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Speak Well Being

Serving hospitals, healthcare and women's groups

Real Women Re-Visited, Men’s Health Emerges

October 7, 2004, Vol. II Issue 21

Dear Friends,

I love it when speaker-friends come to my part of the country. Holly Stiel and I got to spend the weekend at Skamania Lodge in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington a weekend ago, where she did her unique and entertaining program on the art of customer service for Aveda and the Dosha Salon/Spas of Portland. I can’t wait to tell you more about Holly’s concierge service programs for hospitals in a future issue. Cutting edge!

Everyone reading this newsletter, I’m sure knows it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Get additional info at http://www.nbcam.org I missed my local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event this year as I was out of town. Having participated in years past, I can attest to the awe of being involved in such a huge mass of committed bodies and souls. I believe I’ve heard Portland’s is one of the biggest in the country. Go Pink!

This is such a busy time of year! Events going on everywhere, and cool stuff in the news, having to do with men’s as well as women’s health. I hope you enjoy our client story on Real Women in Wisconsin. Lots more good stuff coming up in the next issue, including the 2005 Midlife Momentum Calendar Guide, and Katherine Martin and her new book, “Those Who Dare: Real People, Real Courage and What We Can Learn From Them.”

Yours truly,
Barbara

CREATE THE BODY YOUR SOUL DESIRES
Real Women/Body Image Revisited in Waukesha, WI

Three years ago, ProHealth, in Waukesha, WI, purchased the Real Women Sculptures for display in their new Birthing Center and Women’s Center. When they look at their bodies, 75% of American women are not satisfied with their appearance. The unrealistic definition of female beauty as depicted in the media, has led women to become obsessed with their appearance, resulting in depression, guilt and shame. The Real Women Project celebrates the true beauty of women at every stage of life.

It is a national movement that aims to defeat existing standards of beauty, helping women forge stronger and healthier relationships with their bodies, ultimately enhancing their overall health and well being. It is rooted in the belief that self-acceptance is the foundation for mental, physical and spiritual health. The Project’s focal point is a series of 13 sculptures of women spanning eight decades of life and celebrating women of diverse shapes, sizes and cultures.

Working with the founders of the Project, the Women’s Center team decided to hold a Real Women Conference in Waukesha in 2001. They brought in two speakers, one story teller and three musicians for a day long conference related to body image and the media’s influence on how women view their bodies.

“It was an incredible day attended by over 300 women,” according to Laura Armstrong, Education Specialist for the Women’s Health Center. “It was so successful that we repeated the conference again in the fall of that same year in Milwaukee with a little smaller attendance. Since then, we’ve done much smaller events related to body image including a program for mothers and their pre-teen daughters called ‘The Beauty Within’ in which we partnered with our local Girl Scout Council.

“When Barbara contacted us about Drs. Karen Wolfe and Deborah Kern’s new book, Create the Body Your Soul Desires, we thought it sounded like a great fit, as we were ready to re-energize the movement. We decided to bring them both in for a special program and we’re so glad we did.”

The book models a female-friendly way to connect and cooperate with our bodies, instead of isolating and controlling them as so many of the popular diet programs are structured. Science, nutrition, psychology and spirituality are blended into commonsense tools that women can apply to their lives immediately.

Karen and Deb worked with the ProHealth staff to plan the day to coordinate with the major points in the book. “We decided two Pro-Health professionals would cover body image and se*x*uality.” Deb said, “Karen and I decided to focus on ‘The Big Three,’ which are issues around sugar, stress and energy. Although there are many other factors that affect women’s health we find that these three areas (along with body image and sexuality) are consistently the most requested topics by women around the country.”

A key concept of the book is having a “Support Buddy.” The dynamic relationship between Karen and Deb, the friendship and respect they have for each other, gets communicated when they present together while modeling the very concept of partnering up for support. “We covered how to use a buddy to help you move through making positive changes in those areas,” Deb explained, “modeling the dialogue from the book. This is not your normal interaction with a friend and it set the tone for how to work with someone on a deep, personal level.”

“What really seemed to hit a chord with the audience was the interactive, multi-sensory approach we created,” Karen added. “Our program included sight, sound and touch with music and movement integrated into the ‘lecture’ and visuals.”

After Karen and Deb opened the morning, Deborah Slack-Finn, MSW, LCSW, presented “Real Women, Real Beauty,” on body image and Jill Wohlfeil, MD, gave women insight into the topic, “What is Libido & How Did I Lose Mine? A Woman’s Guide to her Se*x*ual Health.”

Throughout the day, there were complementary chair massages and foot reflexology, so women could take advantage of the service while listening to the speakers. This service was contracted with the hospital affiliated spa. And, setting the stage for the event, the Real Women statues were displayed in the room.

After the luncheon, Karen and Deb interacted with the audience with some coaching and ended it with music and movement. (Both Deb and Karen are certified Nia instructors). Laura noted that although the turnout (about 100) wasn’t what they had hoped for, the relatively small size of the group gave it an intimacy that would not have been possible with a larger crowd.

In closing with a multi-media presentation that takes the audience from a view of the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth all the way into a microscopic world that reveals the subatomic universe of electrons and protons, Deb made the point that the microcosm and the macrocosm are one. Therefore, taking care of one’s body is not a selfish endeavor as women often surmise. “When we create the body the soul desires, we create the world we desire as well,” she said.

“Karen and Deb were such a dream to work with,” Laura said. “They really went above and beyond their jobs as guest speakers to help make the event a success. I really don’t think we realized how much our team needed the day as a group until we were having the time of our lives. Women are still talking about the event. The women had such an incredible experience that it’s made a big impact!”

