How difficult it is to be a woman in this age we currently live in. Such a mish-mash of expectations and standards, glass ceilings that still very much exist, decades of feminism that has not led to true equality, a culture of youth that asks us to defy ageing:
a culture of youth that has robbed our childhoods and asks emerging women to skip the passage of discovery to just arrive full blown into their sexuality at far too young an age; a culture of youth that asks women to put their career before making babies resulting in a generation of much older mothers; a culture of youth that devalues the wisdom that comes with ageing and requires women to attempt to defy that ageing.
Gynaecology at AcuHouse is centred in Womanhood, and we are here to support you, whatever age you are, to step into your power with grace and confidence, on your own terms, in your own time.
I know who I am. I am not perfect. I'm not the most beautiful woman in the world. But I am one of them. ~ Mary J. Blige
Our care is all about helping you find what you need, in the frame that you want, to find the solutions that work for you. We are as interested in supporting young women who are embarking into the beginning stages of their womanhood as we are in helping women through the powerful transition of menopause, and everyone in between.
As with all our treatment here at the AcuHouse, our approach to supporting your gynaecological condition is entirely integrative, and we are here to help support your medical management and treatment with all the added benefits that Chinese medicine brings.
Many women feel strongly about trying other approaches before going down the medical route, and we are here to help support you with the immense value of Chinese medicine diagnosis and treatment. We are also well suited to offer suggestions of when in fact Western treatment may be the best resource for helping you find the right solutions to treating your gynaecological discomforts and difficulties. We bring you the best of both worlds...
For Working Women, for women entering Menopause, and for Teenagers, and for women of all ages - please scroll down to see how we can help you to feel better.
"A woman is like a tea bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
The Chinese courts, where scholarly medicine was practised, were hotbeds of intrigue and sexual shenanigans. Within the context of the great imperative to produce male offspring there was a resultant imperative to study gynaecology and fertility: in order to understand how to generate the best possible health and fertility on the one hand, and also how to try and prevent unwanted, illicit pregnancy on the other.
It is very easy to study the physiology of women due to the cyclical nature of the menses, and the understanding that the health of a woman is reflected in her period has been understood from the very beginnings of this 3500 year old medicine.
The earliest records of medical writings on gynaecology in Traditional Chinese Medicine date back to 1500-1000 BC, the Chinese Bronze age, at the dawn of when written records began.
In modern China treatment of gynaecological diseases with Chinese medicine is so successful and popular that there are specialised hospitals throughout the country that dedicate the entire work of the hospital to gynaecological diagnosis and treatment alone, integrating both Western and Chinese medicine.
"If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman." ~Margaret Thatcher
Working Women - Coping With Menstrual Difficulties
Periods are normal. And a period that is behaving normally will be one that offers very little in the way of symptoms.
The normal symptoms of a regular well behaved period would be perhaps a little bit of breast tenderness, on the sides of the breast, not the middle, not sore nipples, not heavy, and a little bit of fluid retention in the lower abdomen, but not bloating, that is something else altogether.
So that's it girls. The 2 normal symptoms of a healthy period. The breast tenderness is about the hormone load that is being held in the lymph glands to orchestrate the sequencing that will govern the bleed and begin the next round of ovulatory function. The fluid retention, which should be at the end of the cycle, is about the body holding that bit extra in order to cushion the organs of the pelvis at this time when the uterus is larger than normal.
As soon as you begin to have symptoms beyond these normal aspects of menstruation, this is your body telling you that there are taxations. Sometimes there are hereditary issues, sometimes there are emotional issues, and most often there are impositions from work stress, or perhaps from unhelpful diet and lifestyle choices.
Stress, on any level, will always affect our digestive and reproductive hormone complexes, and a big part of our treatment here at the AcuHouse is helping you understand your stressors and finding solutions to reducing your stress. Acupuncture is one THE best treatments for relieving stress, and our treatments are not only going to help restructure your endocrine systems into better flow, we will always help you to feel more relaxed and more able to cope.
Here at the AcuHouse we are all about having healthy periods. We want to work with you, to do the detective work to determine all the factors that are affecting your menstrual function, and we will work together to find all the ways to help you have a regular cycle that is unproblematic.
This section is titled 'Working Women', which very much incorporates all university students (who are working very hard indeed), because the lifestyle that most work commitments engender is one that can tax our systems. These taxations - commuting, long days sitting at the computer, grab and go dietary habits - can compound to add up to the symptoms that are telling us that all is not well in the smooth flow of our menstrual sequencing.
