Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing

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Overview

When it was first published in 1994, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom quickly became an international bestseller, and for the past fifteen years it has remained the veritable bible of women’s health. Now, in this revised and updated edition, world-renowned and much-beloved women’s health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup shares with us the latest developments and advances that will maximize our potential for living...
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Overview

When it was first published in 1994, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom quickly became an international bestseller, and for the past fifteen years it has remained the veritable bible of women’s health. Now, in this revised and updated edition, world-renowned and much-beloved women’s health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup shares with us the latest developments and advances that will maximize our potential for living well in our bodies today. Inside you will discover
 
• new material on sexuality—and how to have a more fulfilling sex life
• the spiritual and scientific principles behind healing from terminal illnesses, and how you can utilize these principles for your own health and the health of others
• vital information about how to truly dissolve PMS and ease menstrual cramps
• extraordinary facts on Vitamin D—and why it is crucial for breast, cardiovascular, and immune system health
• the importance of the preconception diet and how to greatly decrease your risk of birth defects
• how to birth naturally, despite the current induction and C-section epidemic
• all you need to know about thyroid function, including proper blood tests
• life-saving facts about cellular inflammation—the root cause of all chronic degenerative diseases—and how to prevent this condition
• the essentials on the “fountain of youth molecule”—and how to enhance your levels of it for vibrant health
 
Living a healthy life in a woman’s body can be downright fun—even ecstatic! And that’s good news for everyone—women, men, and their children.
 

"...revised to include an updated program for menopause, an all new nutrition chapter, new information on improving fertility after 35, holistic ways to prepare and heal faster if surgery is necessary, plus much more."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This guide goes far beyond standard self-help books [and] is as accessible as it is empowering.
Library Journal
While this book offers a great deal of sound and sympathetic advice about healthy living for women, it is accompanied by an excess of feminist rhetoric and New Age mumbo jumbo. (Do fibroids really "result when we are flowing life energy into dead ends, such as jobs or relationships we have outgrown''?) The reader might feel more comfortable skipping those parts of this otherwise excellent work. Northrup, the founder of a women's health clinic in Maine, takes up women's standard health problems and offers spiritual and philosophical counsel along with suggestions on dietary change, confronting one's feelings about disease, visualization practices, and other holistic remedies. Although much of this same advice can be found elsewhere, Northrup's approach is more casual. For example, she feels that the main reason for exercise should be that you enjoy it.
-- Natalie Kupferberg, Montana State University Library, Bozeman
-- Mark Guyer, Stark City District Library, Canton, Ohio
Library Journal
While this book offers a great deal of sound and sympathetic advice about healthy living for women, it is accompanied by an excess of feminist rhetoric and New Age mumbo jumbo. (Do fibroids really "result when we are flowing life energy into dead ends, such as jobs or relationships we have outgrown''?) The reader might feel more comfortable skipping those parts of this otherwise excellent work. Northrup, the founder of a women's health clinic in Maine, takes up women's standard health problems and offers spiritual and philosophical counsel along with suggestions on dietary change, confronting one's feelings about disease, visualization practices, and other holistic remedies. Although much of this same advice can be found elsewhere, Northrup's approach is more casual. For example, she feels that the main reason for exercise should be that you enjoy it.
-- Natalie Kupferberg, Montana State University Library, Bozeman
Booknews
New edition of a guide to women's physical and emotional well-being. Supports the viewpoint that when women change the basic conditions of their lives, they heal faster and more completely. Contains updated information on a range of subjects organized into three major sections -- from external control to inner guidance, anatomy, and how to integrate the best techniques of Western medicine with alternative therapies.
WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women
Through her clinical and personal experiences, Dr. Christiane Northrup came to see that negative circumstances in our lives often manifest themselves in our bodies as illness and pain. In Women's Bodies, she addresses each area of women's health and explains the potential problems that can arise, the possible treatments and the ways that each can be affected by a women's spiritual and emotional status. Examples from the lives of her patients illustrate how changes in attitude and life situations can affect a woman's health. She also gives advice on choosing a doctor, deciding on a treatment, nourishing ourselves and healing emotional scars. Christiane serves as an example of a doctor who has taken her conventional medical training and expanded it to address all aspects of health.
—FGP
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553386738
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Pages: 960
  • Sales rank: 117,804
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is an ob-gyn who helps empower women to tune in to their inner wisdom and take charge of their health. She’s also a best-selling author and the host of five successful public television specials.

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Read an Excerpt

Speaking Our Truth

During the month after this book was initially published, I had a series of nightmares that someone was in my bedroom about to kill me. For five consecutive nights I woke up screaming in terror, scaring my children as well as myself. My dreams were my not-so-subtle inner guidance system letting me know how terrified a part of me was to actually put what I knew out into the world. I was shocked by the power of this fear. Though I'd known intellectually that many women have a wall of fear within them that arises when they dare to speak their truth, I hadn't realized how much of that fear I also shared. I dreaded going to the hospital for the regular OB/GYN meeting in June 1994, after the book went on sale, because I was sure that my colleagues would reject me and my work. Until then I had lived a professional double life: One part of me told patients what I really believe, in the privacy of my personal office, and the other part, the "official" me, held back a bit (or a lot) in the hospital or around many colleagues.

My socialization as a doctor had taught me well what was acceptable to my colleagues and the hospital staff. I'd been treading a fine line for years. In fact, back in 1980, right after the birth of my first child and before I took my oral exams for board certification in OB/GYN, I was featured in a cover story on holistic women's health for East West Journal (now Natural Health). In order to ensure that nobody at the hospital where I worked saw the article, I went to the co-op where East West was sold locally and personally purchased all the copies there. No one at my hospital ever saw it—or if anyone did, they never said anything about it. But in 1994, it was not going to be possible to purchase every copy of a mass-marketed book! I had to face the music and bring the two parts of myself together publicly—and in front of conventional medical groups—for the first time.

