Note from the author and publisher: The following interview contains graphic information and professional opinions that some people may find offensive in regard to women's bodies and women's health care in general.
The purpose of this interview is not to offend anyone. Rather, the intent is to offer information, support, and resources for those who seek new answers to age-old questions about how to care for the female body in gentle, safe, and effective ways.
Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any responsibility or any legal liability for any adverse reactions, experiences, or situations that may result from reading or using any information contained in this interview.
Prolapse and Posture
A Safe and Natural Solution to the Most Common Women's Health Condition: A Conversation with Christine Kent, Author of Saving the Whole Woman
By Cat Saunders
It wasn't that long ago that I didn't even know what prolapse was, much less that it's the most common women's health condition in the developed world. Although prolapse has existed around the world and across time, it has reached epidemic proportions in so-called modern societies. Why?
Many women in the developed world have lost touch with their bodies, not only in terms of honoring their natural rhythms and needs, but also in terms of supporting their bodies' natural alignment in the midst of daily activities at home, at work, and at play.
Women in Westernized cultures may not even know what healthy female posture looks like, much less what it feels like. Many of us have been told since childhood to stand up straight, stick your chest out, pull your shoulders back, and suck in your stomach! But that kind of forced military posture is not what natural female alignment is about at all.
If I—as a healing professional of 25 years—didn't know about the relationship between prolapse and posture, then I'm guessing there are plenty of other people who are also in the dark about it.
Fortunately, there is a beacon of light in the midst of this darkness. A registered nurse named Christine Kent has devoted her life to helping women prevent, manage, and heal prolapse naturally. In her pioneering book, Saving the Whole Woman, and in her DVD, "First Aid for Prolapse," Christine provides women with the truth about prolapse, including its causes, its history as a medical condition, and its terrible legacy of ineffective and sometimes catastrophic treatment methods under the guise of conventional gynecology.
Christine tells it like it is—woman to woman and heart to heart. She doesn't pull any punches, and she doesn't mince words when she describes the suffering that she and countless other women have endured in their quest to heal prolapse.
I wish someone had taught me as a child what I learned from Christine Kent in 2009 at age 55—namely, how to sit and stand and move like the female animal I am.
If you've never experienced prolapse, then believe me, you don't want to! And if you do have some form of it, then I encourage you to let Christine Kent teach you how to alleviate your symptoms as fully as possible through safe and natural methods designed by Mother Nature herself.
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Cat: For those who don't know what prolapse actually is, would you describe it in simple terms, including some of its most common symptoms and effects?
Christine: Prolapse occurs when the pelvic organs fall away from their normal positions and begin to bulge into, and sometimes out of, the vaginal space. The most common physical manifestations are feelings of heaviness in the vaginal area, low back pain, and a bulge at or near the vaginal opening.
The psychological consequences of prolapse can be significant, particularly in younger women. It is common for women to feel "broken" or to feel as if their bodies have somehow failed them. In addition, fears about the loss of physical or sexual function can be emotionally paralyzing for women.
Cat: In May of 2009, I was diagnosed with mild cystocele (bladder prolapse) and was sent home with what I now know are the standard conventional medical instructions—to do daily Kegels and see a physical therapist if I wanted further help with "strengthening the muscles of my pelvic floor."
Luckily, I don't take a doctor's words as gospel anymore, so I went online and quickly found your article, "Why Kegels Don't Work." Would you explain why Kegels may be good for enhancing sexual function, but they don't help with prolapse?
Christine: Dr. Kegel and his famous exercise are really at the core of what is wrong with the medical model of pelvic organ prolapse. I know it sounds amazing, but it is a fact that gynecology does not understand the true nature of female pelvic organ support.
To put it most simply, there is no hole in a “floor” of soft tissue at the base of the torso. In reality, the pelvic outlet (the opening in the pelvic bones and musculature) is at the back of the body, just as it is in four-legged animals. In normal anatomy, the pelvic organs are carried directly behind the lower abdominal wall at the front of the body, and away from the pelvic outlet at the back of the body.
