Black Women experience societal, familial, cultural, gender-driven pressures that keep us constantly striving for excellence while also apologizing for our excellence (as women of all races/colors/ethnicities are typically groomed to do) and this includes excellence in how we seek medical care. Even though Black Women suffer the most severe consequences of biased medical care, we continue to defer to medical help for our severe menstrual pain and problems, especially the high prevalence of fibroids--which are experienced at a much higher rate by Black American Women than any other race.
In this article, we delve into the science and strategies behind ending period pain and treating fibroids in a natural, holistic way. But this is not just about your physical well-being; it's about reclaiming your power, embracing your unique strengths, and transforming your life in the most sumptuously luxurious way possible. This is how we "fight" for our place at the table--not by demanding a seat from someone else, but by leaning so powerfully into our innate strengths that people fall all over themselves in an effort to get us that seat...OR...we make our own table.
Today let's gain insights into the complex interplay between stress, societal pressures, and the development of fibroids, so that we can be inspired to overcome pushback and overcompensation, leading to a healthier, more empowered existence. Our period problems are reflecting back to us dis-ease in our mental, spiritual, and emotional bodies--our work here at Steady + Free proves that solving our period problems is not nearly as difficult and painful as the severity of our suffering because what we are really doing is coming home.
In this article:
Prioritizing Radical Self-Care during Menstruation
The HPA Relay: Understanding the Connection between Stress and Fibroids
Stress is a silent but powerful force that affects our bodies in ways we may not even realize. It's important to recognize its impact, especially for Black Women who often face unique challenges and are continuously overlooked in society. In this section, we will delve into the science behind the connection between stress and the development of fibroids in the womb--this topic is also covered in depth in the White Paper sponsored by the Hendricks Institute, access it here.
Fibroids, also known as uterine leiomyomas, are non-cancerous growths that occur in the uterus. They can cause painful periods, heavy bleeding, and even interfere with fertility. While the exact cause of fibroids is still unknown, research suggests that stress plays a significant role in their development.
The Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis, commonly referred to as the HPA relay, is responsible for regulating our body's response to stress. When we experience stress, our adrenal glands release cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone, which helps our bodies cope with the situation. However, chronic stress can lead to an imbalance in this system, causing cortisol levels to remain elevated for extended periods.
When cortisol is continuously released into the bloodstream, it can have detrimental effects on the female reproductive system. The uterus, in particular, is highly susceptible to the effects of stress hormones because it lies at the end of the HPA relay, which directly connects the brain (where the stress receptors lie) and the uterus, so the cortisol physically deposits to the uterus, and consistent deposits result in menstrual imbalance. Research has shown that cortisol can directly impact the growth of fibroids, promoting their development and contributing to their progression.
For Black Women, the intangible suffering experienced due to societal pressures and systemic racism often manifests as tangible pain in the form of fibroids. The burden of constantly having to prove oneself, facing discrimination, and enduring microaggressions can take a toll on both mental and physical well-being. It's crucial to recognize this connection and address the root causes of stress to effectively treat fibroids and alleviate period pain.
By understanding the link between stress and fibroids, Black Women (we) can empower ourselves to take control of our health and make conscious choices that promote well-being. In the next section, we will explore how we can shift to ending our period pain and compelling the resorption of fibroids--the way is surprisingly simple!
Embracing Physiological Givens: Doubling Down on Innate Strengths
As Black Women, we face unique challenges in society that often question our rights and overlook our abilities. It is essential for us to recognize and embrace our physiological needs, as doing so can lead to improved well-being and success in diverse leadership roles.
Society champions the idea of "the strong Black Woman", which typically illustrates a woman staying longer hours at work for a fraction of the pay that a White Male earns, maintaining the home, raising the children, and serving as a refuge of peace, hope, and comfort for their partners. As a Black Woman, I was taught that I had to be 10x smarter and 10x more responsible for my contributions to any situation because I will be held to a different standard than counterparts of other races. At the same time, I faced pressure to remember my place and to not get too carried away by my accomplishments--names like "Oreo" and comments like, "Why do you speak White?" were common from members of my race and comments like: "you must be mixed, there is no way that you are all Black" or comments of sincere wonder like, "Wow, you speak so eloquently" were normal for me as I journeyed to adulthood. So where is the relief for us, when as a Collective we're set up to never get it "right"? Our periods are the answer. Our womb health points the way.
Instead of succumbing to societal expectations, we focus on our unique strengths and innate qualities. By embracing our physiological needs and strengths which are: being, receiving, intuiting, creating, birthing, inspiring, guiding, leading, nurturing, we tap into a wellspring of power and resilience. This, in turn, can helps us navigate the challenges we face and thrive in an unprecedentedly easeful way in our personal and professional lives.
It is important to recognize that our bodies are designed to function optimally when we prioritize self-care. By acknowledging and embracing our physiological needs, which includes Menstrual-Phase-specific rest, we can create a foundation of well-being that allows us to tackle any obstacle that comes our way.
