On "Yinning"

The solstice is drawing near. The season of yin is fully surrounding us. I was joking with a friend this evening, as I lay in the warm bath, that I was “yinning”. It has become my favorite activity of late, this “yinning.” Yinning, for me, includes long baths, cooking in a relaxed and inspired manner, following the flow of my 5 year old at play and in his curiosity, knitting, sitting by the fire, and listening to the rain on the roof, among other things. It is pretty awesome!

I am a Naturopathic Doctor and, not only does this job mean managing a lot of patients and their health concerns, but it also means being self-employed, which, for those of you who don't know, is a tiring, never-ending job. Because of several moves in the 8 years I have been in private practice, I have effectively become an expert in starting and developing small alternative healthcare practices/ businesses. To do this, each and every time, required me to be in what I will call a very “yang” mode of living. I had to go out, make connections, network, explain my work, promote my practice, advertise, market, and be “presentable” at all times. In Lissa Rankin and Christiane Northrup’s words, I was being “spermy.” Effectively, for a woman, this type of lifestyle can deplete the yin in our systems if we are not careful. I was not careful.

When I read Lissa Rankin’s book (The Anatomy of A Calling) this fall I was highly amused by her analogy of choosing whether or not we want to be “spermy” or “eggy” in the world. In recent years I have been grappling with my own masculine and feminine natures. Becoming a mother in the midst of trying to start and run a medical practice essentially meant that I had this constant tug urging me to stop being the way I had been all of my life: “spermy.” I pursued academics and my career, I went for my dreams, I pursued the people I wanted to date, I made shit happen and it was awesome! But there came a time when “making shit happen” no longer worked. It just has not worked for me in the last few years. Honestly, some days it has me quite baffled.  The message that comes through loud and clear continues to be: stop striving; be “eggy”.

So, here I sit on December 3, listening to the rain splat on the skylight, interrupting the space of silence that is my house, looking outside into the blackness, feeling soft and fresh from my long bath and allowing myself to sink into some active “yinning.” I am contemplating my practice of medicine and my business, wondering how I can continue to grow it if I am being “eggy” in my life. I have to trust that there is a greater context to this life and that the myopic focus I have taken all of these years is but a fraction of what there actually is to experience in this life. It is time for me to embrace the yin, to let my foot off the gas pedal and stop making so many plans. In the words of David Whyte, “What you can plan is too small for you to live. What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough for the vitality hidden in your sleep.”

This deep urge to engage in “yinning” feels like my soul’s wisdom coming through. In the context of the upheaval in our world today, I can’t help but wonder if this compulsion to stop pushing is yet another facet of the return of the Yin, of the feminine; a divine call that is bringing us back into balance. I hear it coming from the mouths of my friends and patients, I feel it surging in women’s emotions and struggles as they present in my office, knowing that something “more” needs to happen- something very different from how they have ever lived life before. I am deeply confident that we all (men too) would benefit from some “yinning”, especially right now as we move deeper into the season of Yin.

So, find some time and some space to stop doing and allow all of your senses to open up. Allow yourself moments of silence and stillness. If you have busy children, take this time to just watch them- the stillness is within you. Take a moment to step outside and feel what the plants and trees are doing at this time of year. Notice the cool air and the darkness compelling you to slow down. Now is the time, both seasonally and in the history of our earth and our society. It is time to slow down, to take note, to break down that which is not working and to allow ourselves to see and experience what emerges, without pushing, without being too “spermy.”

Stay tuned for another post to come on what "yinning" has to do with fertility....





My Return To Victoria: Women's Pelvic Floor Health

I am thrilled to be returning to Sage Clinic in Victoria after practicing and studying in California for the past few years! I am bringing with me two new therapies that I believe can not only transform the lives of individual women, but will contribute to the overall shift in consciousness and healing that we all are feeling emerging right now. We are returning to the feminine on a global level, but we, as women, have been measured against a masculine scale of what is "good" and acceptable on so many levels. Women have internalized this message to such a degree that our reproductive systems are dysfunctional in many ways. Our menses are out of sync, they bring us pain and discomfort, they exhaust us, and many women believe they impinge us from being able to compete in the masculine rat-race (ie birth control pills taken almost constantly to minimize cycling to 4 times a year, or less!). Did you know that a normal, healthy menstrual cycle from a well aligned uterus should start with no PMS symptoms, and should be about 3-5 days in duration, with no more than 2-3 hours of mild cramping, producing bright red blood with no clots? Next, of course, our ability to conceive and birth children naturally has been deeply impacted, and therefore so is our capacity to really show up in our feminine as we raise our children.

While our minds and hearts are engaging these shifts in the world on a philosophical level, our tissues continue to hold onto not only our personal histories, but the lineage from which we come, and even the global consciousness around what is feminine. For thousands of years, women have not felt safe to be fully in their power, fully in their feminine. Amazingly, we are starting to see this turn in our very own lifetimes!

The work I am bringing to my practice in Victoria can have as many layers to it as a woman desires. As a licensed Naturopathic Physician, I work with homeopathic medicine and herbal formulas, nutrition and the basic building blocks of material health. I also work in the energetic/ emotional/ spiritual layer in helping women to release all that they hold and move into power, passion, creativity, and more! I see people for the body work who already have an ND, which is great and works out well. In my practice, these two therapies can be stand alone therapies, or you can receive both treatments over the course of time, as they are deeply complimentary. You can also add in ND care from me, if you so desire.

The first therapy is called the Arvigo Technique of Mayan Abdominal Therapy. It is a massage technique that helps to re-align the uterus and the digestive organs, and also relieves congestion of blood and lymph throughout the abdomen and pelvis. Did you know that varicose veins in your rectum, vaginal tissue, thighs and even down into your legs can be caused by congestion in the pelvis? I typically recommend 3 treatments in the office, done about 3-4 weeks apart. At the time of treatment women are given the tools to deepen the work at home through a self-care massage practice. **(A uterus can become mis-aligned from pregnancy, difficult childbirth, carrying heavy loads around menses, high heeled shoes, running and dancing with high impact, injury to sacrum/ tailbone, chronic constipation, surgeries, motor vehicle accidents... the list goes on....)

The second piece I am bringing back with me is called Holistic Pelvic Care. I trained with a woman name Tami Kent, who wrote the book Wild Feminine. If you have not read it, I highly recommend it! HPC is an internal process of releasing myofascial blockages (and therefore energy and emotions) from the pelvic bowl. Because of the nature of the pelvic bowl (and the organs it supports), women also report changes in back, hip and knee pain after this type of work. HPC is similar to what a physiotherapist does to help a woman rehabilitate her pelvic floor, however, I bring to it a deeper attention to the emotional/ spiritual/ energetic healing aspect of the work. Women hold so much of our story in our pelvic floor. When we start to work with those tissues and bring our awareness into this largely overlooked part of our bodies, massive amounts of energy start to move! Typically, women have at least 3 session, and sometimes as many as 9 sessions, spaced as close together or as far apart as you feel comfortable with.

Both therapies are great for menstrual complaints, organ prolapse, reproductive concerns/ fertility, increasing libido and creativity, and many, many other concerns or complaints.

You can read more about each one here:
Holistic Pelvic Care (HPC)
Arvigo Techniques of Mayan Abdominal Therapy (ATMAT)

Thanks for reading a bit about my work. I am so excited to be back, and to bring these therapies into the community, along with my ND work. Please let me know if you have questions or want to book an appointment!

In Health,