Mary Jane Reichert, RNC, MHA, Executive Director, ProHealth Women’s Health Center, commented that, “The most impactful thing for me, as a woman, was that Dr. Wolfe and Dr. Kern were able to get into the hearts and minds of women in the audience through a multi-sensory approach to looking at life. These two women were not only entertaining but were also able to share their wisdom and knowledge with the audience in a way that will stay with these women for a lifetime and allow them to begin their journey to ‘Create the Body Your Soul Desires.’”

For more info about The Real Women Project, go to: http://www.RealWomenProject.com
If you’d like a copy of The Real Women Creed, email me, barbara@speakwellbeing.com and write REAL WOMEN in the subject.

To learn more about the book, Create the Body Your Soul Desires: The Friendship Solution to Weight, Energy and Sexuality, go to: http://www.TheConsciousBodyMethod.com

To bring Drs. Wolfe and Kern in for a program for your group, contact barbara@speakwellbeing.com or call me at 503-699-5031.

If Your Body Was A Car, Would You Take Better Care of It?

It’s noticeable. Hospitals in my community are addressing men’s health  issues in various formats. One recently held a forum called, “In Sickness and in Health: Women Dealing with Men’s Health Issues,” and another held a presentation this week called, “Prostrate and Heart Health.” I wasn’t able to attend either of these but I’m looking forward to attending Oregon Health & Science University’s “The Art of Male Maintenance: How to Keep the Men In Your Life Healthy,” during Men’s Health Week next June.

Even the “Cathy” cartoon strip is talking about men missing from their offices for cardio exams, colonoscopies and stress tests. It’s being called the “Clinton Syndrome.” It’s not really a laughing matter yet humor seems to provide an avenue for communication.

On the flip side of the coin, a new book (from Europe) for educating men about women’s health caught my eye. Humor is being used to encourage men to take more interest in their own health, as well as the women in their lives. It’s called The Haynes Practical Guide to Women’s Health for Men.

Dr. Ian Banks, the author, and also president of the European Men’s Health Forum, first wrote “The Man Manual: A drive towards better men’s health.” It is written in the format of the iconic Haynes car manuals, used by generations of men to better understand and maintain their cars. The style is no-nonsense, step by step, helping to identify a problem before suggesting a possible solution.

“It is the perfect format to use to talk to men about their bodies and their health.” says Dr. Banks. “We’ve struggled for years to create health information that men can really relate to and I think we’ve cracked it – when I was approached with the idea it just seemed so obvious I couldn’t understand why it hadn’t been thought of before.

“When a warning light comes on in your car you have two choices: deal with it or wait until you breakdown in the middle of the motorway. Few men would continue driving with steam pouring out of the radiator or lose steering but when it comes to our own bodies this is exactly what we do. Men regularly put up with many symptoms of early disease far longer than women.”

Now it seems that some research by the Welsh School of Pharmacy in Cardiff revealed that men often use humor to discuss personal and sensitive matters. By using humor, they can talk about subjects with other men that they would otherwise not bring up.

Based on the same principles as a car manual, the new guide uses motoring jargon to explain women’s health to men.

“Although women’s health may seem far removed from the mechanics of a car, The Woman Manual makes important comparisons between women’s bodies and the beloved car,” it says on the website. “This book will demonstrate how she can maintain her bodywork in optimum condition, prevent corrosion of vital parts, pass her MOT and keep her engine perfectly tuned.” Are you smiling with me?

Chapter headings include roadside repairs (first aid), fuel & exhaust (digestion, blood & urogenital systems), in-car entertainment (sound & vision), family runabout (fertility, pregnancy & birth), chassis & bodywork (skin & bones) and engine management (brain).

Dr. Banks noted that in a survey of men, half thought that women had a prostate but they just did not have as many problems with it as men. Yes, you read that right!

Hmmmmmmmmm. Looks like maybe we better be doing some men’s classes on women’s anatomy. Not a bad idea, actually. Maybe a combo, with the women’s se*x*uality topic. Wasn’t there a song about this, “Baby, Can I Drive Your Car?” Actually, my singer-songwriter friend Megon McDonough wrote a song called, “The Body Is A Car.” “The body is a car, driving your soul around. . .” So, Dr. Banks, your idea isn’t all that original! “Better take it easy child,” the lyrics continue, “so the car don’t get run down.”

To read more about the book, including sample chapters, go to:
http://www.haynes.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/BookFeature_womanView?new=Y&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001

Super Size Me, Take It Home

I spied french fries spewing from Morgan Spurlock’s mouth in my local newspaper entertainment section. That is to say that I saw the ads this week for the movie, SUPER SIZE ME, available on video/DVD. Rent it. Buy it. Invite your neighbors. Sit your family down and tell them they’re going to see a movie they’ll never forget! Hey, a little coercion is in order in the war on obesity. Play the game. You can do it. Once they’re into it, Morgan will keep them engaged. You’ll be the heroine/hero. The screen is a powerful educational tool. You can make a difference for $2.99 and some homemade popcorn (no butter, of course). And hold the soda pop.

Until next time, be good to yourself, for the men in your life as well as yourself. It’s all about well being for every body.

Yours truly,
Barbara

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ABOUT OUR SERVICES
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My vision for The Speak Well Being Group is to be a connector for speakers I know, love and believe in, with the audiences who will be inspired, motivated, and transformed by their perspectives, knowledge, empathy, compassion, information and, most importantly, capacity to enjoy the process, laughing at themselves and with you along the way.

You’ll find many of our speakers on our website.
http://www.speakwellbeing.com
Or please call anytime and let us assist you: 503-699-5031
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