Pelvic organ support has nothing to do with tightening the muscles of the pelvic outlet. Only when those muscles are stretched to their functional lengths can intraabdominal pressure work to pin the organs into position, instead of causing them to be pushed out of the body as happens in prolapse.
Tightening, or contracting, the muscles of the pelvic diaphragm actually draws the pelvic organs away from their positions of support and toward the vaginal space. In other words, Kegels pull pelvic organs in the direction of prolapse.
Cat: In your book and video, you talk about how early anatomy books generated several false conceptions about female anatomy, since physicians formulated their ideas based on dead bodies lying flat against a slab, instead of live bodies standing or moving in three-dimensional space. Would you say more about this?
Christine: Yes, the earliest medical drawings were based on misconception of the anatomical orientation of the pelvis. We do not know why those early artists drew the pelvis with an almost 90° backward rotation to resemble a bowl with the organs packed inside.
Most likely, as you say, they did not make the conceptual leap from the cadaver on the table to the living, bipedal human whose pubic bones are positioned underneath her like straps of a saddle.
It was an honest mistake 500 years ago, but what is truly remarkable is that the error has never been corrected. In fact, mainstream gynecology is still defending inaccurate female pelvic anatomy, sometimes even to the point of fraudulent reproduction of imaging technologies.
Cat: When I was having trouble visualizing how the bladder or the rectum (as is the case for some women) could protrude into the vagina, one gynecologist told me that the vagina is like "a big hole that anything can fall into," and another one described it as "a piece of limp, cooked cannelloni" (a tube-like pasta).
Needless to say, these explanations didn't make things any clearer. Can you provide a more accurate description of the mechanics of prolapse?
Christine: We hear these sorts of explanations from doctors all the time. Would you allow a contractor to remodel your house who disregarded basic geometry? Would you board an airplane with a pilot who did not understand the mechanics of flight?
It is utterly catastrophic that pelvic reconstructive surgeons do not understand the core anatomy of the female pelvis. The reason why pelvic reconstructive surgery does not work is because it is not based on natural pelvic dynamics.
Prolapse occurs when the pelvic organs—the bladder, uterus and sigmoid colon—fall away from their normal positions at the abdominal wall. The vagina—which in normal anatomy is a closed, airless space—thus becomes subject to the bladder, uterus, and/or rectum bulging into it.
The uterus is the ceiling of the pelvic interior, and with every breath women take, it is being pushed down and forward by the forces of gravity and by the natural shape of the lumbar spine. Two strong ligaments, called the round ligaments, come off the front of the uterus, travel down the inguinal canal on either side of the lower abdominal wall, and embed into the labia surrounding the vagina.
When the uterus is properly pulled forward by these ligaments, the vaginal walls are pulled up and into their natural position in the body, counterbalancing the force of gravity by way of Nature's simple and elegant design.
Many women have been told at one time or another that they have a “tipped” uterus. This is actually the first stage of prolapse and an indication that the vagina is more prone to cystocele and rectocele.
Cat: That's interesting. Now that you say that, I can remember a midwife telling me about 20 years ago that my uterus was "tilted," but she just said, "Some women are made like that."
She was the kind of midwife who would have been open to what you teach about posture and prolapse, so I wish your book had been available then!
Less than three months after I began using your postural suggestions for healing prolapse naturally, I noticed that my symptoms were almost completely gone. I went to a second gynecologist to get re-evaluated and she said that there was no sign of prolapse.
Needless to say, I was thrilled and even more impressed with your work, so I told the gynecologist about what you teach regarding prolapse and posture. She said to keep doing whatever I was doing. However, when I said that my symptoms were alleviated in less than three months, she said that I may never have had prolapse in the first place.
I said nothing to her, but frankly, I found her statement rather insulting, because it insinuated that either the other gynecologist didn't know what she was doing, and/or that my symptoms had been a figment of my imagination. If there's one thing I can say about prolapse, it's that the symptoms are so distressing there's no way anyone could make them up!
Even though that particular gynecologist is well-known, highly respected, and into holistic medicine, she showed absolutely no interest in learning about what had healed my prolapse symptoms in such a short time. Do you run into this attitude a lot with Western medical doctors?