My first step was to go to my weekly hospital meeting. When I walked in, I was relieved when almost no one said anything about the book and I wasn't treated any differently. It was as though nothing had happened. I had to laugh, for at that moment I learned a lesson about self-centeredness—believing that everyone around me is interested in what I'm doing or saying, when in fact they have their own lives to live. My biggest lesson was that my fear was just that . . . all mine, and it was time to let it go. This has been a gradual process: On the book's first anniversary, I had a series of dreams in which someone was videotaping me naked. I was still feeling vulnerable, but at least I wasn't about to be killed! Since then, the dreams have gradually disappeared.

Since 1994, I've been invited to speak to hospital staffs and doctors all over the country and abroad, and I have received an overwhelmingly positive and heartwarming response from women and men in the United States and around the world. Clearly, the world is ready for women's wisdom. The comment I hear most often, from women, men, and even many doctors, goes something like this: "Somewhere deep within me, I've always known the truth of what you were saying . . . but I didn't have words for it. And I certainly had never heard a doctor say it."

I have come to see that medical science, when combined with the wisdom of our hearts and our minds, is powerful medicine indeed. And that's why, almost as soon as this book was published, I found myself itching to revise it. Though there is no replacement for developing and honing our intuitive women's wisdom—that inner guidance that helps us choose which roads to take and which ones to avoid—I've found that this inner guidance works best when it's balanced with good, solid, up-to-date information.

And though the principles of true wisdom don't change much over time, useful and practical information does. We need both—just as we need both our left and right brain hemispheres. And with the burgeoning acceptance of alternative medicine into mainstream culture (a phenomenon that still surprises and delights me), more and more scientifically documented natural solutions to women's health problems become available every day. Simultaneously, good technological solutions, such as new devices to help stress urinary incontinence, as well as better surgical techniques to remove fibroids, are also helping many women. And each time I have updated my thinking and my recommendations, I have wanted to get that new information out to my readers so that they too can use it to improve their lives and their health.

In addition to adding better and more timely solutions to each section of the book, I found it necessary to completely rewrite the chapters on nutrition and menopause because there is so much new and helpful information in these areas, ranging from how to individualize a hormone replacement regimen using hormones native to the female body to how to find a dietary approach that balances both your brain and body biochemistry. Women's health is finally getting the attention it deserves, and as a longtime player in this field, I have a great deal to say and a lot of new information to share.

By sheer serendipity, my newsletter, Health Wisdom for Women, was launched in partnership with Phillips Publishing International several months after the first edition of this book came out. So now, instead of addressing the problems of twenty women in my office each day, I am able to reach thousands every month. In essence, the health care solutions offered through the newsletter, together with my subscribers' correspondence and feedback, have become a virtual practice. This has allowed me to keep my finger on the pulse of women's health care in a much broader and more diverse way than ever before. I've also heard from countless physician colleagues, who tell me that patients often bring in either a copy of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom or the newsletter to discuss a particular approach that I've recommended. Most of these doctors are grateful for the information. This grassroots approach truly appeals to my small-town origins.

Writing the first edition of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom opened up to me a larger world of women's wisdom that is growing all over the planet. Because of this, I have more support from more people and places than I ever dreamed possible. This has allowed me to become more of who I really am. I know from all the letters I receive that the same thing is happening to others across the globe. The original book is being used as a text in nursing schools and hospitals around the country—and this helps women's wisdom gather steam and momentum.

I've learned the power of telling my personal truth. It has been a very significant part of my healing process. And I have emerged feeling stronger and freer than ever before. I hope this book will inspire other women to speak their personal truths, too. I know that as each of us does this, the world—and our health—changes for the better.


Chapter twelve: Pregnancy and Birthing

My Personal Story

As a mother and a women's doctor, I have experienced childbirth from both sides of the bed. Every mother has moments that she cherishes from the birth experience and insights and feelings she'd like to share with other women. I'd like to tell you my story and also some remarkable stories of other women.

The due date for my first child was December 7, 1980. I continued my work supervising the residency clinic at a Boston hospital, and I flew or drove to Maine every other week to keep my practice going there. I had watched far too many pregnant women stop work early and then mope around the house eating, waiting for the baby to come, sometimes begging their obstetrician to induce labor. I didn't want to fall into that category. I had also seen dozens of women go overdue. I certainly wasn't going to get excited about labor—at least, not until my due date.

On Thanksgiving we went to dinner at a friend's house. Later that evening, back home in bed, I started to experience very mild but regular contractions that didn't hurt. Like the good controlled doctor that I was, I went into the bathroom and decided to examine my cervix to see if I was dilating. When I did this, my water broke. I thought, "Damn, now I know this really is it." Shortly thereafter, without the natural "padding" that the amniotic fluid provides, my contractions began coming every two minutes and were much more uncomfortable than initially.

I called my mother, who was planning to help me after the birth and said, "I'm not going to like this." She said that she understood (after six children, she knew) but that it wouldn't last forever. In the 1940s, Mom had always had to labor alone, strapped down in bed with no pain relief or personal support. For each delivery, she had been knocked unconscious by drugs and was handed the baby later by the obstetrician, as though it were a gift from him and not the fruit of her own labor. Thousands of women like her were never given a choice and didn't even know there were other ways to deliver.

The pain of labor was far greater than I thought it would be. (It's always worse after the membranes are ruptured, a point that doesn't seem to stop some obstetricians from doing it prematurely even when there's no need to.) I had seen hundreds of women in labor after five years of OB training. I had always focused on the women who didn't appear to have any discomfort, and I was so sure I would be one of them. But here I was—stuck. I felt as though I were in a box, and there was no way out except through. My intellect could not get me out of this—and I was determined to go through the process naturally. I already trusted the natural world more than the artificial man-made one. What I didn't appreciate then was the depth of my own programming into and cooperation with that same man-made world.

We called my obstetrician, a sensitive man with whom I had worked in the hospital for several years. He suggested that my husband and I go into the hospital. The only problem was that all I wanted to do was stay on the floor on my hands and knees. Moving anywhere seemed to me the most unnatural thing I could think of. It went against every instinct in my body.

I didn't have a bag packed for the hospital, so my husband ran around and put some underwear, a nightgown, and a toothbrush in a bag. Then he tried to get me dressed, out the door, and into the car. He nearly had to carry me. Left to my own instincts, I would never have left my position on my hands and knees on the floor.

