In over 30 years of practice, I have seen that my female patients seem to have more stress related problems and fatigue than ever before. This degree of stress and fatigue can interfere with a woman's medical as well as dental health, and even her sexuality. This month I am interviewing Dr. Elena Sokolova, MD, ND.
Dr. Sokolova served as a primary care physician and focused on women's health and wellness for over twenty years in Russia. In addition to traditional medicine, she has trained extensively in family medicine, botanicals, homeopathy, and Chinese and Tibetan medicine. She received her naturopathic medical degree in the United States. She is one of the few experts world-wide in the area of Abdominal Manual Therapy (the art and science of bringing the body back to balance and health). Dr. Sokolova's natural approach to female concerns and sexuality has made her a sought-after speaker throughout Eastern Europe.
Her expertise in this area has made her a welcome addition to Whole-Body Medicine and the response from her patients has been enthusiastic. Some of my female patients have sought Dr. Sokolova's care for many different issues. I was delighted with their improvement and wanted to share some of her insights with my readers.
Dr. B: Dr. Sokolova, I have read that 43 % of American women have some type of female sexual problem or dysfunction. Why?
Dr. S: Today, life places too many demands upon women. Women are expected to play a variety of roles, such as wife, mother, problem-solver, care-giver, teacher, wage -earner, volunteer, chef, and on top of it, the perfect lover.
Almost all the female patients I see in my office put stress-related problems and fatigue at the top of their list of health complaints. This degree of stress can certainly interfere with a woman's love life and sexuality.
Dr. B: Can you share with us some of the natural approaches a woman can take to feel better, more alive and more sexual?
Dr. S: Every woman wants to be happy, to be healthy and to be loved. With over twenty years of experience in dealing with women's health, both as a medical doctor and as a naturopathic doctor,I have found that certain natural approaches are time tested winners in helping to restore female health and sexuality.
1) Here is an easy start. Stress impairs your general and sexual health. One of the best ways to help reduce stress is physical exercise.
Consider exercising regularly. Exercise can have a positive effect on your mood and your brain's overall health. If you can't find time to exercise for 20-30 minutes per day, then exercise for 10 minutes two-three times per day. Get motivated and have fun with a favorite DVD work-out. Work up a sweat and feel your stress melt away. Other stress reducers may include yoga, meditation, visualization, positive affirmation techniques and conscious breathing.
2) Female hormones control libido or sexual appetite.
I have found that herbal phytoestrogens can provide positive support for altered libido.The most common phytoestrogens are found in soy, linseed, clover and alfalfa. The phytoestrogenic compounds, such as isoflavonoids, lignans and coumestrans, also exhibit antioxidant action, prevent osteoporosis, decrease risk of development of breast, endometrial and colon cancer, control blood cholesterol.
3) Boost your energy with botanicals and nutriceuticals.
Low energy production can affect every aspect of your life, and, certainly, female sexuality. In my practice, I use specialized diagnostic testing to determine my patient's level of cellular energy. Through my years of experience, I have found that certain botanicals will increase general as well as sexual energy. Custom formulas that I prepare may include botanicals, such as Korean ginseng, Eleutherococcus, Russian Rhodiola, Indian Ashwaganda and so on. (When taking these potent botanicals, you should be under the care of a natural health practitioner, especially if you have history of hypertension.) Also, you should be aware that vitamin deficiencies can affect general female health and sexual energy.
4) Improve your sleep habits.
A good night's sleep will balance your hormones and improve your energy. (See past newsletter on Why You Need a Good Night's Sleep).
One of the first things I do is to check my patient's levels of melatonin and stress-related hormones that are necessary for proper sleep. You should strive for at least 8 hours of full sleep every night. If need be, consider soaking in a relaxing 10-15 minute warm bath with 2-3 cups of Epsom Salts before bed. Another natural sleep aid is to put 2-3 drops of essential lavender oil on your pillow case.
5) Avoid environmental toxins.
I find my patients' sexuality improves when their toxic load decreases. At home you can decrease your toxic load by eating organic fruits and vegetables, choosing foods without additives, artificial flavorings, hormones or antibiotics, drinking pure water and consuming small body ocean fish as well as wild Alaskan salmon. If you smoke cigarettes, it is time to quit.
Studies have shown that adverse health problems can occur from exposure to environmental toxins. Environmental toxins such as DDT, PCB's, dioxins and others can be "endocrine disruptors" and affect your hormonal balance and sexual health.
Environmental chemical toxins must be avoided as much as possible. Also, toxins in the mouth, especially mercury may be a big factor in hormonal disruption.
6) Eating the right foods can be healthy for you as well as aphrodisiacs.
Foods rich in the mineral zinc enhance your sexual feelings. We call them "aphrodisiacs".They include oysters, clams, and other shellfish as well as pumpkin seeds, wheat germs, sprouts, caviar, truffles, seaweeds and honey bee products. These foods contain more vitamins, essential fatty acids, minerals, or hormone-like substances, which enhance female sexuality in general. (Also, women should be aware that one glass of wine can help a woman to relax. But too much alcohol can decrease sexual feelings.)
7) Try essential oils of flowers.
Enrich your sexual experience using essential oils. Essential oils of jasmine, rose, neroli were used for pleasure during centuries. It has been shown that essential oils work with receptors in our brain making you feel rejuvenated, young and beautiful. It also works with your partner, making him feel the same about you.
Dr. B: Dr. Sokolova, I couldn't agree with you more about your comments on toxins. I think this area is the biggest overlooked problem in medicine. Over-the-years, I have had a number of patients who were infertile or couldn't maintain a pregnancy, go on to have beautiful children once they had removed their mercury fillings and detoxified their bodies.
Dr. S: Yes, Dr. Breiner, this issue of toxins is very important and that's why at our center we have many things that compliment what I do to help patients remove their toxins - ionic foot baths, far-infrared saunas, colon hydrotherapy, therapeutic massage, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, everything we do really helps a person remove toxins from their system.
Dr. Sokolova, thank you for sharing your insights into women's health.
© 2007, Mark A. Breiner, DDS
The information presented is for educational purposes only. You should consult a qualified dentist or health practitioner for diagnosis and treatment.