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May 2012 Publisher Letter

Recently, I was discussing the benefits of alternative medicine for women’s health with my stepmother, Carol, when we happened upon the topic of menopause. She said that when she experienced this midlife change years ago, her doctor recommended that she take hormone-replacement medication.

I asked her if she had been experiencing difficulty with menopause. “Oh no,” she quipped in her typical cheerful way. “I felt just fine! It just sort of started, and then it was done.”

If that was the case, I wondered, why the suggested prescription? At the time, she explained, physicians typically recommended such treatment to every woman at this stage of life. She elected to decline the treatment and, not long afterward, the dangers of synthetic hormone-replacement therapy were discovered through a long-term national health study, the Women’s Health Initiative.

My stepmother’s relatively easy transition didn’t surprise me. She and my dad are fit and active people who eat well and lead an extraordinarily healthful lifestyle. They will walk just to pass the time while waiting for the rest of us to get ready to go out and take a walk. They spend many weekends each year canoeing and camping, while squeezing in time to “take a stroll”—what the rest of us call “a seven-mile hike.”

Today, women of all ages are experiencing discomfiting hormone imbalances, caused by many modern-day factors, from exposure to chemicals in personal-care products, cleaning solutions and the environment, to the stresses of busy lives. According to a recent article in Time magazine, nearly half of U.S. households today are primarily supported by women, adding to their long list of responsibilities.

While being the lead family wage-earner rings of hard-earned progress, freedom and economic power for women, it can also wreak havoc on women’s physical health. Fortunately, we can learn of natural ways to stay healthy and, with this issue, discover natural ways to balance our hormones, a core element of physical well-being. Kathleen Barnes suggests solutions for every age group in “The Hormone Balancing Act.”

We are excited to bring you this month’s issue of Natural Awakenings on Women’s Wellness, full of helpful information to support you and all the women in your life. Let’s all join in nurturing and expanding the amazing web of natural healing, connecting and blessing the Milwaukee community, and beyond.

Celebrating all who mother our world,

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

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