From diet to hormones to mindfulness and fertility, we’ve rounded up 8 excellent women’s health tips from some of the very best doctors, trainers, psychologists and experts in the country. Read now, bookmark, and enjoy your best health ever!
1. Beat the bloat the Chinese medicine way
In Chinese medicine, bloating is often a sign that your digestive system is unhappy. It is so common these days to look at food in terms of nutrition content (think superfoods, the raw food revolution etc) but have you thought about how your body will go digesting that food?
Your body has a certain “digestive fire” (known as Spleen Qi and Yang) that fires up to digest your food and extract the nutrients that it can. If your digestion is weak, and this “fire” is diminished, then eating raw and cold foods will only make it harder on your body, causing bloat. Try eating warm and cooked, nourishing foods to support and encourage your digestion to get back on track.
Dr Vivian Tam, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine & Founder of Cosmetic Acupuncture Melbourne
2. Take note of your feelings, without judgement
To be mindful of emotions, we need to stand back and notice our feelings without condemning ourselves or struggling. We can learn to observe, without judgement, emotions, thoughts and physical reactions driving our state of mind and behaviours.
If we ignore painful emotions, struggle against these or punish ourselves, we detach and ultimately lose ourselves. We might seek to numb ourselves through drugs, alcohol, shopping eating or busyness. This results in life being harder than necessary and we lose the opportunity to heal through awareness and choose a wise and compassionate way to respond that helps us grow in the longer-term.
Checking in with yourself, practicing meditation, taking time to slow down, talking through a problem, asking for help, practicing kindness and nurturing of ourselves during a hard time and learning some mindfulness skills can help with this.
Carolyn Toon, Psychologist & Director of Axis Clinic
3. Rethink your workout goals
My top tip for women’s health would be that strong is better than skinny. Strength training, through Reformer or any form of resistance training, will improve your core, arms, legs and spine. It will tone and tighten all those little areas we find a little difficult to love about ourselves and it improves our health, wellbeing and fitness overall. Strong is sexy!
Alexandra Grounds, Head Pilates Teacher at Reformation Pilates
4. Don’t leave the fertility discussion to the last minute
Don’t get complacent about your fertility window. Remember that there are lots of options, even if you’re not ready to have a baby immediately. The best time to start thinking and having the conversation is now, and with the right people! It’s important to get a realistic and accurate idea of your options.
Dr Devini Ameratunga, Fertility Specialist and Gynaecologist at Brisbane Gynaecology & IVF
5. Regulate hormones with massage
Women can suffer from various hormonal imbalances in their life time such as PMS, PCOS, perimenopause and menopause. Some physical signs associated with these imbalances are fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain. Massage can help to regulate neurohormones, such as the dopamine and serotonin produced by the nervous system, which works together with the endocrine system and hypothalamus, which are responsible for the production and release of hormones to the reproductive system.
Mariana Stamatopoulos, Remedial Massage Therapist at Collins Place Physio
6. Balance your feminine energy
I recommend that women balance their feminine energy by keeping their hormones in check. Hormone balance incorporates optimal health of mind, body and spirit. With the three in balance, it means that women metabolise food better, do not retain fluid, think clearer, have more physical energy to exercise and generally enjoy their everyday life. A great product available in Australian pharmacies is Oriental Botanicals Women’s Qi.
Ingrid Issa, Nutrition Specialist
7. Look after your feet
Women are four times more likely to develop foot related problems during their lifetime than men. The most prevalent of these problems, such as bunions and neuromas, are often directly linked to incorrectly fitting, non-supportive footwear. When buying shoes, always make sure you consider the materials used (leather is generally preferred), the shape of the shoes (don’t squash those toes!), and security (some sort of fastening to the foot by laces or straps).
Caitlin Topham, Podiatrist, Bared Footwear
8. Clean out your handbag
Wearing a strap over the same shoulder while carrying a handbag will cause the muscles on that side of your neck to overwork and may cause you to lean to that side which will place extra stress on your spine. Over time this can cause imbalances in your body, cause your muscles to fatigue and contribute to your risk of injury.
In order to minimise the effect of carrying a bag every day, try to clean out your bag every few weeks and change shoulders every 10 minutes or so to spread the load evenly.
Conor Brennan, Physiotherapist at Collins Place Physio