Christine: All the time. Where is gynecology to go? Their conceptual framework of prolapse is mistaken. This means all their surgeries are based on inaccurate assumptions.
For almost ten years now, women have been telling their doctors about this work. But apparently, based on reports from thousands of women who have written to me, most gynecologists do not want to know about Whole Woman™ healing techniques.
Cat: What advice do you give to women who encounter ignorance, disrespect, and/or false information when interfacing with their physicians about prolapse and its treatment?
Christine: When dealing with any problem, gathering as much information as possible is the most logical course of action. It is shocking to learn of the ignorance and deception that is endemic to gynecology. Yet, sometimes it's a necessary first step in the process of self-care to encounter and deal effectively with this ignorance and deception.
I always tell women to get a medical diagnosis and to ask their doctors as many questions as possible. Women are not stupid and are usually capable of making good decisions when provided with enough data.
Cat: You speak about prolapse being the most commonly diagnosed women's health problem in the developed world. Would you say more about this? Also, I would love to know your source for this information, so I can pass it along to others to provide more support for your work.
Christine: The National Association of Continence states that more than half of women in the United States over the age of fifty suffer significant prolapse symptoms. The Women’s Health Initiative found that more than 34% of women in the U.S. with a uterus had significant cystocele.
The figure of 50% of all women who have given birth (experiencing some form of prolapse) is published widely in gynecologic literature. These statistics show that prolapse occurs far more often than any other women’s health disorder.
Cat: I told my wonderful longtime holistic physician, Dr. Steve Hall, about your saying that prolapse is the most commonly diagnosed women's health condition in the developed world. I also said that I wondered why I'd barely even heard of prolapse before I got diagnosed with it, if it's so common? He commiserated and said simply, "It's because nobody talks about it."
I know you're definitely doing your part to talk about prolapse, and I want to help spread the word about your work now, too. If you were in charge of early childhood education in schools, at what point would you begin talking to girls about prolapse, and what would you tell them in your special curriculum about it?
Christine: This question is central to my book, Saving the Whole Woman. If we look far enough back into history, it is easy to understand why prolapse has remained hidden.
The surgical specialty of gynecology developed during and just after the Victorian Age. Modesty reined supreme and it is documented that women were completely dressed or draped from view during pelvic examinations, with doctors determining anatomical landmarks only by feel.
Midwifery had already become a male specialty decades earlier and by the middle of the 20th century, doctors and medical schools were the only major sources of information on birth and female health. Any information sharing about prolapse amongst women did not survive the advent of gynecology. We became less and less knowledgeable about our bodies as OB/GYN became more and more powerful.
When a woman went to her doctor with symptoms of prolapse, she was usually ushered away to the operating room to be given the “gold standard” of treatment, which almost always included hysterectomy.
The aftermath of hysterectomy is grim and one of the major ways women have been silenced over the past century. When your sex organs have been taken, how much are you going to want to talk about it? When you add this to the utter confusion about female anatomy in general, there was literally no way for women to talk about prolapse.
As horrible as this travesty of misinformation and mistreatment has been for women, I still think the true story of gynecology should be taught as part of the general history curriculum in school, just as we teach children about the Holocaust and the Dark Ages and other parts of our past that we don't want to repeat.
In terms of teaching specifically about prolapse, girls are ready for sex education by grade four or five, and this instruction should begin with accurate information about their own bodies.
Girls should be taught that there is a natural shape of the human body which is no longer supported by modern life. In addition, it would be helpful to demonstrate to them how a sedentary lifestyle and improper ways of standing and moving can lead to a loss of the natural lumbar curve, which in turn can seriously impact female health.
By eighth grade, girls should be taught the history of midwifery and obstetrics, and by high school, they should know the whole story of prolapse and reconstructive pelvic surgery.
Cat: After seeing the first two gynecologists, and getting two entirely different diagnoses, I set up an appointment with a third gynecologist, who was the head of the women's health clinic at a major teaching university in Seattle. She was really great—very smart and open-minded and respectful.
I told her that I was there for a third opinion—kind of like a tie-breaker—because I'd gotten two completely different diagnoses and didn't know what to think. After examining me, she pronounced me prolapse-free, but told me to continue with whatever I was doing that helped, and to keep an eye on my symptoms.
