Letter from Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.: Menopause is not a disease. It’s a doorway. As a wholistic clinician with a medical degree, I have great respect for Western medicine. I think we can all agree that few of us would want to have meningitis in a world without antibiotics or appendicitis without access to surgery.
But it surprises me that in this day and age, the medical establishment still sees menopause as a disease – as something to be tested and treated, rather than as a natural stage of life. Even naturopaths and herbalists can get caught up in this myopic view of menopause, treating this transformative, years-long process as something wrong that we need to fix.
Of course, as practitioners, it’s our job to help our patients feel more comfortable in their bodies. There is a whole spectrum of choices we can discuss with them, from lifestyle changes on one end to synthetic hormones on the other. Different options along the spectrum may be appropriate for different women, and we need to take the utmost care in determining the best course of action for each patient.
But let’s not forget that menopause is also the doorway to something bigger. And as clinicians, we can open that door, introducing our patients to a new way of thinking about and preparing for this important life shift.
In this video, I invite you to share my vision of what menopause can be, and how we can facilitate that vision for our patients.