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Menopause has been a dirty word for too long

Molke menofest article
Women’s health has been so overlooked…

Many of the people I see in my practice are women in their late thirties, forties and fifties. For almost all these women hormonal changes are happening. It isn’t really a surprise, given we know that fertility starts dropping off in the mid to late 30’s, however menopause is a word that is often not thought about for women until they are at the later end of this age range.

It is a transitional stage of life for women that can be both beautiful and empowering as well as very turbulent, unsettling and challenging. Both my personal experience and hours of talking to other women, personally and professionally, have led me to feel increasingly passionate about the lack of support women often face at this time. It has also prompted me to do a lot of research into what kind of help is out there to enable us to navigate the peri menopause stage of life, and beyond, with greater ease.

An unlikely collaboration?
A good friend of mine, who patiently listens to me frequently ranting on about some of these issues kindly mentioned me in a Facebook post. The company concerned were requesting ideas for topics to include for a ‘Menofest’ campaign they were putting together to mark world menopause month. I gladly added some comments about some issues that I think are important and frequently overlooked and the next thing that happened was a message pinged into my inbox asking me to write an article for them!

It has always been important to me to share this kind of knowledge to help other women to educate themselves and not suffer in silence. It isn’t news that there are many inequalities within health care provision for issues particularly experienced by female bodies. Molke is an ethical and sustainable underwear company, based in Scotland. They are champions of diversity, representation and women’s health: my kind of company! It is particularly fun to take part in what can seem like unlikely pairings of different companies coming together with a good cause at their heart. Head on over to their website to have a read of my full article here.

I might be able to help…
I’m not a menopause specialist but if it is something you are struggling with, I may well be able to help give you some information to get you started and signpost you to where you can get more specific help. The work I do can also be of great benefit in helping you to adjust to and cope with any challenges you are experiencing. A range of different types of support is often needed to ease the transition of this time of life and know that I will always be speaking from the heart and from a place of having had my own challenges with chaotic hormones!

Give me a call for an informal chat or book yourself a session here.

Love, grief and our four-legged friends

Brandy and Me

We don't talk much about death
Grief, loss, bereavement and death are topics that we tend not to discuss very much...

They are often very difficult to talk about and can involve many fears and worries. These can be about both our own emotions as well as what we might trigger in someone else or perhaps even burden them with. We can be afraid to ask someone how they are feeling for fear of upsetting them, saying the wrong thing or just feeling awkward. Sometimes loss may be relatively straightforward yet deeply and intensely painful. Other times it can be more complex and the emotions and reactions that come with it can be very confusing, surprising or even shocking.

In this article I talk through some of these things as well as a little about my own recent experience of loss. There is a link at the end to listen to an interview I did on the same topic.

I really hope it brings some comfort...


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Perhaps New Year isn’t the best time for New Year’s Resolutions?

Nurturing new year
I first wrote this article in 2017 and revisited it in 2020, just before the chaos hit us all! I think it still stands so I have again given it a little update and I share it with you once more, as we make our way through the first month of this new year.

Half way through January, is often the time that an initial burst of enthusiasm starts to wane. It is still dark and, in the UK at least, it has been very wet and grey and some days have seemed to barely get light at all. Even for the UK it has been a little unusual. 

If your thoughts have been turning to ideas of making changes and setting goals I'd be curious to know how that is going? The beginning of the year may often be the time that you decide, indeed we are encouraged to decide, to finally get round to getting fitter, losing weight, starting to looking for a new job, learning a new skill or making a myriad of other changes. Even if you have long-since decided that setting New Year’s resolutions is a pointless activity it is hard to be completely immune to the idea that you should have things, 'goals', that you are going to aim to achieve this year. There can also be a tendency to aim unrealistically high, (an attempt to kick-start yourself off the back of the festive overindulgence perhaps?). Sustaining that enthusiasm can be a very different ball game and you may find you fall off the wagon of working towards those goals pretty quickly.

Maybe that ‘New Year feeling’ hasn't quite kicked in yet....?

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The 12 Days of Self-Care: T’is the season to be silly?

I wrote a version of this article four years ago after I had been off work for a while following what turned out to be a fairly big, albeit planned, operation. Taking time away from my business and being much more reliant on others for help, physically, emotionally and financially, even for a short time, was a very new and challenging experience, as it often is if you are someone who is used to being independent and self-sufficient.

When I first started to contemplate what was ahead of me it felt very overwhelming. It was the first time I had experienced something that so physically stopped me in my tracks. My body simply wouldn’t let me push on through or rush my recovery in ways I had done in the past. I had to be patient and not do many of the things that I was used to doing for myself and that would normally help me find balance. I had to surrender to stopping and give my body the time it needed to heal.

I came to realise that it was an opportunity for me to consider different ways that I care for myself on a deeper level. It is easy to feel that you are letting others down if you become ill or need help. You may feel you have failed in some way because you’re not in fact invincible and there can be a sense of deep shame in this. It can make you feel very vulnerable and exposed to rejection if you need to ask for help. This can mean you may not ask for the help you need and end up compromising your own health and healing. There can be conflict between what your mind thinks you should do, alongside real or imagined pressure from others, and what your precious body needs from you.

This time of year, during the festive season, can be a time when self-care drops even further down the priority list. Alongside my surgery, the idea for this article was also prompted by a conversation I had with my good friend and teacher, Chyna Honey, (author of Understanding Reiki: From Self Care to Energy Medicine). I had wanted to find a way to share some of the things I had been thinking about and learning in a presentation I was due to give at a forthcoming business women’s networking group, (Women on Wednesdays in Salisbury).

My Clinical Psychology training, way back when, discouraged practitioners from sharing anything about their own experience but it was becoming increasingly important to me to try to be as authentic as I can be in my work. This is something I have endeavoured to build upon and continue over the last four years. There is no point recommending that my clients drink more water to keep themselves adequately hydrated, for example, if this isn’t something I am striving to do for myself.

Together, Chyna and I came up with the idea of, (rather than The 12 Days of Christmas), The 12 Days of Self-Care and I once again share the essence of this with you here.
Before you read through the next section you might want to grab a pen and a piece of paper...


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Email: karen@naturalhealingenergy.com

Dr Karen Janes

Dr Karen Janes is the owner and founder of Natural Healing Energy, which she set up in 2005. She is an experienced practitioner of energy healing and has a background in psychology, which informs the counselling aspect of her work. She is a Reiki Master and Teacher and a Master Teacher Member of the UK Reiki Federation.

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