I wish I could say that I was completely reassured, but the tests for prolapse seem so subjective. The three gynecologists I saw all had their own series of manual tests, which included various combinations of inserting their finger or fingers into my vagina and/or rectum while I was lying on the table, standing up, sticking one leg up on a chair, or squatting. Meanwhile, I was alternately told to relax (yeah, right!) or "bear down" to exaggerate any symptoms that might be there.
I'm sure these are all standard tests for prolapse, but again, they seem unavoidably subjective. Is it common for doctors to give women many different diagnoses?
Christine: The evaluative and diagnostic tools for prolapse are set within a faulty framework, therefore nothing adds up. Women often complain of disparity in diagnoses.
Cat: Even though I really liked the gynecologist I saw for a "tie-breaker" diagnosis, all she said when I told her about your work with posture was "Wow, I never heard of that before!"
Although she didn't show any sign of disbelief, she (like the other gynecologist before her) did not inquire further. Is it your experience that Western medical doctors are typically this uninterested in natural ways to heal prolapse?
Christine: Most doctors do not want to know. This is one of the most common stories told by women of their doctors.
Cat: The third gynecologist I saw told me a horror story about one of her patients who had uterine prolapse. She said that before her patient went to work in the morning, she would manually push her uterus back up into her vagina and then pull her underwear up as tight as she could to hold it in. Yikes!
Your book provides true case histories about the incredible suffering endured by women with various kinds of prolapse. Would you share one of those stories here?
Christine: I included a couple of case histories at the end of my book to underscore all the statistics and journal citations with real-life, personal experiences of women.
One story described a very elderly woman who had endured a long history of prolapse surgeries. The most recent attempt to stem the constant downward progression of her internal organs was to suture her vagina shut, a fairly common operation called colpocleisis.
Six months after the surgery, while she was sitting on the toilet, she was stricken with intense pain and looked down to see several feet of gangrened bowel eviscerating through what was once her vagina. She was rushed to the hospital and closed up again, but it was concluded that the repairs were not likely to last. This is the story of prolapse no one wants to talk about.
Cat: What are the common medical treatments for prolapse?
Christine: Women are typically offered four choices when they go to their doctor with prolapse: a rubbery, diaphragm-like device called a pessary; physical therapy (you guessed it—Kegels); surgery; or “do nothing” until symptoms worsen.
This is truly an amazing time in the history of reconstructive pelvic surgery. The last decade has proven that vaginal wall repairs and hysterectomy are futile in the treatment of prolapse. What’s left is shoring up the vagina with surgical mesh, some of the most cruel and unregulated experiments ever, or performing repeats of an age-old surgical failure, namely, uterine suspension. Literally hundreds of ways to suspend the prolapsed uterus have been tried over the past 150 years and all have failed.
Cat: Would you share your own story about prolapse?
Christine: My own story began with a routine trip to the gynecologist. The doctor found a fibroid and told me it might be cancer and that a hysterectomy was my best option. A second opinion echoed the first and caused me to travel out of state to a surgeon who was willing to remove the fibroid without doing a hysterectomy.
That surgeon advised a bladder neck suspension to be performed at the same time, which pulled my front vaginal wall forward and caused an immediate and profound uterine prolapse. I spent the next several years in medical libraries and dance studios learning the true nature of our anatomy and the true nature of prolapse.
Cat: When I first received a prolapse diagnosis, I was deeply troubled not only because it's so physically distressing, but also because I've had such a long history of debilitating medical conditions that I thought, "Oh, no, not another thing to deal with!"
On the other hand, I have a deep spiritual commitment to discern the helpful purpose behind whatever comes my way, even if it has a fearsome appearance initially. When I prayed for guidance about the purpose of my having developed prolapse—including the discovery of how to overcome it through your work—the answer came swiftly and clearly: "Be a mouthpiece!"
I confess that my initial response to this directive was, "Oh, no! I don't want to tell anyone about my own prolapse!" But then I remembered how many times I haven't wanted to disclose something deeply personal before in my writing, and how many times I did it anyway in order to be of service to others.