When we got to the hospital, a place where I had worked for half a decade, I had to go through the admitting office as a patient. Admissions had lost the correct papers and would not let me go upstairs to the labor and delivery floor, where my nurse friends and my doctor were waiting. This was my introduction to the bureaucracy of hospitals, something I'd been shielded from for years. (Laboring in a hospital hallway alone is inhumane; but for thousands of women, it is their experience.) I simply walked out of that room, went to the back hall elevator, got in, and went up to labor and delivery by myself.

When my doctor examined me, I was four centimeters dilated. (You have to get to ten to be ready to push.) For the next three hours my contractions came frequently. But I failed to dilate beyond six centimeters, where I remained "stuck" for those three hours. The contraction pattern on the monitor was "dysfunctional." Though the contractions hurt a lot, and I never got much of a break between them, they simply were not getting the job done. I had what is known as hypertonic uterine inertia, which means that the contractions, though present, are not efficient—they are erratic, originating all over the uterus at the same time, like the heart when it goes into atrial fibrillation. (The high heart—in the chest—does the same sort of thing as the low heart—the uterus in the pelvis—sometimes.) Instead of beginning at the top and moving in a wave to the bottom of the uterus, the contractions originated in many places at the same time. Labor didn't progress well. It was like trying to get toothpaste out of a tube by squeezing it in fifteen places at the same time with a little bit of pressure, instead of squeezing firmly only at the back end of the tube so that the paste comes out uniformly.

When my doctor told me that I had made no progress in three hours, I knew what was next. (Remember, my intellect thought it was in control of my labor.) "Okay," I said, "start the IV, plug in the fetal electrode, and hang the Pit." Pitocin (oxytocin) is a drug that artificially contracts the uterus. After the Pitocin was started, the contractions became almost unbearable, going to full intensity almost as soon as they started.

No amount of Lamaze breathing distracted me from the intensity of the feeling that the lower part of my body was in the grip of a vise. At one point, I looked at the clock and saw that it was 11:15 A.M. What I recall thinking was, "If this goes on for another fifteen minutes, I'm going to need an epidural anesthetic." I didn't know that I was in transition—the part of labor that is most intense, just before the cervix becomes fully dilated. Within the next twelve minutes I suddenly felt the urge to push. It was the most powerful bodily sensation I've ever felt, and I was powerless to resist it. The thought flashed through my mind, "If I ever tell another woman not to push when every fiber in her body tells her to push, may God strike me with lightning!"

In two pushes, Ann almost flew out of my body. My obstetrician quite literally caught her. Though I was laboring in the "birthing room," I wasn't laboring in the "correct" delivery bed, and I barely made it to the delivery bed in time. (Birthing rooms now are equipped with beds that adjust for delivery of the baby, so that moving from one bed to another isn't necessary.)

Ann cried and cried, and though I put her to my breast almost immediately, it still took quite a while to calm her down. I believe this was because the Pitocin made for a far too rapid second stage of labor. It was too intense both for Ann and for me. Neither she nor I had much chance to recover between contractions.

A primiparous patient—one having her first baby—usually takes an hour or more to push the baby out. From the time the cervix is fully dilated to delivery—the second stage of labor—I went from six centimeters to delivery in less than one hour; my uterus was being pushed by a powerful drug, a very intense and distinctly unnatural experience.

To this day, my daughter is not particularly "at home" in her body and is afraid to take physical risks, for instance in skiing or hiking. Though there are various reasons for this, I know deep within me that being propelled into the world with so little time to accommodate herself to the process of labor was a terrifying experience for her.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction to the Revised Edition: Speaking Our Truth
Introduction to the First Edition: Physician, Heal Thyself
1 The Patriarchal Myth and the Addictive System 3
2 Feminine Intelligence and a New Mode of Healing 25
3 Inner Guidance 50
4 The Female Energy System 67
5 The Menstrual Cycle 101
6 The Uterus 164
7 The Ovaries 210
8 Reclaiming the Erotic 241
9 Vulva, Vagina, Cervix, and Lower Urinary Tract 259
10 Breasts 327
11 Our Fertility 381
12 Pregnancy and Birthing 445
13 Motherhood: Bonding with Your Baby 495
14 Menopause 515
15 Steps for Healing 579
16 Getting the Most Out of Your Medical Care 642
17 Nourishing Ourselves with Food 674
18 The Power of Movement 740
19 Healing Ourselves, Healing Our World 757
App Choices in Hormone Replacement 777
Resources 787
Notes 831
Index 891
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Introduction

Introduction to the Revised Edition: Speaking Our Truth

During the month after this book was initially published, I had a series of nightmares that someone was in my bedroom about to kill me. For five consecutive nights I woke up screaming in terror, scaring my children as well as myself. My dreams were my not-so-subtle inner guidance system letting me know how terrified a part of me was to actually put what I knew out into the world. I was shocked by the power of this fear. Though I'd known intellectually that many women have a wall of fear within them that arises when they dare to speak their truth, I hadn't realized how much of that fear I also shared. I dreaded going to the hospital for the regular OB/GYN meeting in June 1994, after the book went on sale, because I was sure that my colleagues would reject me and my work. Until then I had lived a professional double life: One part of me told patients what I really believe, in the privacy of my personal office, and the other part, the "official" me, held back a bit (or a lot) in the hospital or around many colleagues. My socialization as a doctor had taught me well what was acceptable to my colleagues and the hospital staff. I'd been treading a fine line for years. In fact, back in 1980, right after the birth of my first child and before I took my oral exams for board certification in OB/GYN, I was featured in a cover story on holistic women's health for East West Journal (now Natural Health). In order to ensure that nobody at the hospital where I worked saw the article, I went to the co-op where East West was sold locally and personally purchased all the copies there. No one at my hospital ever saw it -- or if anyone did, they never said anything about it. But in 1994, it was not going to be possible to purchase every copy of a mass-marketed book! I had to face the music and bring the two parts of myself together publicly -- and in front of conventional medical groups -- for the first time.

