When I began my Happy Hormone Cottage endeavor 6 years ago, I just wanted to help women regain their joy of life. After my own journey into the world of hormone imbalance, when my husband went back to school to become trained as a compounding pharmacist so he could help me, I became aware of the magnitude and the severity of the lack of real information available to women in this arena of natural hormone balance. We go to our trusted doctors for help and for answers and herein lies the disconnect. This is one area where the misinformation and confusion run rampant, and is often perpetuated by the media, with the big pharma agenda. There are tons of studies and books on natural hormone balance and the importance of replenishing our depleting hormone receptors as we age, to not only alleviate our symptoms (sleep issues, anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, low libido, hot flashes, brain fog, sugar cravings, weight gain) of hormone imbalance, but more importantly, to prevent disease (dementia, heart disease, osteoporosis and breast cancer.) Why aren’t these studies being discussed in the media? Why don’t our doctors know and understand the benefits, the necessity, of refilling our hormone receptors? Could it be because ob gyns join a group called ACOG (American college of obstetrics and gynecology) and I suspect ACOG is funded by a pharmaceutical company or two? Dr Prudence Hall is often quoted as saying, “Hormones are to women what water is to plants.” Why isn’t this truth more a part of standard of care? The bottom line is that it isn’t. So my job, my mission, my passion is to educate women on the importance of refilling our hormone tanks as we age. This is functional medicine at its best! Functional medicine is the study of our whole body (holistic health) and how to keep it running as a whole by focusing on preventing disease and finding/ fixing the cause of disease. This is a much different approach than current standard of care that band-aids symptoms and promotes the big pharma agenda of drugging for the masses. So here is where Owning Your Journey (the title of my book) comes into play. I hope the days of taking our doctors’ word as law are over and that we are encouraged to think for ourselves. This alone is reason to visit one of our 5 Happy Hormone Cottages where our biggest mission is offering educational consultations supported by studies and books on the subject, so women can own their journey to their best health naturally. After all, learning is a change in behavior, so educating ourselves on our options is the first step. I have seen a lot of growth in this area. More and more women are dissatisfied with how they are feeling, and with the subsequent lack of information and options offered at their healthcare practitioners’ visits, so more and more women are coming in to see us at our Happy Hormone Cottage. The first step is building the awareness that hormones are more than just a menopause issue. Hormones are everything and play an important role in our overall well-being, health and quality of life. My Happy Hormone Cottage is NOT a menopause facility. We deal with the hormone issues of life: irregular periods, infertility, perimenopause, menopause, and healthy aging.
Over the past 6 years, I have seen our happy clients tell their friends and inner circle, who have told their friends and inner circle so that we have exploded from one tiny cottage in the Heart of Centerville, to 5 different cottages in 5 different cities from north of Dayton to northern Kentucky. We have developed from just an educational facility to currently include a medical facility as well. We now have our own hormone health experts working on 3 of our campuses. I call Angela and Cathy, our nurse practitioners, our hormone whisperers, and we encourage our women to keep their ob gyns for their gyn needs, but to see our nurse practitioners for their hormone needs. After all, we take our pets to veterinary specialists and our broken cars to car experts. Why not take our hormone needs to a hormone specialist? Doesn’t this just make sense?
I have learned that we can’t treat sex hormones in isolation. We have much greater success when we also address our adrenal health and thyroid needs. Why? Because the body doesn’t work alone. So we heal it from the functional medicine holistic perspective. This is why we recently brought onto our HHC campus, the new FDA-approved Thyroflex machine that actually checks the function of the thyroid, as opposed to relying solely on bloodwork. This allows us to accurately evaluate the body’s specific need for type and dosage of thyroid support/medication.
During my tenure as executive director of the Happy Hormone Cottage, I have seen the healing effects of listening to and validating women. Everyone just wants to know they matter. When our women visit us, we listen, we validate, we educate, and empower, but at the end of the day, we make sure they know how much they matter to us.
So where do I see us going over the next 6 years? I have been getting asked this question a lot lately. My answer? I know I’m open to the possibilities! I know I don’t want to live a small life. I want to live my life on purpose and my unique purpose involves serving people. I know I want to continue to think BIG! Over the past 6 years, I have written a book (Own Your Journey, available at our HHC locations, and at invigom98.sg-host.com/shop 24/7) and have updated it with a second edition coming out this month. I have developed a consulting business to train nurse practitioners around the country on how to do what we do, so more women can be helped. There is now a facility opening in Miami, Florida, that is based on the specific training we provided. In June of 2014, I started a foundation, The Women’s Health Initiatives Foundation (www.womenshealthinitiatives.org) to raise money for the prevention of breast cancer. If we can predict it, we can prevent it. Personally, I can think of no greater cause. Our second annual fundraiser called “New Hope for Cancer” is being held in Centerville on October 3, 7:00-10:00 p.m. Check out our website for details on buying a ticket or how you can help!
I know want to continue to educate and impact more and more women around the country on the importance of optimal hormone balance and refilling our hormone receptors that deplete with the aging process, starting around age 35, and sometimes younger (!) through speaking engagements, my books, my foundation, my consulting business, my website, my blogs… and ultimately encourage them to come and see us at one of our Happy Hormone Cottages. We now have women calling us from all over the country and driving and flying in from as far away as Texas and Florida to visit us and our nurse practitioners. I find this amazing and I’m ever so grateful that our circle of influence is expanding. Our mission has always been, and will continue to be women helping women. It is important. To put it simply, I just want to “Be the Change.” ~ Ghandi