.

Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus also grow in other areas of the body and responds to the hormonal changes causing not only severe pain but for some women they can experience fertility problems aswell.

How can endometriosis affect fertility?

  • Scaring of the ovaries which may interfere with ovulation
  • Scarring can damage or block the fallopian tubes
  • Scarring can prevent a fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus
  • The hormonal imbalance that could interfere with conception or development of the embryo

For my best friend, her symptoms were consistent with what many women suffer from endometriosis such as painful, irregular and heavy periods where the duration of her periods was up to 7 days. She was always tired and suffered from chronic fatigue. It didn’t help that she had a stressful job. She was willing to do anything to feel normal.

Her doctor advised her that the next step was to have a laparoscopy. Before she had the chance to have the surgery, we started working together to make changes to her diet and lifestyle to help manage her symptoms. Fast forward now, Laura is the mum of two gorgeous boys. You can read her story here.

So when I met Merly I had been on the pill since I was 17 for bad periods! I had to take an anti-inflammatory prescription for a week out of the month as they were so bad! After 12 years on them, I developed a very bad stomach ulcer and was told I could never take another one again. I was frequently bedridden and it was very heavy lasting 7 days! (more…)

Laura – Thriving with Endometriosis

Although endometriosis is a condition that has no cure, I believe you can thrive whilst living with endometriosis by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

If you suspect you have endometriosis, see your health care practitioner who can refer to a specialist gynaecologist. As a Health Coach, my role is not to diagnose or treat but to work as part of your multi-disciplinary team to support you with making those diet and lifestyle changes.

Here are some tips to support you:

  • Aim to do about 30 minutes of physical exercise every day. If you haven’t been doing any lately, choose something that you enjoy such as dance class, yoga or walking. Start slowly and build up. You might only do a 10-minute walk around the block every second day for example.
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep. That could mean giving up coffee (or other caffeinated drinks), creating a bedtime ritual like a hot shower and body massage or setting a rule of no technology after 7pm.
  • Finding creative ways to help manage you stress. Sometimes having a notepad next to your pad to write down to do lists or random thoughts, starting a gratitude journal, stretching, scheduling me-time, seeking help from a psychologist, counsellor or health coach or just incorporating some deep breathing exercises a sprinkled throughout the day.

For more tips to help balance your hormones, you can download my free 7 day hormone cleanse click here.

The daily meditation practice for women with no time

You’re probably reading this now because you already know the benefits of having a daily meditation practice or have heard that meditation could help you manage your stress levels but feel like it’s an unattainable goal. Even the phrase “daily meditation practice” already seems time consuming and daunting to say the least, right?

But what if I said to you that implementing this special daily mediation practice is going to give you more time?

Yes, you read that right.

Often when we are time poor, we’re usually overwhelmed, over-stressed and over-worked. Our focus and productivity wanes. our modern busyness of life leads us to be completely unaware how much we are wasting because we’re committed to keep on moving, even if we’re dragging our feet by lunchtime.

Why meditation?

It’s free but also meditation can give you more time.

How? Meditation allows you to focus your attention inwards, cutting out the unnecessary clutter that could be causing confusion and indecision. When you have clarity and dominion over your thoughts, confusion dissipates and a call to action is visible.

If you have only a certain amount of time in the day and during these times you are more productive, you then create more time and have breathing space for the more important things in life like being present with family.

An effective way to incorporate meditation is to adopt what I like to call is the heart-full minute.

  • Put your hand on your heart and take 5 deep breathes. The goal is to focus on feeling the heart beat on the palm of your hands whilst noting your breath going in and out. Feeling your heart pulsate in itself bring your back to life force that is you.
  • You don’t need to think nothing, it’s perfectly normal to have thoughts especially judgmental thoughts about if you’re doing the heart-full minute correctly or what you need to be doing straight after the meditation.
  • To bring your focus back, start noting your breathe. So as you breathe in, say in your head you’re breathing in and so forth as you breathe out. Noting is a great tool to bring your attention back to stillness when you catch yourself carried away with your thoughts.

You might think a minute isn’t that long but you’d be surprised. The heart-full minute can be done anywhere and anytime, so many opportunities such as while you’re on the toilet, waiting at the grocery line, breastfeeding or having a shower.

Do this enough times and you get the compounding effect that meditation will get easier and easier the more you do it.

Finding practical ways to reduce stress in your life is a great foundation to help you balance your hormones and boost your fertility. For more tips to detox your mind and body, you can download my free 7 Day Hormone Cleanse here.