My first step was to go to my weekly hospital meeting. When I walked in, I was relieved when almost no one said anything about the book and I wasn't treated any differently. It was as though nothing had happened. I had to laugh, for at that moment I learned a lesson about self-centeredness -- believing that everyone around me is interested in what I'm doing or saying, when in fact they have their own lives to live. My biggest lesson was that my fear was just that...all mine, and it was time to let it go. This has been a gradual process: On the book's first anniversary, I had a series of dreams in which someone was videotaping me naked. I was still feeling vulnerable, but at least I wasn't about to be killed! Since then, the dreams have gradually disappeared.

Since 1994, I've been invited to speak to hospital staffs and doctors all over the country and abroad, and I have received an overwhelmingly positive and heartwarming response from women and men in the United States and around the world. Clearly, the world is ready for women's wisdom. The comment I hear most often, from women, men, and even many doctors, goes something like this: "Somewhere deep within me, I've always known the truth of what you were saying...but I didn't have words for it. And I certainly had never heard a doctor say it."

I have come to see that medical science, when combined with the wisdom of our hearts and our minds, is powerful medicine indeed. And that's why, almost as soon as this book was published, I found myself itching to revise it. Though there is no replacement for developing and honing our intuitive women's wisdom -- that inner guidance that helps us choose which roads to take and which ones to avoid -- I've found that this inner guidance works best when it's balanced with good, solid, up-to-date information.

And though the principles of true wisdom don't change much over time, useful and practical information does. We need both -- just as we need both our left and right brain hemispheres. And with the burgeoning acceptance of alternative medicine into mainstream culture (a phenomenon that still surprises and delights me), more and more scientifically documented natural solutions to women's health problems become available every day. Simultaneously, good technological solutions, such as new devices to help stress urinary incontinence, as well as better surgical techniques to remove fibroids, are also helping many women. And each time I have updated my thinking and my recommendations, I have wanted to get that new information out to my readers so that they too can use it to improve their lives and their health.

In addition to adding better and more timely solutions to each section of the book, I found it necessary to completely rewrite the chapters on nutrition and menopause because there is so much new and helpful information in these areas, ranging from how to individualize a hormone replacement regimen using hormones native to the female body to how to find a dietary approach that balances both your brain and body biochemistry. Women's health is finally getting the attention it deserves, and as a longtime player in this field, I have a great deal to say and a lot of new information to share.

By sheer serendipity, my newsletter, Health Wisdom for Women, was launched in partnership with Phillips Publishing International several months after the first edition of this book came out. So now, instead of addressing the problems of twenty women in my office each day, I am able to reach thousands every month. In essence, the health care solutions offered through the newsletter, together with my subscribers' correspondence and feedback, have become a virtual practice. This has allowed me to keep my finger on the pulse of women's health care in a much broader and more diverse way than ever before. I've also heard from countless physician colleagues, who tell me that patients often bring in either a copy of WOMEN'S BODIES, WOMEN'S WISDOM or the newsletter to discuss a particular approach that I've recommended. Most of these doctors are grateful for the information. This grassroots approach truly appeals to my small-town origins.

Writing the first edition of WOMEN'S BODIES, WOMEN'S WISDOM opened up to me a larger world of women's wisdom that is growing all over the planet. Because of this, I have more support from more people and places than I ever dreamed possible. This has allowed me to become more of who I really am. I know from all the letters I receive that the same thing is happening to others across the globe. The original book is being used as a text in nursing schools and hospitals around the country -- and this helps women's wisdom gather steam and momentum.

I've learned the power of telling my personal truth. It has been a very significant part of my healing process. And I have emerged feeling stronger and freer than ever before. I hope this book will inspire other women to speak their personal truths, too. I know that as each of us does this, the world -- and our health -- changes for the better.

From Chapter 12: Pregnancy and Birthing

My Personal Story

As a mother and a women's doctor, I have experienced childbirth from both sides of the bed. Every mother has moments that she cherishes from the birth experience and insights and feelings she'd like to share with other women. I'd like to tell you my story and also some remarkable stories of other women.

The due date for my first child was December 7, 1980. I continued my work supervising the residency clinic at a Boston hospital, and I flew or drove to Maine every other week to keep my practice going there. I had watched far too many pregnant women stop work early and then mope around the house eating, waiting for the baby to come, sometimes begging their obstetrician to induce labor. I didn't want to fall into that category. I had also seen dozens of women go overdue. I certainly wasn't going to get excited about labor -- at least, not until my due date.

On Thanksgiving we went to dinner at a friend's house. Later that evening, back home in bed, I started to experience very mild but regular contractions that didn't hurt. Like the good controlled doctor that I was, I went into the bathroom and decided to examine my cervix to see if I was dilating. When I did this, my water broke. I thought, "Damn, now I know this really is it." Shortly thereafter, without the natural "padding" that the amniotic fluid provides, my contractions began coming every two minutes and were much more uncomfortable than initially.

I called my mother, who was planning to help me after the birth, and said, "I'm not going to like this." She said that she understood (after six children, she knew) but that it wouldn't last forever. In the 1940s, Mom had always had to labor alone, strapped down in bed with no pain relief or personal support. For each delivery, she had been knocked unconscious by drugs and was handed the baby later by the obstetrician, as though it were a gift from him and not the fruit of her own labor. Thousands of women like her were never given a choice and didn't even know there were other ways to deliver.

The pain of labor was far greater than I thought it would be. (It's always worse after the membranes are ruptured, a point that doesn't seem to stop some obstetricians from doing it prematurely even when there's no need to.) I had seen hundreds of women in labor after five years of OB training. I had always focused on the women who didn't appear to have any discomfort, and I was so sure I would be one of them. But here I was -- stuck. I felt as though I were in a box, and there was no way out except through. My intellect could not get me out of this -- and I was determined to go through the process naturally. I already trusted the natural world more than the artificial man-made one. What I didn't appreciate then was the depth of my own programming into and cooperation with that same man-made world.

We called my obstetrician, a sensitive man with whom I had worked in the hospital for several years. He suggested that my husband and I go into the hospital. The only problem was that all I wanted to do was stay on the floor on my hands and knees. Moving anywhere seemed to me the most unnatural thing I could think of. It went against every instinct in my body.

I didn't have a bag packed for the hospital, so my husband ran around and put some underwear, a nightgown, and a toothbrush in a bag. Then he tried to get me dressed, out the door, and into the car. He nearly had to carry me. Left to my own instincts, I would never have left my position on my hands and knees on the floor.

