By Jamie Lashbrook, LMP
Let me begin with a story…
I met my client Susie (fake name) a few months ago to address her fibroids. She is a grounded woman who does her inner work and has a rich relationship with spirit. She had thrown almost every natural intervention she knew of at her conditions but was still feeling like she was missing a connection in how to address her healing. Her symptoms were not as severe as some but energetically she felt blocked and distracted by the presence of these benign growths. And, yes, there was some pain and discomfort. Above all, she did not want surgery.
Our first session was powerful as she is an open vessel ready to receive. We discussed the connection between uterine fibroids and the inability to express yourself creatively. We also talked at length about the relationship to the heart, as the womb and the heart communicate and want to manifest our greatest good in love and self-expression of our life dream(s). I could see some things connecting for her and some realizations about her life she may need to take a deeper look at. As we began to work I could feel an energy in her womb really wanting to be seen and heard and felt. She released a lot of tension through her chakras and an opening into her deeper layers of healing had emerged.
Throughout our next few sessions she continued to improve in her relationship to herself, how she viewed her fibroid and what it had to teach her. I had her doing self-care at home, lymphatic drainage sessions to keep clearing the pelvic bowl and taking a very strong pelvic decongestant tonic. Her fibroid has softened and she found that with the release she experienced she was at peace with the fibroid in her womb and does not feel the need at all for surgery or further intervention at this time.
This is a beautiful story about the connection with healing, self-love, and truly tuning into what our bodies are trying to convey; after all, all they want is to be in harmony with your spirit. However, this is not to say that self-love alone will heal your fibroids. But what the journey into your body and your heart will do is bring you to a place of clarity and discernment about what is best for you- regardless of what outside influences, healers, doctors, etc. will tell you.
So, for those of you unfamiliar with uterine fibroids let’s begin with a little info…
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors of the uterus that grow in various locations inside and outside the uterine walls. They range in size and shape. They occur in anywhere from 20-50 percent of women (depending on whether a woman even is aware of them). They are the number one reason for hysterectomy- of which many I will say are unnecessary. The majority of women do not even have symptoms from their fibroids. How they can affect a woman’s life and create symptoms largely depends on the location of the fibroid in/on her uterus:
Subsersosal: These are located in the muscle wall of the uterus just under the surface. They tend to not cause many symptoms. Submucosal: These grow into the uterine lining itself and can cause heavy and irregular bleeding with menses. These can become a real problem if the woman is losing so much blood monthly that she becomes severely deficient. They can also greatly affect fertility.
Pedunculated: These are attached to the outside and sometimes inside cavity of the uterus by a stalk. I have easily palpated and even moved these around in some clients. Again, they don’t tend to cause symptoms other than the oddity of having a palpable, and sometimes very large, fibroid growing into your abdominal cavity. However, if they are growing inside of the uterine cavity (which is rarer than outside) they can cause fertility issues.
Women who are diagnosed with fibroids are unfortunately not given many options outside of surgery and there is very little to no discussion around the lifestyle implications of these women. When I work with women who have fibroids the discussion always begins with a comprehensive overview of their physical- emotional-spiritual lifestyle practices. How is their diet? What is their menstrual and birth history? Are they getting out and connecting with nature? Do they have a creative outlet? What do they believe about love, sex, and intimacy and how is that showing up in their life? I had another client with a fibroid tumor palpable up to her navel. With an adjustment to an anti-inflammatory diet, self- care, and interpersonal work she was able to shrink the presence of her fibroid physically and energetically to the point of being at one with her body and deciding against surgery; not to mention most of her symptoms disappeared.
Fibroid tumors, cysts, painful and irregular menses, and fertility challenges are often a result of a deeply wounded second chakra. Our second chakra is the literally the birthplace of our creative selves and how we believe in what we are projecting creatively into the world. Being the center of creation it is also the center of sexual connection and intimacy which is why it is so close in conversation with our heart. You may feel love in your heart but if it is surrounded in fear, lack of self-expression and self-worth, or if your heart’s love and desire is not being met then I can almost guarantee you it will show up in a pelvic bowl imbalance.
“…fibroid tumors represent our creativity that has never birthed, including fantasy images our ourselves that have never seen the light of day and creative secrets of our other selves.” ~ Carolyn Myss via Christiane Northrup M.D “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom”.
