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Coming Home

You know that feeling when you've been out in the world, doing a hard day at work or on a trip away, and you open your front door and step into your domain, and feel your body release and your breath slow down?.........

Taking Refuge

The world is very noisy right now, and there is a growing discourse of intolerance. Many people are feeling afraid, threatened, and overwhelmed. The echoes of the US election and its aftermath are reverberating around the planet, reminding us of dark and ugly times that took place not so long ago, and that seem to be returning. Activism is really important, and we are all called in times of trial to play our part. But even so, every now and then, to protect psyche and heart, we have to close it all out. This is a form of taking refuge.....

Three Common Menstrual Symptom Clusters

The menstrual cycle as an indicator of overall health has long been neglected. Little research has been done on common menstrual symptoms that are conventionally categorised as minor or normal. We are told implicitly that we “just have to grin and bear it”, to suck it up and take a painkiller or ignore inconveniences like spotting. But in actuality, “normal” menstrual symptoms can be debilitating, they indicate underlying imbalances, and they can be remedied. They are also a great personal awareness tool and act as a monthly check-in for our overall physical and mental wellbeing.…….

Looking through the veil: Hallowe’en, death awareness and menstrual awakening

Hallowe'en, traditionally called Samhain (Celtic) or the Day of the Dead (Mexico), is celebrated as the time when the veil thins and the dead are in contact with the living. All the symbolism of Hallowe'en, the skulls, skeletons, cobwebs, ghosts and goblins, all represent the Other Side of conscious life, within which lies the seeds of our new beginnings, and our truly regenerative ideas.......

The Cultural Context of Menopause

Menopause is not experienced the same way everywhere in the world, and in fact the differences are stark. Only in the Western industrially-developed world has menopause become highly symptomatic and culturally problematic. Here I look at how menopause experience is culturally constructed, and how we can learn from other cultures and positively reframe our experience.......

Chop Wood, Carry Water

I'm deep in the first semester of my research degree at Monash University, and so enjoying breaking new academic ground for myself. It's so engrossing that my intended blog post for this weekend on the cultural factors in menopause hasn't been written yet. And I...

Seven Reasons Why Menopause Is Such A Problem Today

For the past three years I've subscribed to Google Alerts for notification of press about menopause from all over the world, which turn up in my inbox every day. You may not be surprised to hear that the majority of articles are profoundly negative. And from talking to thousands of women directly about their experiences and looking at the research we have to date, I know it's true that for most women today, menopause is a seriously challenging life passage. Here are seven reasons why:

Bioidentical Hormones for Menopause. A Good Idea?

There's a time during the menopause transition in which many women find their symptoms are overwhelming, especially if they have a lot of hot flashes or bad insomnia, which can make you feel pretty wretched. At such times, it is very natural to want a quick fix, and...

Update July 2016

As regular readers know, in 2013 I moved from the UK to Australia to run a research project for a women’s advocacy organisation in Melbourne, tasked to find out what women and girls today think and feel about menstruation and menopause, and what they feel they need...

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Lara Owen is a leader in the field of menstrual and menopausal wellbeing. Based in Melbourne, she teaches and consults internationally.

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