When we got to the hospital, a place where I had worked for half a decade, I had to go through the admitting office as a patient. Admissions had lost the correct papers and would not let me go upstairs to the labor and delivery floor, where my nurse friends and my doctor were waiting. This was my introduction to the bureaucracy of hospitals, something I'd been shielded from for years. (Laboring in a hospital hallway alone is inhumane; but for thousands of women, it is their experience.) I simply walked out of that room, went to the back hall elevator, got in, and went up to labor and delivery by myself.

When my doctor examined me, I was four centimeters dilated. (You have to get to ten to be ready to push.) For the next three hours my contractions came frequently. But I failed to dilate beyond six centimeters, where I remained "stuck" for those three hours. The contraction pattern on the monitor was "dysfunctional." Though the contractions hurt a lot, and I never got much of a break between them, they simply were not getting the job done. I had what is known as hypertonic uterine inertia, which means that the contractions, though present, are not efficient -- they are erratic, originating all over the uterus at the same time, like the heart when it goes into atrial fibrillation. (The high heart -- in the chest -- does the same sort of thing as the low heart -- the uterus in the pelvis -- sometimes.) Instead of beginning at the top and moving in a wave to the bottom of the uterus, the contractions originated in many places at the same time. Labor didn't progress well. It was like trying to get toothpaste out of a tube by squeezing it in fifteen places at the same time with a little bit of pressure, instead of squeezing firmly only at the back end of the tube so that the paste comes out uniformly.

When my doctor told me that I had made no progress in three hours, I knew what was next. (Remember, my intellect thought it was in control of my labor.) "Okay," I said, "start the IV, plug in the fetal electrode, and hang the Pit." Pitocin (oxytocin) is a drug that artificially contracts the uterus. After the Pitocin was started, the contractions became almost unbearable, going to full intensity almost as soon as they started.

No amount of Lamaze breathing distracted me from the intensity of the feeling that the lower part of my body was in the grip of a vise. At one point, I looked at the clock and saw that it was 11:15 A.M. What I recall thinking was, "If this goes on for another fifteen minutes, I'm going to need an epidural anesthetic." I didn't know that I was in transition -- the part of labor that is most intense, just before the cervix becomes fully dilated. Within the next twelve minutes I suddenly felt the urge to push. It was the most powerful bodily sensation I've ever felt, and I was powerless to resist it. The thought flashed through my mind, "If I ever tell another woman not to push when every fiber in her body tells her to push, may God strike me with lightning!"

In two pushes, Ann almost flew out of my body. My obstetrician quite literally caught her. Though I was laboring in the "birthing room," I wasn't laboring in the "correct" delivery bed, and I barely made it to the delivery bed in time. (Birthing rooms now are equipped with beds that adjust for delivery of the baby, so that moving from one bed to another isn't necessary.)

Ann cried and cried, and though I put her to my breast almost immediately, it still took quite a while to calm her down. I believe this was because the Pitocin made for a far too rapid second stage of labor. It was too intense both for Ann and for me. Neither she nor I had much chance to recover between contractions.

A primiparous patient -- one having her first baby -- usually takes an hour or more to push the baby out. From the time the cervix is fully dilated to delivery -- the second stage of labor -- I went from six centimeters to delivery in less than one hour; my uterus was being pushed by a powerful drug, a very intense and distinctly unnatural experience.

To this day, my daughter is not particularly "at home" in her body and is afraid to take physical risks, for instance in skiing or hiking. Though there are various reasons for this, I know deep within me that being propelled into the world with so little time to accommodate herself to the process of labor was a terrifying experience for her. She had difficulty nursing, and she was never a good sleeper. Part of the reason is that she was small (five pounds, eight ounces) and early (38.5 weeks), and part is her personality -- but another part is how she was born. I've discussed all this with her. I didn't know then what I know now, and I don't for one minute blame myself about how she was born. I do, however, allow myself to feel sadness about the experience, which would be considered a completely normal labor and delivery by most everyone.

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Interviews & Essays

On Tuesday, March 24th Christiane Northrup joined us in the barnesandnoble.com Auditorium to chat about the newly revised edition of her book WOMEN'S BODIES, WOMEN'S WISDOM.



Moderator: Thank you so much for joining us tonight, Dr. Northrup! We are thrilled to have you with us, and we are looking forward to chatting with you. Before we begin, do you have any opening comments?

Christiane Northrup: I would say the time is right for women's health and looking at the body in a holistic manner, and frankly, women are leading the way in this transformation in medicine.


Simone from Oklahoma City: Hi, Christiane. Glad to have you chatting with us. Could you tell us a bit about how WOMEN'S BODIES, WOMEN'S WISDOM came about? What prompted you to first write the book?

Christiane Northrup: As the president of the American Holistic Medical Association, I spent time regularly with the leading thinkers in the mind/body connection in health, but what I kept noticing repeatedly is that nobody was talking about specifically female organs and female disorders, so what we had was a lot of literature on heart disease and hypertension and some stuff on headaches, but there was almost nothing in obstetrics and gynecology, and what I began to see was that women's health, and specifically women's health concerns, was the most perfect place to apply the entire mind/body connection. And then as I was writing the book, very much based on my own experience, the scientific literature, and my work with patients, I began to articulate a vision that was beyond pathology, and I turned things around. I began to see that our bodies were asking us to turn things around from seeing symptoms as problems to seeing symptoms as messengers from our inner wisdom. Once I did this, I was able to reframe everything I ever learned about the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, labor and delivery, menopause. In fact, I came to see that the biologic processes actually reflected how divine thought comes into form. Every year I have gotten clearer and clearer how in Western culture we have reversed the truth of things, so that instead of seeing the body's cyclic processes as a source of wisdom and personal growth, women are brought up almost from birth to see their bodies as a fundamental problem. So, basically, I was called to write all of this down in a way that was accessible to health care practitioners and laypeople alike, to begin to change this mindset, because it's the only way out of the dilemma. So, that's why I wrote the book, and it took four years (and a year to revise it), because a lot of good, solid information is available, and every day I learn more that supports the intuitive knowing that I had in the first place. In other words, there is a great deal of science, good, solid Western science, to support everything that I'm saying. It's just that so much of it simply isn't acknowledged in everyday life and in the mainstream media.


