Change is inevitable. Our lives are a series of transitions. Winter blooms into spring. Weekends slow down to Mondays. Puberty arrives and rearranges our psyche, feelings, and sense of self. And for half the population, menopause occurs. Change is constant in life. It’s always swirling around us, pulling us into its wake, and some changes are more transformative than others.
It is not so easy to navigate, especially with the shifts that herald a new season. It gets more daunting when the life transition in question is menopause—this is a moment when women are challenged in terms of identity, physicality, meaning and status. In the spirit of change and growth, we must redefine and wring new meaning from this life change, and reframe the narrative around female sexuality and health.
In this conversation with Kath Berry, we discuss women’s health, the transitionary stage of menopause, the need for self-care, and how Chinese medicine philosophies/treatments offer women a transition that includes more meaning and textured sense of self. We also talk about the value of learning how to “hold space” for our patients, reading the room, and offering the right emotional and physical support to help them navigate the tides and changes of life.
Listen into this discussion on navigating the transformative gateway of menopause, and the Yang Sheng principles of self-care.
In This Conversation We Discuss:
- Kath Berry’s path/calling into Chinese medicine
- Drug and alcohol medicine, pain management, offering care, and understanding the therapeutic relationships from a Chinese medicine perspective.
- Therapeutic frameworks as medicine and ‘measuring the immeasurable’
- The need for care with what we say to our patients, including the value of positive reinforcements
- The idea that there’s something about us that is right
- The Yang Sheng principles – self-care and the prevention of illness
- Chinese medicine as a treasure house for women’s health
- Reframing the negative narrative around menopause and helping women navigate this transformative experience
- Using acupuncture and herbs to help people connect with resources they didn’t know they had
- Menopause, the role of sex, and the idea of ‘sexercise’
- Approaching women’s sexual health as a male practitioner
- The role of epidurals, hormone replacement therapy, IVF, and other forms of modern medicine in women’s health
If a woman begins preparing for menopause well in advance, she can reduce the severity of many issues. By eating well, exercising sufficiently, and practicing yang sheng self-care techniques, it is possible to remain healthy both during and after menopause.
Educating patients in lifestyle advice and autonomy is the greatest gift we have as clinicians.
Kath B. Berry, BHSc, MSc, is an acupuncture educator with over 25 years clinical experience. Having completed a bachelor’s degree in TCM in Australia, in 2000, Kath spent time working in several hospitals in China before returning to Australia and completing a Master of Science Research degree in addiction medicine.
Concurrently, with a passion for enhancing the acupuncture profession through high quality education, networking and mentoring, Kath set up a nonprofit organization The Acupuncture Network. In 2007 she studied at the Lincoln Recovery Center in NYC with Dr Michael Smith and is a certified NADA ear acupuncture trainer. From 2008 to 2010 she worked with Balance Healthcare and the JCM in the UK before setting up an online education company to provide CPD training for Acupuncturists all over the world. After moving to Ibiza in Spain in 2015 she was nominated Vice President of the Acupuncture Now Foundation and consultant to Evidence Based Acupuncture, USA non-profit advocacy organizations.
In 2019 she developed the Menopause Masterclass with eminent acupuncture specialists; their teachings are shared at TreatingWomen.com and are the foundation for an upcoming textbook Menopause: A Comprehensive Guide for Practitioners co-authored with Natalie C. Saunders.
Links and Resources
Visit Kath’s website at www.treatingwomen.com