Saturday, March 6, 2010

book review: woman heal thyself

last month i on brought my period early after stimulating a few acupressure points. that feeling of having that sort of decision making relationship with my body was amazing. srsly. here is my review of the book that gave me the tools to do this. and more.

another book that i received the same time as riddle's book was, woman heal thyself.
this is a completely different and complex book. written by jeanne elizabeth blum, it explores traditional chinese medicine -tcm- through the lens of modern day cis women's bodies.
there is a good amount of tcm theory in the book. and i really appreciated that. although im not sure everyone would. it can get a bit arcane with all the different relationships between the different meridians and i have been referencing it for the past month almost daily and am still learning new relationships to consider.
she claims that she reveals 24 'secret' points of chinese acupressure. but, every 'secret' point i can find easily on various tcm sites online as well as in my other -very popular- acupressure book. they aren't 'secret' they are just not indicated for pregnancy. in other words tcm warns not to massage these points during portions of one's pregnancy if one doesnt want to miscarry. well, blum realized through experimenting that these points often do cause menses that is late to come as well as relieve pms, alleviate cramps and overly heavy menses flow, and as a form of birth control. following the acupressure schedule that she outlines helps the period to come regularly and with less pain and discomfort. she claims that after following this schedule for at least three months, and achieving a regular and more comfortable menses, the contraceptive method of acupressure can become effective. and basically you use acupressure to bring on your matter what...
she also writes about menopause and alleviating common symptoms.
i am starting to work with her method. so far i will say that her points definitely helped the menstrual cramps die down last month. and my period was a day or two shorter. also less clots than usual. and lighter flow.
there is a lot more in her book.

frankly i find it very disorganized. i would love to take the info in her book and present it in a simpler, cleaner format. also, her pics for showing the acupressure points are horrible. when i read her book i have to take the essential extra step of going online to find a much more detailed illustration of the location of the acu point in order to stimulate it. really, really annoying. also, in order to read it, i have to slog through all the 'woman's essential nature' bull shit. and there is all this orientalism, 'secrets from the mysterious far east' woven throughout the book. ick.

it is a great resource for dealing with common problem's in the female reproductive cycle. she addresses a large list of complaints (inc. a chapter for prostates and penises). and she has an intuitive approach to healing that mixes with mine really well. i understand her story and her multi faceted approach. im a bit of an airhead so some of the disorganization doesnt throw me off. she focuses on the emotional and psychological reality that acupressure works with. how problems with the gall bladder meridian relate to issues around decision-making. strengthening the spleen meridian will not only strengthen the body's immune functioning, but also lower unnecessary or ciruclar worrying, focusing on the past and regrets, and allow us to be 'sweeter' to others.
also there are powerful tools for regulating our fertility. i love the idea of taking a few minutes a few times each day during the menses to massage points so that we can be more in balance and in time with our flows.

its not the easiest book to read. it is more like a disorganized reference book, than straight non ficition.


  1. glad to see that you had a hard time w/the acu points as well--I tried doing her points for a long time and didn't notice a dayamn thing. good idea to get online, didn't really occure to me cuz that's a pain in the ass and I'm w/somebody who was vasectomized. (lol). but I have wanted to figure out how to do this shit for a long time for my daughter and passing on that wisdom to her--so I'm definitly going to be going back to the thing and trying again-- or, better yet, downloading the book above!!!! :P


  2. btw, i was incredibly irritated by the "natural woman" bullshit too. *relief* to read ur commentary.

  3. yeah a long term project for the lilith plan (after i get a few things off my plate) is to post her method with accurate drawings/photographs of the acupoints. as well as tips for how to know when you are actually stimulating the points. the feedback feelings that occur. b/c i found her method helpful, but frankly it takes forever to do if you having to jump between her disorganized book and three different websites. i am kind of surprised her publisher didnt address these issues before publishing it.
    the natural liberty book is awesomne, and gives us much better pictures for the acupoints, but if i was relying on the natural liberty book alone i would still be somewhat confused as to where some of the points are esp. on the feet and hands...and it focuses on needling more than acupressure...
    ( i really want to learn how to needle. someday i am going to find an acupuncturist willing to take a couple of hours and show me the basics...mainly b/c needling allows for you to hit several points at the same time, so it takes less than time than massaging each point one by one...efficiency)
    and yes, it is really irritating to have to wade through all that natural woman shit, just so you can get some basic info