Besides, the guidance to "be a mouthpiece" for your work came with an addendum, namely, that my own prolapse would not heal unless I honored this directive. At that point, I knew it was a done deal and my privacy was a goner!
I'm wondering if it was hard for you when you first "came out" about your personal experience with prolapse?
Christine: I, too, got the message in a powerful spiritual experience—which I alluded to in the first edition of Saving the Whole Woman—that telling the world about prolapse and prolapse treatment would be my life’s work. I choose not to describe the experience, because it would be difficult for many people to accept. However, from that moment forward I never questioned my purpose, nor felt embarrassment or shame because of my condition.
I do detest the word “prolapse," however. Ironically, it means to “fall forward," when in fact the organs fall back. Couldn’t they get anything right? [Laughs.]
Cat: It's a gift for us all—women and men included—that you've broken the silence about prolapse and begun talking openly about it. I say "men included" because men who are in relationship with women are likely to be affected by their partners' prolapse symptoms in various ways.
Maybe the man's wife or lover doesn't want to have sex anymore, but she's not willing to say why. Or if the woman is still willing to have sex, maybe she no longer likes a particular sexual activity or position they both formerly enjoyed together.
The fact that a woman may be too ashamed to talk about what's happening—or that she herself may not understand what's happening—only serves to make the consequences of prolapse even more debilitating for both people in a relationship.
I hope that we baby boomers—who have been breaking taboos right and left by talking openly about formerly "taboo" subjects like sex, menopause, depression, and even death—can now add "prolapse" to the list of topics that can be freely discussed without the fear of stigma or shame.
Do you have any suggestions for helping women overcome shame about prolapse in order to more easily talk about it with their partners, their doctors, or even their family and friends?
Christine: The most important thing they can do is talk to other women who are experiencing the exact same symptoms and circumstances. Almost every day a new member to the Whole Woman™ forums will express extreme gratitude for having found a place where she can gain comfort in talking to others about her condition.
Unfortunately, not all husbands or partners are supportive and some, whether out of fear or selfishness, do not want to talk about it. Women are extraordinarily generous in the ways they care and support each other, which may be the very best medicine.
Cat: My initial experience of prolapse came suddenly out of the blue one night while I was sitting relaxed on the bed, laughing about something with my partner, John. It felt like my uterus was falling out of my vagina, and it freaked the hell out of me!
At the time, I had no idea what was happening or why, nor had I ever experienced anything even remotely like it. As it turned out, a subsequent gynecological exam revealed that my uterus was riding high in its proper place. However, I was diagnosed with stage two cystocele (mild bladder prolapse; there are four stages).
Before that freaky "falling out" experience and since then, I didn't have any problems with incontinence or any other symptoms commonly associated with cystocele.
Thinking back, the one symptom I did have for years before that awful night was that I sometimes felt like I had to pee again right after I had already urinated. Because of your work, I now know that this symptom of incomplete bladder emptying can be one of the warning signs of impending prolapse.
In your experience, do most women have a sudden "out of the blue" experience with prolapse, or do most women's symptoms come on gradually?
Christine: The pelvic organs are very heavy when filled with their respective fluids. Yet, strong layers of connective tissue, or fascia, keep them from bursting through the vaginal walls, at least for several decades. Slowly over time, displaced organs may push through the fascia. What is experienced as a sudden (and often terrifying) bulge has actually been developing for years.
Cat: I've been trying to figure out how to describe the experience of prolapse to my longtime partner, John, but I haven't been able to come up with anything he can relate to as a man. Since you're a nurse, I wonder if you have an analogy that would help men understand what prolapse feels like?
Christine: Because the path of least resistance of intraabdominal pressure is through the vagina, women experience vaginal prolapse almost exclusively. It is not uncommon for men, however, to experience rectal prolapse. An image of severe rectal prolapse might make the point.
Cat: Just to be clear, does that mean that the rectum would collapse in on itself and protrude from the anal opening? Also, is rectal prolapse in men related to posture like it is for women?
That’s right, the rectal mucosa, or lining, turns inside out and bulges outside the anus. Like vaginal prolapse, rectal prolapse results from alterations in the way intraabdominal pressure moves through the body. Heavy lifting in disadvantageous postures and straining against toilet seats are major causal factors.
