Medicine of Empowerment: Finding Strength in Your Inner Guide

From the Show: HER
Summary: Learn about this new approach to women's health and wellness that addresses the empowerment of women's bodies, minds and spirits.
Air Date: 1/22/15
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Christiane Northrup, MD
Christiane NorthrupChristiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women's health and wellness, which includes the unity of mind, body, emotions, and spirit. Internationally known for her empowering approach to women's health and wellness, Dr. Northrup teaches women how to thrive at every stage of life.

A board-certified OB/GYN physician, Dr. Northrup graduated from Dartmouth Medical School and did her residency at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston. She was also an assistant clinical professor of OB/GYN at Maine Medical Center for 20 years.

Dr. Northrup has spent her life as an advocate for women's health and wellness, first as a practicing OB/GYN physician for 25 years and now as an internationally respected writer and speaker. Her books have been translated into 24 languages.
  • Book Title: Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing
Medicine of Empowerment: Finding Strength in Your Inner Guide
The definition of empowerment is the process to give an individual the strength, action, control and own decision-making capabilities. When you think of empowerment, you may think about leaders within society's history of oppression and injustice. However, did you know empowerment can also be used on a daily basis within your own life?

According to Dr. Christiane Northrup's book, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing, she believes it's within your inner guidance that gives you empowerment throughout your life. Everyone has an inner guidance (emotions, desires, feelings that drive you throughout your life) that helps create vibrant health.

This inner guidance is also responsible for your hopes and dreams and helps you seek the love, fulfillment and joys. This inner "compass" holds the ability to empower and heal during times of grief, disbelief and hardships.

However, when you're not feeling like yourself, or if someone like a doctor is telling you drastic news, you may drift away from your inner guidance and listen to someone else. But, you know your mind, body, and spirit better than anyone. Regardless of an illness or a diagnoses, or a medical suggestion, you need to listen to your inner guidance and decide what's best for YOU.

When you're finally able to connect your thoughts, beliefs, health and life circumstances, you may find it to be more empowering when you're in control of your own life and where it's headed.

Through her personal and medical experiences as a mother, OB/GYN, and a midlife woman, Dr. Northrup has come up with a new approach to women's health and wellness that addresses the empowerment of women's bodies, minds and spirits.

What are some ways you can listen to your inner guidance and find medicine in empowerment?

Join Dr. Northrup as she explains what it means to find medicine of empowerment, and how you can gain back your inner guidance.

RadioMD Presents: HER Radio | Original Air Date: Thursday, January 22, 2015
Hosts: Michelle King Robson and Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest: Christiane Northrup, MD

Dr. Peeke: I’m feeling really empowered today, how about you Michelle?

Michelle: I feel empowered everyday with EmpowHER. I think this topic is going to be great with the medicine of empowerment, right?

Dr. Peeke: Yes. Dr. Christiane Northrup, our wonderful friend, is here to tell us all about that. Dr. Northrup is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Like I always say, just go on out and buy every flipping book she ever wrote. The book that we’re going to drawing this medicine of empowerment from is Dr. Northrup’s book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing. Christiane is that in its 2nd, 3rd, or 4th edition? I’ve lost count.

Dr. Northrup: We are in the third edition. It’s sort of a biblical book, it covers everything. It doesn’t cover hospice, but it might cover that later. Cradle to grave, we’ve got you covered.

Dr. Peeke: I love it. You also have a new book, Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being. It’s going to be coming out in another several weeks, so everyone hop on Amazon and pre-order that little hummer. Today we are going to talk about empowerment. What does empowerment mean?

Dr. Northrup: It means to tap into the power that you have. It’s not power over, it’s the power that you have. Let’s assume that you’ve had some kind of loss, like a broken heart, a setback at work, you’ve been fired, or any of those things. There is always gold to be mined in those situations. Instead of being a victim in your life, you figure out: “Okay I’ll be mindful of this situation and then I’m going to find out the power in it.” So we move from being a victim to feeling empowered by moving through whatever is happening, understanding that all things happen for a reason, and there can be power even in the worst situations.

Michelle: That’s so true. It happened with me. That’s why I started EmpowHER.com, because I got sick and I couldn’t get well. There is so much truth in empowerment. Talk to me about what it means to have medicine in empowerment.