Chinese medicine is much more than just acupuncture. The constitutional diagnosis will incorporate a good long look at the diet and lifestyle changes that will help to improve your experience of your periods.
Jani brings to her practice 20 years of study of Chinese medicine 'dietetics' - the study of how food is used as medicine. She will help to guideline your dietary choices, and, as ever, she is ideally suited to bring you all the expertise of her extensive network, helping to build for you the bespoke combinations of treatment that will add up to changing your symptoms into a smooth flowing, regular, unproblematic cycle.
Here at AcuHouse we bring you all of our wide-ranging and comprehensive experience to help you to find the solutions to your gynaecological issues. Whatever the problem may be, we are here to help you feel better.
"Feminism isn't about making women strong. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength." ~G.D. Anderson
Birth Control & Egg Freezing - Futureproofing
Marie Stopes in her Laboratory
Along with all the gynaecological issues as listed above, Jani is able to help all women, any age, to think about the best sort of birth control solutions for their particular situation and physicality.
There are many different kinds of birth control options, and Jani is concerned to help women make good choices that will suit their systems and help them feel well, rather than struggling with the many side effects that can happen with varying birth control choices.
The birth control pill is widely prescribed to control menstrual symptoms, even when girls/women are not sexually active and do not need it as a form of birth control.
There is an alternative to using the birth control pill to regulate menstrual symptoms. The Chinese medicine diagnosis can be a great help in managing menstrual discomforts and disharmonies, and through acupuncture and dietary guidelines we can help to change problematic symptoms into manageable and normal menstrual function.
Jani is most concerned to reach out to younger women, right from the onset of their choice to become sexually active, and to help young adults to look at their sexual and birth control choices in terms of future impact. Birth control is a fine thing, avoiding a pregnancy is certainly the right thing to do until such time as you feel ready to have babies.
Equally, women need to look more carefully at the choices they are making and determine the appropriate number of years they may need to be using birth control, and in that context to consider choices that mean they will not be using methods that may have long term accumulative effects that can impact negatively on their fertility.
Many women today are entering the workforce with ambitions to develop their career, which may necessarily mean they delay their childbearing until their 30's. Biologically we reach our peak fertility at age 28/29. There is a growing worldwide fertility problem in our western culture. At the moment 1-in-4 to 1-in-5 couples who are trying to conceive are having problems. The UK government estimates that by 2020 this figure will be 1-in-3.
This is a truly shocking acceleration, and Jani is concerned to help girls and women to make good choices that will help to preserve their fertility. We need to help educate this current generation of teens and 20-somethings to be aware of lifestyle and dietary choices that will help to protect their fertile capacity.
Jani's practice is based in a fertility unit, and here at The Fertility Partnership, 92 Harley Street we are on the cutting edge of fertility treatment. In-house we have an egg freezing service, with expert advice to help you make the choices and decisions that suit your particular needs and circumstances.
"Everyone is the age of their heart" ~Guatemalan Proverb
Our mantra for Genuine Health very much incorporates Ageing Gracefully. We want to help you mature into every stage of your life with a feeling of ‘being happy in the skin you’re in’.
Think Helen Mirren girls - one of the most genuinely beautiful women - who gives us the very best benchmark for Ageing Gracefully. Her beauty is in her shining sense of self - she inhabits her face, in that she very much embraces the age that she is - hence her genuine beauty, every bit as lovely in every one of her decades.
The Menopause can be a very difficult right of passage for some women; not least for suffering some of the physical symptoms that accompany this tremendous gear change in our hormonal complexes, but mostly because it is necessarily a time of great emotional transition.
Here at the AcuHouse our approach to treating menopause is very much in the frame of the whole person that is you, on all your levels. We firmly believe the transition into this new phase of life (free from the tyranny of the monthly period - hurrrah!) is a time of great importance in every woman's life.
Like birthing, this Right of Passage should bring us a sense of empowerment and accomplishment. In this current 'culture of youth' many women can find this transition into a maturity might be a difficult experience and may be finding it hard to resonate forward into celebrating the dawn of this new phase of their life - a phase of maturity and wisdom.
Symptoms of Menopause
Chinese medicine is wonderful for treating the symptoms of menopause.
There is this not inconsequential matter of some 35 centuries of practice to draw upon... centuries of tried and tested approaches to treating all things gynaecological. A Chinese medicine diagnosis helps us to understand exactly the right combinations of acupoints for you, the right diet and lifestyle advice, and the ability to determine if Chinese herbs might be very helpful treatment indeed.