Joanna from Springfield, OH: The attitudes described in your book tend to be prevalent among women's centers today. Could you describe the attitude that was prevalent before this book emerged? What previous attitudes to healing were you combating?

Christiane Northrup: Well, first of all, the stance that we all need to take is that of noncombatance. This is actually the problem -- the problem is seeing the body as the enemy, seeing your hormones as a problem, seeing your menstrual period as a pain in the butt, literally, believing that once you reach menopause you will be sexually unattractive. Every attitude that a woman holds concerning her body as being less than it should be is at the root of all physical (and emotional) suffering. It's not surprising that you are finding these attitudes. They've been deeply ingrained over the past 5,000 years, and they are not likely to disappear overnight. And on some level, every woman I've ever met, including myself and my own daughters, has inherited attitudes that are not in our highest interest. The way out of this is not to try to change anything. The way out is to name our experience and our beliefs for exactly what they are. In other words, we need to own everything, and from that stance we breathe deeply and love ourselves for exactly the way we are. This is a paradox.


Jainee from NYC: Dr. Northrup, I'm enjoying your series on PBS, and I've heard you speak several times, most recently at the Louise Hay gathering in New York City. My question to you concerns Dr. Andy Weil and his antioxidant formula that he prescribes we all take. How do you feel about antioxidant vitamin combinations? Should women be looking for anything in particular?

Christiane Northrup: Yes, I love antioxidants, and I take them regularly; I've included a basic formula in WOMEN'S BODIES, WOMEN'S WISDOM, the revised edition. I have two bottles of pycnogenol in front of me as we speak, and I just took 100 mg!


Jacinda from Oregon: A few months ago, my sister was diagnosed with anorexia. What should I be thinking about, as her support? Can you recommend a good book for me to read about this?

Christiane Northrup: There are many. I would say my favorite is WHEN FOOD IS LOVE by Geneen Roth, and also APPETITES, also by Geneen Roth. Anorexia has been known for centuries, and many orders of nuns withheld food and even engaged in some self-flagellation behaviors in order to induce altered states of consciousness. Anorexia is one way, albeit very unhealthy, to try to control at least one aspect of your life and also to move toward a feeling of lightness and euphoria. But ultimately it is a running away from the body and from life and needs to be approached like any other addiction.


Martha from Los Angeles: My husband and I plan to start a family within the next six months. We are both 32. What vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc., do you suggest we start taking in preparation for getting pregnant? Any other suggestions?

Christiane Northrup: Definitely she should be on at least 400 mcg per day of folic acid and additional B complex; other than that I would follow the guidelines in WOMEN'S BODIES, WOMEN'S WISDOM for the basic antioxidant and mineral formula, and obviously this is for both of them. Then, there's so much to be gained by consciously calling in a soul to be with you. And so, what I would recommend is that at the time of ovulation, when they make love, to say a prayer or somehow engage in a little acknowledgement or ceremony about consciously conceiving. I believe that where we're going as a human race, what we're coming to, is that there will be many more couples like the two of you who are consciously ready to parent and therefore can raise children who are healthier and happier as a result of the parents' conscious choice being present from conception onward.


Sonia Hernandez from NYC: I was bleeding in between periods and getting pain on my lower left side before, during, and after my period. My GYN spoke about the possibility of endometriosis. A sonogram showed nothing. I was put on the pill to regulate my period. The in-between bleeding stopped and the pain has eased somewhat, but I still get some pain. The side effects from the pill are really bothering me - headaches, cramps, weight gain, etc. I've been on the pill for five months. Is there anything else besides the pill to help ease this problem? I'm nervous about asking for that surgery that determines if you do have endometriosis. I'm single and have never had children. I'm 34 years old. What can this lead to? Thank you.

Christiane Northrup: I have covered endometriosis at length in WOMEN'S BODIES, WOMEN'S WISDOM, and in short, here are my suggestions 1) use natural progesterone, 2% cream; there are many different brands but the one I use currently is FemGest, and you can order it by dialing 1-800-304-1740. Also, use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon twice per day on the skin for two to three weeks daily before your period is due. Dietary change also helps. Stop commercially processed dairy food. Take a good multivitamin mineral. Stop refined carbohydrates, and eventually it may be possible to stop the pill. Look in the book to get more information.


Patricia O. Heerwig from Okinawa, Japan: Dr. NorthrupOn Okinawa, Herbalife seems to be a craze here. Of course it is promoted as a healthy, natural way to lose weight. I understand it has some properties of ephedrine in it -- or a derivative of ephedrine. Do you have any information on its healthy or unhealthy effects on the body?

Christiane Northrup: I don't like ephedrine for weight loss because, like any stimulant, you will eventually develop a tolerance for it and may require more and more to get the same effect. A much better solution to weight loss is regular exercise and also five-hydroxytrytotophan, a supplement that helps naturally increase serotonin levels in the brain, which decreases excessive carbohydrate craving. A book on this subject is coming out in May by Michael Murray from Bantam Books.


Patricia from Brookline, Massachusetts: Hello, Dr. Northrup. I am curious about one of the last chapters of your book, "Healing Ourselves, Healing Our World." In the essay "Conquering Our Fear of Our Shaman Past," you talk about breaking out of "morphogenic fields." Is this a new chapter? Could you talk about what morphogenic fields are, and do you think that they are the same for women today as from 25 years ago, when the first edition of your book came out? Thank you.

Christiane Northrup: The first edition of my book came out in 1994. I took the term "morphogenic fields" from Rupert Sheldrake, a British biologist, and I explained it in depth on page 764 of the book. Here's what I believe today, however. It's much easier for my daughters to see a clear path as women that includes full personal expression and motherhood than it was for me or for my mother. Every woman who is living her life fully is expressing herself to her highest potential, is changing the morphogenic field for all who come after her. I believe that the baby boom generation, because of its penchant for questioning authority and because of the sheer numbers of women in this generation, is changing the morphogenic field for all who will come after us in such a way that we will never go backward.


Pat from Toledo, Ohio: Who do you think are the most influential women today? Are these women entirely positive influences, do you think?

