I was trained as a professional actress, singer, voice over artist and director. I was also trained as a dancer, but we won't go into that, as my friends in the business, I'm sure, will understand.
One of the things we talk about, as artists, is our biggest influences on our work. As a self-made herbalist and fertility expert, I'd like to address that question.
Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn's book Male Practice literally changed my life. It was a wake-up call after years of being mistreated and absolutely abused by my health practitioners, particularly in the area of women's health.
Let me go back a bit into my personal history. When I was a young woman, I began my monthly cycles. They were painful and irregular, which my (male) OBGYN assured me was normal. As the pain increased, I became unable to get out of bed for one, then two, then sometimes three or more days at a time. I was given birth control pills (BCP) even though I was not sexually active. In other words, this was not what BCP were intended for, and yet I was given BCP. This is called off-label use . I've hyperlinked that for you so that you can learn more about this practice, because it is legal and it is common and it is potentially dangerous and most if not all doctors will neglect to tell you this. At any rate, like most women with gynecological complaints that had no easy solution, I was given BCP as a first line of recourse.
BCP did not alleviate my pain. I was told to take aspirin (interestingly, this was not suggested by my doctor as a first course of treatment). Then when aspirin was found to be dangerous (particularly in children, which I was at the time!) I was told to take tylenol. Then I was given codine. Then a long string of narcotics. This was all well before I was 16 years old.
Nothing worked. So I was told that this was a psychosomatic problem and shuffled off to a couple of psychologists. I was reprimanded by them for my indulgence. I was even reprimanded by my father who would shout "get out of bed and you'll feel better." I couldn't and I didn't.
I don't blame dad. How could he have known what I was to learn only 4 years after suffering in this way...that I had Endometriosis, but unfortunately I couldn't find a doctor who would believe that this is what I had. I was told it was a "professional, white woman's disease." Yes. That's correct. And my parents and the doctors really bought into that.
Well, we know now that any woman can have Endometriosis. (Check out my article here for more details about this disease.) And, indeed, it took another two years for me to find an OBGYN, a woman, my first, it should be noted, who actually believed me and agreed to do exploratory surgery to prove it.
But I digress.
After my official diagnosis, more surgeries were to follow. So was the diagnosis of PCOS and "unexplained infertility" among others. And of course, the wide array of highly dangerous drugs with side effects such as death, cancer and permanent loss of fertility. Finally my new OBGYN suggested Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Had we run out of options so quickly?
This began my journey into so-called alternative medicine. I began to realize that there was another side to the only side of medicine I had ever known, and I wanted to learn more about it.
(You may have noticed that all of my posts to date contain links to books. There is a reason for that. This is how I learned and how others can learn, if they so choose.)
One of the first books to fall into my lap was Mendelsohn's How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor. If I were stranded on a desert island with only one book about childrearing to take with me, this would be it. The man is a genius! Mendelsohn (who is now deceased) was a former national director of Project Head Start's Medical Consultation Service and associate professor of Preventive Medicine and Community Health in the School of Medicine of the University of Illinois, as well as a practicing pediatrician for well over 30 years. He was mainstream...and was advocating against the system. This lead me to read his opus and best seller Confessions of a Medical Heretic. Also a must read with the caveat that one must be ready to internalize it. And this led me to Male Practice. Male Practice is, you guessed it, all about how women are mistreated in the medical profession, and how there is a grand tradition, perpetuated in medical school, for doing so.
Here was a virtual replay of my personal experiences thus far. From how doctors prescribe to what doctors prescribe, it was all laid out for me. And I realized what a precarious and dangerous situation I was treading in.
I moved slowly through the world of alternative or complimentary medicine (as it's sometimes called), eventually stumbling upon what I like to call Wise Woman Traditions. These are the folk traditions. The medical modalities of our ancestors. They involve energy healing and intuition, which has evolved into modern day EFT and reiki and the like but also concrete medicine, such as herbs and essential oils.
I first combined bits and pieces that I learned to heal myself and then, meeting others in my predicament, I began to help them to heal as well. And this is how Wise Woman Fertility was born.