“I Could Talk About Periods All Day Long!”
You’ve got to admit that isn’t a phrase you hear often—or ever, really. If you’re one of those women who can pirouette her way through every day of the month without ever having a cramp or blood clot make her knees buckle…well hello, I greet you in awe. I can only relate to your menstrual life experience as a fantasy bedtime story.
Now, I get how this cycle of femininity is a marvel, which is why the PMS or never-funny “Aunt Flow” or “on the rag” jokes have always disappointed me. Our bodies are too beautifully complex to let that be the extent of our—or anybody else’s—angles on the topic. There is more to be said about periods and period health. And for the millions of us who have fought to merely survive the pain from one month to the next, it’s time we open up and get serious about this conversation.
Enter Nicole Jardim, Women’s Holistic Health Coach, who says, “I could talk about periods all day long!” Indeed, as founder of The Healthy Elements, Nicole specializes in helping women resolve period problems and overcome conditions caused by hormonal imbalances, such as: polycystic ovarian syndrome, severe PMS symptoms, adrenal fatigue, and fertility problems. She is on a mission to redefine women’s health. And I say we follow her lead…
Naturally Savvy (Alicia Haywood): Beyond the PMS jokes, are we finally talking about periods now and the real emotional and physical hardship that could be attached to them?
Nicole Jardim: Yes, I believe there has finally been a shift in the discussion on women's health. Unfortunately there is still a lot of stigma attached to the subject but my colleagues and I have seen an overall improved mainstream attitude towards women's health issues. Unfortunately it's a slow process and I personally think it is not moving fast enough! Just sayin'. I feel like it's somewhat of a grassroots effort led by women who are sick and tired of being sick and tired. They are seeking out practitioners who will empower them to heal through recognizing that these issues are indeed real and addressing the root cause rather than treating the symptoms.
Naturally Savvy (Alicia Haywood): Who is your typical client?
Nicole Jardim: My typical clients are women in their late teens, 20s or 30s, who are overstressed, overworked, burned out, hormonally imbalanced and struggling with one or more issues related to their menstrual health. These issues are almost always caused by an underlying hormonal imbalance. My clients are typically dealing with PMS or PMDD (a more severe form of PMS), Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Endometriosis, Fibroids, Adrenal Fatigue, low sex drive, and/or some other condition related to the reproductive organs.
Naturally Savvy (Alicia Haywood): What happens during a Fix Your Period session with you?
Nicole Jardim: We talk a whole lot! In our initial session I ask clients to visualize what they want their lives to look like. This is so important because women who are struggling with menstrual issues usually feel like their lives are severely hindered. Some of them can't leave the house when they get their periods, while others don't want to go on dates. The physical issues become a huge emotional burden. So I ask them to picture what their menstrual health and their life would be like if I waved a magic wand and sprinkled some fairy dust.
I take a very individualistic approach to each client and session because every client's body and life is completely different. In each session I address the client's main health concerns, we discuss the possible causes of these health concerns and together we come up with ways she can start to turn things around. My sessions are definitely very empowering and proactive for my clients.
Naturally Savvy (Alicia Haywood): Do you believe every period is fixable?
Nicole Jardim: Oh yes! My goal is to guide each woman to become more balanced, more vital, more feminine and totally hormonally balanced. Our bodies are designed to heal themselves if given the proper nourishment. This of course not only includes food, but the right physical and emotional support as well. And time. We need to give our bodies and our periods time to recalibrate…after all, it usually takes a long time to become imbalanced and symptomatic so naturally it will take a while to reverse these issues. For some women it might take weeks and for others it could be months. It usually takes 3-4 months for a woman's cycle to begin regulating itself once she has started to address the causes of the problem. There could be one cause or a number of underlying causes – this takes time to figure out
Some women actually start to see improvements after just two weeks in my programs whereas others might not see positive changes for a month or two. I have one client whose ovulation pain was greatly reduced after two weeks and another who's chronic stomach issues (which are very much related to menstrual health by the way), began to resolve after just a week.
Naturally Savvy (Alicia Haywood): Do you believe the average woman is tuned into her body enough to really understand how it responds to what she puts in it?
Nicole Jardim: I believe most women have been programmed to tune out the messages their bodies are sending them. However, there is a huge shift happening where women are starting to become aware of these messages. They know something is wrong but they aren't entirely sure how to fix it. I would say almost every woman who contacts me has become aware that modern medicine's one-size-fits-all approach is no longer working for her particular needs and she is very much interested in taking an alternative route to period health and happiness. My job is to awaken the average woman to the inner workings of her unique body so that she can understand how it responds to what she puts in it or on it. She must become an expert on her body in order to fully deal with her condition.
Food and self-awareness are really powerful tools and many times we underestimate that. Women are always much more embracing of change if they understand how and why something is happening to them. I give them that in my 4-week program and they can use these techniques for the rest of their lives. As long as women implement as many of my recommendations as they can, they will see the most glorious results!
Naturally Savvy (Alicia Haywood): What's in the period survival guide that makes it a unique must-have?
Nicole Jardim: I don't know that you can't find the information in the period survival guide anywhere else, but you probably can't find it all in the same place! Or in as pretty a package! 🙂 My period survival guide breaks down the unique cyclical nature of a woman's body into four different phases of the menstrual cycle. In addition, it shows women how to live more in harmony with their cycle through food choices, self-care practices and exercise. When a woman lives in sync with her cycle she can maximize all areas of her life – family, relationships and career.
Naturally Savvy (Alicia Haywood): How would you compare the work you do with Arvigo massage? Are you familiar with this technique?
Nicole Jardim: I LOVE Arvigo massage and I think every woman should have one done or at least learn how to do it on herself. I had my first session last year and it changed my life. I have struggled with cramps for as long as I can remember and while they have drastically improved since changing my life and my career, they are still somewhat of an issue for me. Die-hards, I tell ya! After my Arvigo massage, which involved some manual uterus manipulation :-), my cramps were literally half of what they used to be! I even wrote a blog postabout it. I absolutely think that this work is a complement to the work I do, and I recommend it to all of my clients.
Naturally Savvy (Alicia Haywood): Have you built a community of women supporting each other through period/hormonal struggles?
Nicole Jardim: I currently have a community of women in a private Facebook group who share their hormonal sagas as well as their brags when they start to see positive changes. I have found women are so much more engaged and ready for change when they realize that they are not alone in this hormone-challenged world! My ultimate goal in 2013 is to create a larger Fix Your Period community so that I can engage as many women as possible.
Naturally Savvy (Alicia Haywood): What about women who want/need to see you, but don't live in your area?
Nicole Jardim: I have structured my business so that 90% of it is online, over the phone or via Skype. This enables me to have clients all over the world! Isn't the internet a beautiful thing?
To connect with Nicole Jardim, visit TheHealthElements.com.
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Image credit: Nicole Jardim, Founder of The Healthy Elements