Christiane Northrup: I would say the most influential women today are Helen Hunt, Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Madonna, Jodi Foster, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Whoopi Goldberg, Marian Wright Edelman, to name a few. There is no gold standard of "the right way to be" for a woman. So you will have to follow your heart to determine which role models are positive for you. But all of them are pushing female reality and also the norms for female behavior out from its current boundaries; each of us gets to choose which ones are uplifting to us and which ones are troublesome.


Jane from Chapel Hill, NC: Chapter Four, "The Female Energy System," is interesting to me, because it doesn't seem to be a "doctor's" approach to talk about chakras and say that specific mental and emotional patterns are related to specific body locations. It sounds almost more like a homeopathic or new-agey approach. Where did you learn about these approaches? Does the medical community reject some of your approaches as unscientific?

Christiane Northrup: The scientific literature supporting these approaches is far more robust than most have been led to believe. To come up with this particular articulation, I worked with Dr. Mona Lisa Schulz, who is both a Ph.D. behavioral neurologist and an M.D. psychiatrist, and with Caroline Myss, who has an extensive background in theology. Currently over 70 medical schools offer courses in spirituality and healing, and many good doctors have always known that emotional patterns play a key role in health and disease. One of the most exciting aspects of understanding these patterns is the knowledge that you need not be a victim of every disease that's going around.


Rissa from Athens, Ga: Who do you think are important authors for women to read? Also, in general, who are your favorite authors?

Christiane Northrup: I love Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Walker, A. S. Byatt, again I'm a big fan of Geneen Roth, Anna Quindlen. I just finished BEACH MUSIC by Pat Conroy -- just love his writing. And then I read just huge amounts of scientific books. Oh, I also love Louise Hay and a variety of things that come in about prayer and death and nutrition, exercise, living fully, metaphysics, etc.


Paris from Chicago, Ill: Your book seems to spend just as much time analyzing emotional and psychological well-being as it does women's health issues. This seems to be in keeping with the sentiment that women are emotional creatures. Do you think that a similar approach applies to men?

Christiane Northrup: Absolutely!! Here's the differenceMost women's brains are wired differently than most men's brains. Because of this, the brain/body connection or the emotional/body connection is more available to women than to most men. The science behind this has been covered extensively by Dr. Mona Lisa Schulz in her upcoming book, AWAKENING INTUITION, and that's going to be Harmony Books, coming out in May. The fact that women have more access to their emotions by virtue of both biology and the way they are nurtured differently from men makes women the natural leaders in health care that honors the importance of emotions. The emotional component is equally important for men, and perhaps even more crucial. Men learn to shut down their emotions early in life, and this puts them at risk for sudden death more than women. As women learn to embrace the fullness of their emotions and the importance of this for their health, they will become the role models for men who must learn the same thing.


Ariane from Palo Alto, CA: Your book is very interesting, because it seems to combine biological detail with cultural views or perceptions of the female body. What do you think the relevance of this is -- examining not only the actual physical facts, but also the cultural biases at play, when looking at the female body?

Christiane Northrup: The cultural beliefs with which we are raised and the emotional and psychological responses we have to them actually become the biology in our bodies, and therefore cultural beliefs and physical health are tightly intertwined.


Minnie from Scranton, Pa: I loved a line in your book where you talked about our culture's skewed nurturing metaphor -- where we nurture others without nurturing ourselves! How true this is! Is there a key to changing this?

Christiane Northrup: Self-nurturing is the single biggest key to preserving -- or even regaining -- your health, but because nurturing yourself will initially make you feel guilty, you need to start with little things, and you need to do a lot of breathing from your belly and a lot of moving while you're breathing, because this helps you digest the guilt and move it through, and then practice looking in a mirror and out loud say into your eyes, "I accept myself and my need for nurturing and care, unconditionally, right now." Do this two times per day for 30 days, and you will change the patterns that lead you away from self-nurture.


Patricia from Okinawa: Dr. Northrup, could you sum up for me what your book is about and what it can do for me? I must admit that "morphogenic fields" sounds pretty technical! Is this a layman-level book or on a higher level?

Christiane Northrup: This is a layman-level book but can also be used on a higher level because it is very well referenced. It is a virtual encyclopedia of mind/body medicine that is empowering for women of all ages. There's only one paragraph about morphogenic fields!


Moderator: Dr. Northrup, thanks so much for joining us this evening. Before we say goodnight, do you have any closing comments?

Christiane Northrup: I really recommend that you read this book. Just keep it nearby and read it a bit at a time, because it's a paradigm shift in how you look at your body and your health, and without that paradigm shift, you really can't get to the roots of creating health daily.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 54 )
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(29)

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(13)

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(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2002

    Necessary and long overdue

    I stumbled upon this book in a book store, skimmed through it out of curiosity, ended up buying it and have hardly put it down since. It is important that women who read this book share it with their children, sibblings, spouses, parents and friends. I have told almost every woman and some men, I have come across to read it. Dr. Northurp is bright, insightful and brave. She has confirmed many things I have thought about and shared with my Gyn, to no avail. I have been pumped full of toxic drugs that have created side effects more severe that the original problem. I am going to give my GYN a copy of this book for Christmas. The information on the effects of diet is priceless. It makes perfect sense that the body and mind must be treated together because one so clearly affects the other. The book is well written, logical and long overdue. Although I do not agree with everything I have read in it, I think that is a plus, because it makes her more human and real. Additionally, anything that is so powerful can have no shortfalls because it can only empower those who read it.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 14, 2010

    Comprehensive handbook for women

    Wonderful book, well researched, easy to read, a must for women who want to make the most of their lives.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    How Could I Have Missed This?

    I can't even do this book justice with a simple review. All I can say is that it's everything I expected and more. It was chocked with great information that every woman should know and should use. I would recommend on this book for every woman.

    I also recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score" for anyone who feels bound by their anger, guilt, hurt or pain. I thought that the book was just about forgiveness, I soon learned, it was about so much more than that. It was about how you should deal with friends, family and yourself and more importantly, how to keep these relationships strong when things go wrong.