Acupuncture treatment for menopause can revolutionise the way you are feeling during this transition time of your life, helping to resolve your uncomfortable symptoms, helping you feel well and balanced within yourself.
memory & cognitive changes
tiredness / lethargy / fatigue
Symptoms that warrant medical referral:
high blood pressure
Less common symptoms:
low blood pressure
ringing in the ears (Tinnitus)
aching joints and muscles
burning sensation in mouth
change in breath odor or “bad taste” in the mouth
change in body odor
unusual neurological experiences like “creepy crawly” feelings in the skin
“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom..." ~ Gabriel García Márquez
Teenage Menstrual Disharmonies
So many young women are now experiencing an increasing level of menstrual disharmonies throughout their teens. Menarch, the onset of menstruation is coming earlier and earlier, and for many girls the establishment of their periods brings discomforts that can make having a period an unpleasant difficulty, a hurdle, rather than a normal and comfortable, cyclical part of their lives.
It is very fair to say that most young adults now manage their daily lives in a flurry of balancing an overload of stressors and pressures. The current education system imposes a 4 year constancy of examinations throughout the GCSE and A level years, and added to that scholastic stress our young people now field a scale of social pressures that have never before been experienced by any generation of Teens. The internet has changed everything.
Never before have young adults been faced with so many adult realities, adult choices adult problems, before they have had the opportunity to go through the maturation processes that help them to learn to cope with these factors.
The chemistry of stress has a huge impact on the chemistry of our sexual & reproductive development and function, and in the case of teens, it has a significant impact on the development of healthy functioning of their hormone sequencing via the HPO (hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis). Many menstrual difficulties are due to disruption in this highly attuned feedback loop, and stress can easily knock menstrual function out of kilter.
Of added concern are the issues young women face in respect of body image, and the resultant eating habits that have a profound affect on hormonal balance. This is an area of practice that is Jani's expertise, understanding the intrinsic connection between the balance of the digestive hormones and the sexual/reproductive hormone complexes. Jani is concerned to help young women to understand that correct diet is a big part of regulating menstrual function, and she wants to help foster good eating habits that help to structure comfortable periods.
Jani's practise is steeped in understanding the endocrine systems (hormones), and she is concerned to turn this expertise towards addressing the issues that Teenagers now face. She wants to help build a better awareness in young women, helping them to understand how to better care for and protect their gynaecological health and future fertility.
What is now different and more complicated for our young adults in today's society is the inordinate amount of self exposure through social media. Both young men and young women are under unprecedented pressures in respect of an emphasis on their looks, their physique, and their weight.
The social media platforms have an inherent ability to employ judgement; you can 'like' something - or not. There are now many scholarly articles that show a clear correlation of the effects of social media on self esteem.
The tremendous exposure that our young people have to internet porn in this current culture is also influencing teens in a way that relates to these body image issues, generating a sexual mono-culture of expectation that can apply un-elicited pressure to look and behave in ways that they are being taught is the expected norm.
It is fair to say that the culture of porn is disenfranchising young adults from being able to experience their emerging sexuality as a time of exploration and discovery, and that for many young people their sexuality is becoming something formulaic, something that they feel need to fit themselves into, rather than discovering the who and how of their own unique sexuality for themselves. There is a kind of sexual identity-theft afoot; teens today are being taught to conform to something they might not otherwise want or choose.
Issues teenagers cope with:
the culture of thin
aspiration to the airbrushed mono-culture body shape
consistent exposure to soft porn in advertising / music videos
exposure to hard core pornography as examples of 'real' sex
a lack of good modelling for explorative sexual awakening
pressure to be sexual before feeling ready
exposure to a 'party' culture - alcohol and drugs are 'normal'
Issues related to teenage stress:
parental expectation pressures
lack of good parental role modelling
Teen Team - Experts you can trust
As ever, our AcuHouse message to you is our ability to connect you with our established network of expertise.
Jani has a wonderful cohort of expert practitioners skilled in working with this age group, that means we can help our young people to find the guidance they need to create the solutions they want, helping them to find a solid place of self esteem in healthy bodies that are housing happy hearts.
We all work in a completely professional capacity of confidentiality as applies to under 18's, we are all CRB checked, and our work is focussed in giving teenagers a safe place to unpack their issues and emotions in a way that gives them the surety of structured appropriate confidential support.
Jani is passionate about helping change the onslaught of issues that Teens are having to deal with, and her mission in the next 20 years is to reach teenagers and help them see beyond the imposition of how social media and peer pressure and scholastic pressure and family issues can influence their thoughts and feelings, their actions and reactions, their stresses and their concerns.