According to the American Heart Organization, one woman dies of heart disease every minute…Is that because for years we tend to put the needs of others ahead of our own?
Imagine if your best friend, sister, mother happened to be a spiritually enlightened, emotionally available medical doctor who could take you through the turbulent ups and downs of menopause with a caring heart, intuitive wisdom and medical training. Such a person exists in Dr. Rose Kumar, the founder of the Ommani Center for Integrative Medicine in Pewakee, WI, whose new book “Becoming Real: Harnessing the Power of Menopause for Health and Success” stands as a must read for women on the verge, in the midst, or after the fact of this critical transitional stage of development. It’s also valuable reading for the men in the lives of these women too!
Dr. Kumar writes passionately, at times eloquently (even sharing poems derived from her own personal journey of transformation) and of course, scientifically as she describes menopause as the gateway to a healthier, more authentic life. Instead of treating this process with hysterectomies, anti-depressants and synthetic hormone prescriptions, Dr. Kumar describes a framework of the “Four Body System” to help women pass through this period. Like a molecue of water which passes through different densities to go from ice to water and steam, we have four bodies of different densities–the most dense being the Physical, Mental, Emotional and Energetic.
The key to health is balance and the key to healing is discovering causes not just putting bandaids on symptoms. We all know of the physical and mental body systems and how the mind-body connection affects our well-being. Kumar adds two more bodies which are more subtle and harder to diagnose–the Emotional Body where feelings of sadness, anger, grief, joy, fear, loneliness and restlessness need to be acknowledged and expressed. If repressed, they lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety in the Mental body. The other is the Energy Body, where the causes of illness originate. This body stores every experience encountered in life and has a subtle but powerful effet on a person’s health and well-being. Treatments such as homeopathy, reiki, breathing and flower essences can bring about healing in this body and bring about balance.
Kumar has a very strong opinion of the power of “positive thinking” in that it very often doesn’t work and can lead to a feeling of disempowerment. It’s all very well to have a positive attitude but not at the denial of true feelings which call for deeper examinations of root causes of dis-ease. The physical and emotional changes during menopause create a time for women to take stock of familiar patterns of behavior that don’t work and to truly push through, i.e. make the choices for a more authentic being. It is an enormously transformational time not without pain and heartache which Dr. Kumar compassionately aligns her own journey for support but with the opportunity of true well-being. Dr. Kumar and her book are benevolent and necessary guides for this passage. You will learn about the female body in midlife, natural hormones, food as medicine, the importance of listening to the “feeling function,” true love, true healing and how reclaiming the feminine and masculine lead to true power. Below are a few clips from my conversation with Dr. Rose Kumar where she speaks on Integrative Medicine, Self-Empowerment through Menopause, the Four Body System and her Definition of Health.
Dr. Rose Kumar, M.D., founded the Ommani Center for Integrative Medicine in Pewakee, WI, in 2001 after becoming disillusioned with the limitations of the current framework of corporate healthcare and serves as its executive director. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine, a graduate from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center.