This morning I met with a group of women touting the benefits of Moringa, a plant native to the Himalayas that is “packed with 90+ vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega oils, and other benefits.” The product they were pushing on me was made by the Multi-Level Marketing company they all joined, and my initial reaction was “oh no, not this again.”
When our meeting ended I couldn’t stop thinking about how passionate these women were. They weren’t only trying to sell me a product, they really believed it changed their lives for the better. There was a camaraderie and “looking out for other women” aspect to their passion that I understood. The reality is that the US medical profession has viewed women’s health as secondary to men forever. The success of the wellness industry is in direct response to the medical establishment’s dismissive attitude towards women’s health.
Admittedly, people of both genders regularly complain about the impersonal, negative aspects of healthcare, but there are facts that back up the louder complaints of women:
- Women wait longer than men for treatment of acute pain.
- Intense period pain is often dismissed when it is actually symptomatic of a life-threatening illness.
- More women have autoimmune diseases that are undiagnosed.
- Serious medical issues in women go undiagnosed for years.
- Sexism is the prism through which many medical doctors view women’s health.
- Women are often viewed as hypochondriacs.
If you are a woman, you probably nodded your head yes to at least one item on that list. And because that experience is universal, the “wellness industry” has risen to push back and help women live a mindful, healthy life. Finally, women are finding a haven in a community that actually cares about their health and listens to them when they speak of their symptoms and issues.
Trust But Verify
As resistant as you may be personally to anyone selling through MLMs or touting the latest, greatest ancient recipe to solve all aches and pains, there is evidence that many alternative treatments have real health benefits. Yoga and meditation have been proven to counter high stress and the damage it can do to your health. Taking supplements to make sure you get the necessary Omega-3s, B Complex, or even Multi-vitamins does have an impact on your health. Being mindful of your diet will also have a big and long-term impact on your ability to remain healthy.
Awareness and knowledge are powerful tools for anyone to maintain their health and ward off illness. For women, it is critical that you take charge of your own wellness, stay aware, and be diligent about caring for yourself.