Cat: I wonder if you would talk specifically about sex in relation to prolapse, both in terms of what's possible for women with this condition and how they can enjoy sex even if they continue to have some degree of prolapse?
Christine: Sex in prolapsed women of reproductive age is usually beneficial once they get past the emotional and psychological barriers of having a vagina with bulges in it. Some women with cystocele have expressed discomfort, which is usually relieved by extra lubrication and side-lying, face-to-face positioning.
Sex after menopause becomes complicated for many women, prolapse or not. Research suggests that post-menopausal changes in estrogen production and metabolism cause the common symptoms of vaginal pain and dryness. It is no wonder the market for estrogen supplementation has grown to such huge proportions, as these symptoms can become very severe.
The ultimate result of reduced estrogen is lack of production of glycogen upon which natural vaginal flora feed. Lactobacilli are the most common microorganism without which vaginal pH increases. As the vagina becomes more alkaline, overgrowth of anaerobic organisms replaces beneficial lactobacilli.
This process can sometimes be rebooted with supplemental estrogen, but at what cost? As we now know, hormone replacement therapy is risky, at best, and it can be downright dangerous in some cases.
I believe the future of post-menopausal vaginal health will reside in vaginal probiotics and dietary phytoestrogens (plant-based estrogens). However, even a comfortable vagina will not necessarily increase postmenopausal libido. This is a biological fact of life and may be one reason why younger second and third wives were part of early cultures in many parts of the world.
Cat: One reason I've been guided to be a "mouthpiece" for your work is this: if prolapse can happen to me—a childless woman in reasonably good shape—then it can happen to anyone.
The gynecologists I saw expressed surprise that I had prolapse symptoms, because they said that childbirth is one of the most common precursors to prolapse and I am childless. How common is prolapse in women who have not given birth, compared to those who have?
Christine: Prolapse is certainly less common in women who have not given birth, but I am not aware of any reliable studies indicating to what extent this is true. Prolapse is a very poorly recorded disorder because there is no commonly agreed upon division between “prolapse” and “normal."
The youngest member with prolapse ever to join Whole Woman™ was seventeen years old. We have had several nineteen-year-olds with prolapse who have never been pregnant, as well as many women in their twenties.
Cat: If you could help parents with their daughters in regard to postural health, and devise some kind of simple checklist of tips, what would be on your list?
Christine: Chairs (including car seats) are the least supportive aspect of our environment. If girls could spend even a couple hours each day sitting cross-legged on the floor, this could be extremely helpful. Cross-legged sitting stretches the psoas muscles to their functional lengths and helps position the abdominal wall in front of the hips, thus encouraging the natural lumbar curve and providing optimal pelvic organ support.
Girls should also be encouraged to engage in lots of natural exercise, particularly walking and running. Natural posture results from natural activity.
Cat: In 2005, in a freak fall at home, I fractured my spine and had to wear a full-torso aluminum Jewett brace for three months. The brace was brutally unforgiving—no slouching allowed, even for a minute! However, the brace saved me from paralysis, and as a bonus, it taught me through 24/7 feedback the true and natural alignment of a healthy spine.
Once my back was stable enough for me to move about with the brace, I slowly began to experiment with how to stand, sit, and walk in such a way that the brace would become as comfortable and "invisible" as possible. I figured if it wasn't digging into me anywhere, that would mean I was in proper alignment.
I distinctly remember one afternoon when I was out for a walk in my Jewett brace and I finally "got" it. Suddenly I felt like my body was "floating" inside the brace and I was no longer encumbered by it.
In that moment, I experienced an easy and effortless alignment like I'd never felt before. I felt like a Masai warrior, leading from the center of my body with a relaxed belly. My body felt fully upright without being stiff or forced in any way. It was great!
When I watched your DVD for the first time, I was struck by the part where you have a young woman demonstrate healthy female posture, because what you teach is exactly what my Jewett brace taught me about natural alignment.
Although I realize that visual and kinesthetic demonstrations are best, would you describe your Whole Woman™ postural tips for readers here?
