Generally speaking, men and women have very different, yet similar, health concerns. The state of imbalance does not favor one sex over the other, however the different sexes may be prone to certain imbalances based on diets and expected social standards. The environment in which we live in (and grow up in) has a high impact on our overall well-being, especially mental health. I always believe that the first step in a healthy approach to living is a healthy mental-state of well-being.
My mom, who has been a nurse of many kinds over the years, has always told me “If your perspective towards life is happy and healthy, then your physical health will follow” and I believe this whole-heartedly. My mom’s experience of working in the hospital has allowed her to interact with patients of all kinds, from every walk of life. The patients that have a humble attitude, are grateful for the care they receive, and carry a positive perspective towards their situation, almost always have a faster and better recovery. The patients that resist cooperation, are angry or sad towards the situation, or are mentally/emotionally stuck, have a slower recovery or may not recover at all.
If I’m going to be honest, what saved my life was a change in perspective. Back in High School, I was emotionally constipated along with being unable to digest and process the world around me. I was unknowingly creating my own demise, as well as a mental pattern that would lead to an unhealthy future full of bad choices and an unhealthy body. Then one day, I had a thought…”Well I’m not dead yet, which means I must be alive to do something with my life. If I had no purpose in life, then I wouldn’t be here.”
My family and my health history are from a cycle of unhealthy emotional expression – we don’t express our emotions to each other. We come from a long line of farmer’s, laborers, and businessmen (in a nutshell) and have been very susceptible to molding by societal standards. Keeping everything bottled up inside, whether positive or negative emotions, can be very detrimental to our physical health and overall well-being. At a very young age, I learned that the people we surround ourselves with, the jobs we hold, the habits we invoke on a daily routine, all have a major impact on our physical and mental health.
Both men and women experience environmental pressures that tell us how we need to live our lives. Unfortunately, this has led to men being “the man of the house” which means they can’t be emotional and expressive, while women need to become “super-mom” and do it all by taking care of the children and carrying the emotional weight of an entire household. These “standards” are what put men’s and women’s health into different categories, making each sex more prone to certain health imbalances – men: digestive and heart imbalances, women: menstrual and kidney/adrenal imbalances.
We’ve reached out to one of our Clinical Herbalists, Mo Horner owner of Natural Healing Omaha, for further insight into men’s and women’s health. We asked Mo to compare and contrast men’s and women’s health, sharing what she has gathered from her client base over the years:
Generally, at what age might someone start seeing signs of health complications?
“As young as 3 months, children can begin experiencing digestive problems that later lead to allergies, asthma, sleep problems, behavioral health issues and more. Children of all genders are affected equally. In Chinese Medicine theory, this phenomenon is seen as a weakness of the Ancestral Qi or Kidney Qi, not necessarily caused by something a parent is doing wrong. Early support with lifestyle, diet and herbal medicines can easily help get kids on track for healthy growth into adulthood.”
Are the different sexes prone to having specific health complications? If so, please list some examples:
- Men: “I’m generalizing here, but what I see in practice is that men seek support when a problem becomes chronic and has risen to the level of seriously interfering with their work or personal lives. They often expect a quick resolution and uncomplicated protocols. That can be challenge with common male health issues – infertility and low libido, prostate or urinary struggles, depression, reflux and indigestion concerns, back pain and weakness and low energy. Even so, men’s health solutions are usually straight-forward. Simple diet changes and supplements can reverse or improve many health issues given enough time.”
- Women: “Women generally seek help earlier and more often. Their mental and physical health issues tend to be complicated and can take longer to fully resolve. Untangling the root cause of a woman’s menstrual irregularities, for example, means exploring the effects of mood, sleep quality, diet and lifestyle. It means considering the stress burden of work, family, extended family and partner support. All these factors can figure into chronic insomnia, digestive problems, migraines, chronic pain, and depression and anxiety.”
“It isn’t that men’s health is unaffected by hormone changes, but the link isn’t always as strong or as far-reaching as women’s health.
It’s worth pointing out that seeing men and women as genders to be viewed with a different lens is ignoring our common humanity. We all suffer in some ways from societal pressure, unrealistic expectations of ourselves, overwork, spiritual weariness, and more recently, pandemic stress. The same kinds of herbal and lifestyle guidance that improve male health can drastically upgrade daily health for women.
In my practice, females outnumber male clients by 5 to 1. That isn’t as true in my community herbalism work. The nonprofit Wild Roots People’s Clinic offers herbal and lifestyle guidance for men, women and families in underserved populations. Every second Saturday of the month, beginning April 2022, we offer a donation-based community clinic in South Omaha. See our Facebook page for details Everyone is welcome, regardless of ability to pay. Supporting good health regardless of gender is the vision for Wild Roots People’s Clinic. Help us bring herbalism to all of Omaha by sharing our clinic Facebook event!”
Little may we realize it, but we are often the creators of our own stress. When the mind is healthy, the body is less susceptible to getting off-balance and more able to get back into balance. Being aware of our unhealthy habits and training them into a positive perspective will go a long way in maintaining a healthy state of well-being. If you would like to further discuss your health options and goals with a Clinical Herbalist, please reach out to us to schedule an appointment with either Mo or Paige, visit our Clinic Page here or give us a call 402-533-4433. You may also visit with Mo at The Wild Roots People’s Clinic in South Omaha for free herbal care!!