If our womb/second chakra is the center of self -creative expression and creative guidance wouldn’t we want to nurture and connect to this part of ourselves as women throughout our lives? And, just because a woman is done menstruating does not mean she is even close to done expressing and creating. Every beautiful part and piece of ourselves was gifted to us for a function- every part. I don’t want to get on my pedestal but too often I hear of doctors telling women that they don’t need their uterus as though it is a nuisance and something that can be discarded. I have deep empathy for those of you reading who have debilitating symptoms that greatly affect your life and health. But this is a conversation to begin to look at your symptoms through a new lens. And maybe even heal your symptoms or get to a place of balance where you can make a clear and informed decision around your options. You are not a victim of your body; it was not created to be in pain and dysfunction.
So what do you do?
First don’t Fight Your Fibroids: The current “healing” model is much more focused on fear and fighting our imbalances and dis-eases than it is educating and listening to what it is the body is trying to say. Our bodies don’t want to be battle grounds. I encourage women to stop and start to talk to their fibroids and accept them as a part of themselves. After all they are literally an expression of something wanting to grow. What are they trying to express that maybe you haven’t? What part of you needs love that is not being seen? This is a deep journey and very necessary if you really want to heal fully. This is a time to get some guidance from your fellow wise women.
By looking at ourselves holistically rather than targeting the “evil” that must be destroyed we can begin to piece together a larger view that can draw in healing and support from many angles. This will set your whole body up for healing success. When we fight anything or when anything fights us what is our first reaction? It is to fight back.
Diet and Hormone balancing: Uterine fibroids are a response to many things but physiologically they are driven by hormone imbalances and inflammation- and some women are pre-disposed due to their ethnic backgrounds. Beginning with an overview of your diet and moving towards an anti-inflammatory diet free of all xeno and phyto estrogens is a good start. There are also some very powerful pelvic decongestant herbs that are helpful. Working with a doctor or holistic practitioner who specializes in women’s health is most necessary before starting on any herbs or hormone treatments. Get an overview of how your hormones and body work. Knowledge is power.
Maya Abdominal Massage: Maya abdominal massage techniques can help reduce inflammation in the pelvis and abdomen and any bring balance to the reproductive system. My teacher Rosita Arvigo has seen cases where an imbalance in the uterine position along with emotional blockages have contributed to the growth of fibroids. Once the uterus and pelvic bowl were restored to physical and emotional harmony treating the fibroids became easier. I have seen numerous women benefit from this work on many levels.
Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy: This is a remarkable technique using micro current technology that targets deep inflammation and opens the lymphatic system for optimal detoxification. I have seen this technique soften, and in some cases, even shrink fibroid tissue. It has many applications for overall pelvic decongesting and health.
Castor Oil Packs: Castor oil when used regularly will penetrate the deep visceral layers of the body and begin to soften and detoxify tissues, organs and scar tissue. It is a must treatment for fibroids and pelvic decongestion.
Write your womb story: This is a journey and can be so profound if you just let your true emotions come forward. Our wombs have so much to say and to teach. They hold so many stories of love, creation, heart ache, pain and fear. Write your story- draw your story- dance your story- LOVE your story.
Surgery: This must be mentioned as it is a very viable solution when ALL other avenues have been explored and your heart and mind are in a place to make an informed decision. No woman should suffer pain and fatigue from blood loss and inflammation. I completely support and honor this decision. If surgery is your path, then the above therapies are very necessary to heal the womb. There are many surgical procedures that can eliminate the fibroids. I will just list them:
Hysterectomy Myomectomy Ablation Emolization Exablate
Do fibroids ever go away? This is dependent on too many factors to give an answer. To be perfectly honest, not often, but they can. And, like I said, most of them are not even noticeable or create complications. They can and will almost completely shrink once the supply of hormones feeding them decreases as women enter menopause.
Are they cancerous? Less than one in a thousand turn out to be a cancerous growth. In fact, the fatality rate of hysterectomy is one in a thousand making it more threatening than your fibroid.
Can I have children? YES! Fibroids can cause fertility complications but most women who address the underlying causes and begin to holistically heal their fibroids have normal pregnancies. However, if the fibroid has distorted the uterine wall or they begin to rapidly grow with the influx of hormones, there can be complications which is why you want to work closely with a doctor who can closely monitor them.
As with most pathologies of our reproductive system, fibroids can cause a great range of emotional and physical imbalances. Imbalance points us towards how to balance if we listen and love the parts of ourselves that need the healing.
I am sure that if you are reading this and have fibroids you have many questions.
I am here to help guide you.
The information here is collected from personal experience and from…
“Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom”, Christiane Northrup, M.D.