Dr. Northrup: Well, mostly medicine, and certainly Pam can chime in on this; it sets a mean in front of us. It sets a standard. Like, let’s talk about bone density. It gives you a standard deviation; you’re supposed to have your bone density this way. Or if you’re in labor you’re supposed to follow a Friedman labor curve. What happens is, people become disempowered because they pay far more attention to some standard, that in medicine we are supposed to apply to everyone, than to tap into what they know in their own bones about their own bodies. When you have a doctor or a nurse practitioner or a midwife who understands your knowledge of your body and then they marry it with their knowledge of your body, then you have the medicine of empowerment. The two of you are working in partnership instead of the old model: “I’m the expert and you don’t know anything.” My uncle was a doctor like that. When I asked what he saw when he looked in my ears as a kid he said: “what medical school did you go to?” As though no one has knowledge of what goes on in their own body. We all do.

Michelle: I couldn’t agree more.

Dr. Peeke: It’s interesting. Michelle was saying why she had created EmpowHER which is really the beehive community for women, talking to women, and empowering each other. I’m curious. What was the motivation behind writing your book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom?

Dr. Northrup: Back in the 80s, what I was noticing, believe it or not, PMS was kind of new to the Ob-Gyn community and they became alerted to it by an article in Family Circle. I’m not kidding. It gave a name to women suffering premenstrually. As I began to work with women I didn’t tell them they were crazy and it was all in their heads; I began to listen to them. Many of them were the adult children of alcoholics or they had been sexually abused. My colleagues said: “Oh. We only see normal women. You see all the nut bags.” Now we know that 1 in 3 women on the planet has been raped or abused or will be. This is the rape or abuse of the feminine. It’s 1 in 7 men, at least. As I began to hear the stories, I thought: “Nobody’s talking about this.” Why would 40% of women have PMS and menstrual cramps, or 60%? Why would so many women, 60% of women have hysterectomies by the age of 60? If we were taking out that many testicles as we take out ovaries, there would be a big hue and cry about the family jewels. So why are we doing this to women and why are women so willing to sacrifice?

Michelle: I was a willing participant because the doctors told me that that was what I was supposed to do. Instead of tapping in to my power, like we were talking about, I did the opposite. If they would have said they wanted to cut off my right arm, I would have let them. It was so bad. I couldn’t agree with you more. I want to ask you some more questions. What is your approach to health and wellness that address the empowerment of women’s bodies, minds, and spirits.

Dr. Northrup: First of all, you have to understand what Edgar Cayce said way back. The spirit is the source, the mind the builder, the body the result. When you’ve got something going on in your physical body, let me tell you, your soul loves you so much that many times it has come through your body to get your attention. We have this mind/body spilt built right into us. Despite the fact that we now have the instrumentation to document, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that emotional pain registers in the physical body, we still treat it like a mind/body split. Doctors are still taught that way, it’s called Newtonian Dualism. In fact, we are a seamless piece. What I like to teach people is that the minute you have anything, ask yourself this question: “What is going on in my life at this time?” The body is very symbolic. All of these women with thyroid problems, do you think it has to do with something about having our unique feminine voice quelled in our culture?

Dr. Peeke: When you’re talking about this, you featured me in your first book (the first edition), because of the new research that had come out about the relationship between stress hormones and the deposition of fat. It’s interesting that women who have a past history of abuse, especially in their childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood have a 90% increased incidence associated with food and addictive like eating behaviors, which I wrote about in Hunger Fix. It’s interesting. Everything you are saying makes all the sense in the world. Mind and body as a unity, no more of this cutting us in half thing, I love your thrust in this.

The book is Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing. I want to make sure you know the website. It’s: http://www.DrNorthrup.com. She’s helped us understand, today, what the medicine of empowerment is. Why we want to go to that place of strength, of inner strength, and then to stand up for ourselves. As Dr. Northrup said so beautifully, we need to advocate for our own health and wellness. Thank you Dr. Northrup for being on HER Radio. I’m Dr. Pam Peeke with Michelle King Robson.

Michelle: Women, you need to listen to your own bodies. It’s all about mind, body, and spirit and the connection of those three things. You’re listening to HER Radio on RadioMD. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. Stay well.