Taking dedicated time for rest and restoration, particularly during menstruation (to start), is crucial. Our bodies undergo significant restoration during this time, and it is essential to honor these changes by allowing ourselves a three-day restorative period, free from external obligations. This period of rest can provide the essential, read not-optional, rejuvenation and healing our bodies and our wombs expect.
By embracing our physiological givens and prioritizing rest and restoration, we can experience a multitude of positive outcomes. Diminished-then-resorbed fibroids, regulated periods, and a sense of power and confidence that only consistent and pain-free periods can offer. When we prioritize our well-being and embrace our unique strengths, we can redefine what it means to be a leader and a strong Black Woman--strength of being rather than a demonstration of might.
Let us embrace our physiological needs and stand tall in our power and resilience. Together, we can create a world that recognizes and celebrates the sacred strength and beauty of Black Women.
The Power of Rest and Restoration
Prioritizing Self-Care during Menstruation
During menstruation, our bodies undergo a natural process of shedding the uterine lining. This is a time when our physical and emotional energy levels may be lower, and it is crucial for us to honor these physiological needs by prioritizing self-care (and self-care as its championed by society is more performative than effective, to learn about Radical Self Care check out The Fierce Gentleness™ Collective). By dedicating time for rest and restoration, particularly during menstruation, we can start accessing the power of our Menstrual Phases and the more we use them, the more easily we live our way into ending period pain and fibroids.
Rest and restoration allow our bodies to receive the necessary and expected maintenance that our bodies require. People born without a uterus live with a 24-hour hormonal cycle, the same restoration that they experience in a single-night's sleep is the restoration that our body expects at the end of its 28-day hormonal cycle. It is a time to listen to our bodies and provide them with the care they need. This means giving ourselves permission to slow down, take breaks, and engage in activities that promote relaxation and well-being. This seemingly counter-productive action enables hyper-productivity in the menstrual phase that follows Menstruation, the Follicular Phase.
By allowing ourselves a three-day restorative period, free from external obligations, we create an environment that nurtures our physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being. This dedicated time has numerous benefits, including reduced stress levels, improved hormone balance, and a more peaceful and harmonious menstrual experience.
During this time, it is essential to choose activities that bring us joy and relaxation. This might include gentle exercise, such as yoga or walking, and lots of naps. Just taking this simple step directly contributes to pain-free, PMS-free, consistent menstrual cycles.
Moreover, finding solace in activities like reading, taking soothing baths, or practicing mindfulness and meditation can help calm the mind and promote a sense of inner peace--the body is physiologically predisposed to enjoy these activities in a more profound way during this cycle than any other cycle.
Let us remember that our bodies are wise and deserving of care and attention. By embracing rest and restoration during menstruation, we empower ourselves to thrive in all aspects of our lives. It is through self-care and taking steps to nurture our whole being that we redefine what it means to be a leader, inspiring others to follow in our footsteps and, of course, shifting our womb to PMS-free, pain-free, consistent menstrual cycles--to get that, we've got to be fibroid-free as well. We're doing that here at Steady + Free and you can have that too!
Ready to unlock the secret to a period that empowers you? Say goodbye to period problems and hello to a life of luxurious abundance. It's time to embrace the transformative power of your cycle and reclaim your inner empress. Join our empowered community of women who are ready to take control of their periods and uplevel their lives. Together, we'll discover the sumptuous path to a harmonious, fulfilling existence. Don't wait any longer - click here to begin your journey towards period bliss today!
In a society that often overlooks the unique challenges faced by Black Women, it is crucial to shed light on the science behind ending period pain and treating fibroids. If we want to turn the tide on these challenges, we have to accept that it's not science and doing-doing-doing that is going to change things, it is being and embracing our innate power.
We explored the undeniable connection between stress and the development of fibroids, highlighting how the intangible suffering experienced by Black Women manifests as tangible pain in their bodies. It is essential to recognize the link between societal pressures, overcompensation, and the development of fibroids. By acknowledging these challenges, we can begin to overcome pushback and focus on embracing our physiological strengths.
Embracing our physiological needs means embracing our unique strengths as people born with a uterus. By recognizing and honoring these needs, we can improve our well-being and succeed in diverse leadership roles. It is crucial to prioritize Radical Self-Care, particularly during menstruation, by allowing ourselves dedicated time for rest and restoration. By giving ourselves permission to have a three-day restorative period, free from external obligations, we can tap into our power and consistency.
In conclusion, embracing our physiological needs as people with a uterus can lead to diminished fibroids, regulated periods, pain-free, and PMS-free menstrual cycles. Let us continue to support and uplift each other on this journey, not by pushing each other to keep sacrificing our time and life essence, but instead by putting our womb health first and in so doing to creating lives that are luxuriously sumptuous, truly fulfilling, and so much easier than we've been raised to believe they can be.