Did you ever have a wish that was so deeply held that you never ever even thought about it coming true?
You just loved having it?
Well, I had a wish inside me that I would not only get a chance to one day meet the incredible and inspiring Dr. Christiane Northrup, and express my gratitude to her for the incredible pioneer that she has been in the field of woman’s health–but also to open the doors of pleasure for her. I have had the privilege of both. And, deeper still, this woman has become my esteemed friend and colleague, and shares her genius as an honored speaker and student at the School of Womanly Arts Mastery Program.
Enjoy this special guest post from Dr. Northrup…
As I sit here, I am filled with pleasure. I’m holding the third edition of The Wisdom of Menopause, hot off the presses. The Wisdom of Menopause is a manual for negotiating the mother of all wake-up calls—perimenopause. And it’s loaded with new, fun, and life-saving information for women age 35 and up. The book and I have both come a long way since 2001, the year the very first edition of The Wisdom of Menopause was released. I see so clearly that the missing ingredient in my life (and in the first edition) was….you guessed it—pleasure. Yes. Pleasure. That thing we’re made to feel guilty about. The thing we don’t dare talk about lest we make someone else uncomfortable.
I’m not talking about sex here—though that’s what almost everyone thinks of when you say the word pleasure. No, I’m talking about a feeling of exhilaration, ecstasy, joy, and delight. The pursuit of pleasure is intentionally choosing activities and thoughts that bring about this feeling. Of course, sex can be included in the list. And your sex life will likely improve astronomically as you welcome more pleasure into your life. I can also tell you, emphatically, that the deliberate pursuit of enjoyable activities of all kinds is health-enhancing, too.
Let me explain. Back in 2005 when I was first invited to teach at Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts, I sensed, intuitively, that the women who were learning about the deliberate pursuit of pleasure were healing physical illnesses. To test this, I asked the students of the Womanly Arts to raise their hands if they had noticed an improvement in their health since starting the Mastery program. Hands went up all over the room. And as each woman spoke, I learned that pleasure was a key ingredient in improving everything from abnormal pap smears to lung cancer.
Like any good scientist, I decided to put pleasure to the test—in both my personal and professional life. I also began to study the biochemistry of joy and pleasure to find out why feeling good was such a key component in health. And this is how I made the connection between pleasure and the gas nitric oxide, which rises in response to all kinds of pleasurable activities.
Nitric oxide is produced by the endothelial lining of every blood vessel in the body. (It sounds like nitrous oxide, but isn’t the same at all. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is given by the dentist.) Nitric oxide levels rise in response to all kinds of pleasurable activities, including eating dark green leafy vegetables, laughing ’til you pee your pants, and having orgasms. In fact, an orgasm (and also the fertilization of an egg by a sperm) is accompanied by a huge burst of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide increases the circulation of blood, thus bringing more nutrients to all our cells.
But it does even more than that. It is an “uber neurotransmitter” that actually helps balance the levels of all the other neurotransmitters (like serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and beta-endorphin) in the brain and body. These are the very chemicals for which so many women are prescribed drugs such as Prozac and Paxil. I’ve found that the deliberate pursuit of pleasure in a circle of supportive women is usually all that is necessary to help lift depression and free a woman’s soul.
Make no mistake. The deliberate pursuit of pleasure is a path that requires great courage. It’s incredibly easy to follow the well-worn path of martyrdom, pain, suffering, disease, and anger. And yes, there are hundreds of valid reasons why women are angry and depressed and sick. I have spent a lifetime documenting them, writing about them, and helping women heal from them. Besides, many are convinced that suffering “buys” you something. It doesn’t.
To truly change the conditions of our lives, we women must have the courage to end the pain. And the way to do this is to bring more pleasure into your life. And to realize that every woman who rests, who sits down to enjoy a meal, and who says YES to herself and her deepest desires, helps the next women do the same. And the next one after that. This is the new feminism. This is how we change the world and uplift humanity. One woman at a time. Pure and simple. Now doesn’t that feel good?
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. ?All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.
© Christiane Northrup, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Christiane Northrup, M.D., a board-certified ob/gyn, is a visionary pioneer, beloved authority in women’s health and wellness, and the author of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” and “The Wisdom of Menopause.” Following a 25-year career in both academic medicine and private practice, Dr. Northrup devotes her time to helping women truly flourish. Her bestselling classic “The Wisdom of Menopause” is now completely revised. In the new edition of “The Wisdom of Menopause,” Dr. Northrup tackles everything a woman needs to navigate “the change.” Women will return to this treasured reference time and again for advice on breast health, bone health, pelvic health, and heart health as well as diet, supplementation, sexuality—and of course, hormone support. You can purchase a copy on Amazon by clicking here. Follow Dr. Christiane Northrup on Facebook, Twitter, at www.drnorthrup.com, and by listening to her weekly Hay House Internet radio show “Flourish!”
Did this leave you wanting more? Dr. Northrup will be speaking at this year’s Mastery Program. If you’d like to experience a taste of Mastery firsthand, join us at our LIVE Intro event, The Radical Step That Changes Everything, on February 9th in NYC.
This event already happened. Check out The Experience.
With so much love and pleasure,