November 11, 2011:
I was looking forward to reading this book and now that I’m into the first four pages I am super excited about reading this book! I can already see that Melissa Assilem has the type of philosophical insight to speak with authority and with the most eloquent and enlightening filter on menopause. The first four pages (read last night at midnight) have already brought me back to my twenties when first enthusiastically delving into feminist reading. This is going to be sooo excellent.
November 15th, 2011
So, yes, I could’ve easily been finished this book by now. However, I got stuck at page 63 when I put it down for a while. I wasn’t so sure exactly where my enthusiasm waned until I picked it up and reread the section that I left off at. Here is where Assilem has tackled the subject of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Such a pertinent and essential topic. I’m so grateful that she wrote about a herstorical perspective leading us to where we are today. It illuminates and gives confidence to a developing more solid opinion of my own. However, the segment I left off at went a bit too far and reminded me that everybody has their own filter. Assilem describes the side effects of hormonal treatment as follows: “This also means these women will not only have a period and increase in cancer risk, and the cherry on the cake, they may also experience an artificially raised libido. The risk persists for upwards to 10 years after ceasing HRT”
Well, maybe Assilem is highlighting that the conventional medical system ignores the raised libido as a problem side effect as misogynistic because it serves the male wants/needs and assumptions that women want that. But I would say that Assilem’s idea that women wouldn’t want a raised libido sounds reminiscent of the patriarchal and repressive concept that women shouldn’t have nor express their own sex drive. More likely, Assilem is just pointing out that there are unnatural consequences of HRT! As far as side effects go, I’d prefer the libido 'problem' to the cancer one!
The other thing that has me a bit distracted from the book is the minimal references to Homeopathy, or Homeopathic Remedies. On the other hand there are some straightforward and very useful analyses on the conventional treatments for Menopause. These types of perspective are difficult to find. The way she’s lead up to it by including the way that our medical system has a mechanical view of our bodies and the idea of our hormonal system as the problem is the essential and invaluable understanding.
November 21st, 2011
The message that I see so clearly out of this is that the only thing that the medical system does ‘holistically’ is to wholly ignore our own body’s inherent intelligence and abilities. Instead attempting to kybosh our perfectly designed transformation into the wise women that we’re meant to become after reproduction is no longer our system’s focus. This is a book I can see myself quoting from and referencing many times over some of my favourite clients. It will help me to illuminate some important points of consideration when discussing the transformation into Menopause and beyond.
By Elena Cecchetto DCH, CCH, HMC, RSHom(NA)