    Having read it, I feel like a better person. Maybe because this book spoke to me and not down to me. I have read a lot of books that was written like I didn't know anything. What the author of "When God Stopped Keeping Score" does is talk to you like a friend. I needed that. You will understand why when you read it. It is on sale here on BN.com.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2008

    A wake up call to women

    Have not read the whole book but it is a wake up call to all. Living in the Western World we believe Doctors know best and all. WRONG!!! Eastern medicine teaches us to treat the body as a whole. Native American Medicine teaches us natural remedies work also. So many people listen to the doctors and drug companies they have given up on trying other ways. This is not NEW AGE at all, drugs are not saying the are all bad because they aren't. Just look at what has happened over the years so many drug recalls. HMMM give this book and others like it a real chance. Try and be open minded.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2007

    A wonderful comprehensive book

    I saw Dr. Northrup on Oprah several years ago and was very moved by her candor and courage. I purchased her first book and have referred to it often. This book is equally wonderful. Every woman should read it and keep it nearby for ongoing reference.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    A reviewer

    Although Christiane Northrup's books are geared to women, many men can learn from her wisdom, and those of us in health care are really on a 'need to know' basis. I am espcially appreciative of the fact that she recognizes the connection between the emotions and the wellness of the physical body connection. My sister won't let go of this book which speaks for itself.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2007

    Natural is always better

    This is a wonderfully smart book that illustrates how women have the ability to heal themselves and others. There is so much positive energy at work in a healthy woman. This book provides the information women need to tap into this positive energy. I like the way it was written too. It was not difficult to read. I discovered many things I can use right now and I plan to read it again later to get more. This is the best book on health I have found.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    A required reading for all females!

    Very insighful to learn about all the changes and phases that as women we through the lenght of our lives.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2011

    Bible for women!

    I am impressed with this book! very informative and thought provoking! I learned a lot about myself and women in general. This book can be read for reference or read from front to back for pure enjoyment. I reccommend it to all women!! Sit down and enjoy!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Empowering Women through Wisdom of Their Bodies

    Every woman should read this book and every man should buy the women in his life this book. Empowering women worldwide with knowledge about their own bodies in the most practical of terms, this book covers a broad range of women's health issues with the balanced yet practical wisdom of mind-body wellness. I recommend this book to all my friends and it has been a permanent addition to my favorite books collection. This book was a foundational book for me and gave me greater understanding into both my body and mind. Christine is a wonderful teacher, mentor and true healer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2008

    Insightful

    Dr Northrup connects the dots between disease and the mind. She shows how one's life events can contribute to the overall health of all women and how we can avoid some very serious diseases. A great reference!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2007

    Reading through it, and recommend it

    I picked up this book, because my mom is going through menopause, and we (my family) wanted to better understand some of the intricacies. This book has led to some great understanding and also discussions between me and my mom...so I highly recommend this!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2005

    This book is for every woman!!

    Dr. Northrup is so knowledgeable and straightfoward that one cannot help but agree with her. My mother recommended this book to me and I have never regretted purchasing it 4 years ago!! I have read most of the book, occasionally focusing on areas of health I have questions on. Her expertise has saved me from a lifetime of chronic infections and given me hope for the future as a healthy, empowered woman!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2002

    Fantastic insight for endometriosis and more!

    My doctors had given up treating my endometriosis and deferred to the typical hysterectomy 'cure' - and I'm only 34 years old! Disheartened, I went into a local vitamin/herbal store, hoping for an alternative treatment. Before the woman in the store would sell me anything, she referred me to this book. She had w worn copy she used as a reference for all of her female customers with problems like mine. A week later, I decided to buy a copy of the book for myself. Holy cow! I'm so glad I did! Not only have I found a way to deal with the symptoms of my endometriosis, but also many other 'womanly' afflictions that have caused gynecologists to just throw their hands up in frustrated futility. Yes, it's kinda new age. Yes, it examines how psychological factors affect a woman's health. But the recommendations WORK - which is all that matters to me. It's written in an easy-to-understand manner. Maybe not everything in the book is for everyone (I've read some of the other negative comments about specific parts of the book) - but the book as a whole is a valuable tool for any woman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2002

    Amazingly written with wonderful insight

    She mentions only 2 skin care lines in her book & Sense' is one of them. This line of skin care is truely sensational! www.unitoday.net/deesmelanoma to find out more about this skin care line...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2001

    Disappointing

    Totally psychological look at women's health problems. 'emotional and psychological energy patterns' to blame for diseases in women . . . etc.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2001

    A must-read for every girl and woman

    This book completely changed my outlook on being female. I've always felt that my periods were a handicap -- something to be overcome and controlled. After reading this book I see that this attitude is patriarchal and harmful to my well-being. Now I understand that when I'm emotional before my period I'm not being 'crazy' or 'unreasonable.' Whenever I used these disparaging terms to get me to 'snap out of it,' I would always feel worse, not better. Women have periods for a reason and to medicate, control or dismiss a normal bodily function is wrong, wrong, wrong. Yes, this book is somewhat new-age but in world in which we unquestionly gulp down pills to 'fix' whatevers ailing us, this book is the voice of reason. Besides it never recommends to avoid mainstream medicine at all costs. It merely suggests to try some less invasive alternatives first. Our bodies know more than any pharmaceutical company -- it's time we started listening.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2001

    Be warned.

    If you are looking for no-nonsense information, this is not the book for you. Lots of new age advise, including the suggestion that you remain awake during a hysterectomy so you can say 'thank you, and goodbye' to your uterus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2000

    Great learning experience

    This is written in easy to understand style -- as opposed to doctorese. It is packed with information about how and often why a woman's body works the way it does. Dr. Northup explains in detail a woman's life stages and what to expect. How to interpret physical and lab exam reports. This should be required reading for college students taking womens' studies and on every woman's bookshelf.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2000

    Why Didn't My Doctor Ever Tell Me???

    Finally, someone who had the courage to tell women what is REALLY going on with their bodies when they turn 40. Doctors have always told us to take a pill...it will go away or...'its just your hormones out of control' or....you're just going through the change or...you are PMSing.... I have a word for them... YADDA YADDA YADDA!!!!!.... Thank God for your words of wisdom Christiane Northup. I'm not crazy afterall!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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