Christine: To honor the female body's natural alignment, you would walk with your feet pointing straight ahead. Your knees are kept straight, without letting them "lock" or bow backward when you're standing or when your legs extend while walking.
You don’t try to increase the curvature in your lower back, and you definitely do not suck your stomach in. Instead, you simply allow your lower belly to relax, which naturally expands the lumbar curve.
In addition, you let your shoulders relax downward (not back), and you can feel your spine lift gently upward through the back of your neck and the crown of your head, as if you're suspended by a string from the sky.
What makes the Whole Woman™ posture different from other postural systems is that it does not pull in the abdominal wall. This is a very tough sell to women who have been sucking in and belting in their bellies for as long as they can remember.
However, a woman's natural body posture creates much more beautiful contours than the corseted, "held in" look we are accustomed to seeing in women today.
Cat: If you could say one thing to Western medical doctors about prolapse, what would it be?
Christine: As incredible as it sounds, the true nature of female anatomy and the natural history of prolapse have generally not been studied by mainstream gynecology. These are huge oversights that eventually will no longer be tolerated by civil society. I would ask Western medical doctors to find a way to bridge this gap in understanding and practice.
Cat: I know that one of my longtime inspirations—the renown women's health care physician and author, Christiane Northrup, M.D.—endorses your work. I've also noticed endorsements on your Web site from many other experts, which is great!
Is there any kind of referral list for health care professionals who are open to and/or knowledgeable about your work?
Christine: I believe the condition of prolapse should primarily be given over to midwifery. The surgical practice of gynecology has done a deplorable job with it overall and has caused additional suffering for countless women. Conventional physical therapy has been informed by mainstream gynecology, so generally speaking, it also has little of value to contribute in regard to prolapse.
On the other hand, midwives have a unique relationship with women. Personally, I would like to see midwives expand their practice to include recognizing, diagnosing, and treating prolapse. This education must include correct information about the anatomy and biomechanics of the female pelvic organ support system, which, to my knowledge, only exists at this time through the Whole Woman™ network.
Midwives, naturopaths, and any other health care professionals who are interested in helping women safely and effectively work with prolapse can become certified Whole Woman™ teachers. As this network of professionals grows, we will then be able to create a meaningful referral list for women. (For more information about becoming a certified Whole Woman™ teacher, please see resource information following this interview.)
Cat: If you could say one thing to women about prolapse, what would it be?
Christine: Change your posture, change your prolapse.
This interview was published July 28, 2010 by Heartwings Foundation.
If you found this interview helpful, please help it go viral! The best way to reach the most people at one time would be for Christine Kent to be on Oprah. Maybe Dr. Oz could be there, too, since he's so good at talking about all the things nobody likes to talk about! Plus, Dr. Oz could provide some good modeling for men about how to be supportive of women in regard to prolapse.
Of course, everybody wants to be on Oprah, so only Oprah knows if that will ever happen for Christine.
In the meantime, the author and the publisher, along with Christine Kent, give you their blessing and encouragement to reproduce, reprint, and/or share this interview—either personally, online, or in the print media—as long as you do so respectfully by including the entire interview as well as the resources at the end, along with a link to this Web site (drcat.org).
As an alternative, you are welcome to simply provide a direct link to the interview at "Prolapse and Posture ~ A Safe and Natural Solution to the Most Common Women's Health Condition: A Conversation with Christine Kent, Author of Saving the Whole Woman." Thanks for your support!
If you are a health professional interested in becoming part of a referral network of practitioners supportive of Christine Kent's Whole Woman™ techniques, please click on this link: Whole Woman Practitioners.
If you are interested in becoming a Whole Woman™ teacher yourself, please see Whole Woman Teacher Training.
For additional information about Christine Kent and her work, or to order her book, Saving the Whole Woman, her DVD "First Aid for Prolapse," or other Whole Woman™ products, please visit her Web site, wholewoman.com.
If you'd like to see Christine's prolapse self-exam tips to check for prolapse, just click on the link.
Cat Saunders, Ph.D., is a counselor and consultant, death doula, and nonsectarian
minister in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of Dr.
Cat's Helping Handbook (available at Amazon.com).
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