Cultivate Independence w/ Women's Health Awareness June 14 2017
Self-rule and self-determination are dictionary synonyms for independence. As 4th of July approaches, let’s take stock of our personal independence and how to strengthen it. As women continue to fight to firmly establish our rightful place in the world, we still find particular topics remain largely taboo – somehow our miraculous bodies inherited elements of shame relative to women’s sexual and intimate health. It is timely to push toward positive transition with conversation of holistic intimate fitness™ and independence.
At SHE Intimate Fitness™ we believe there are five components to help elevate and expand ownership of our personal independence.
- Physical health: When we are healthy, fit and eating well, our bodies are more resilient. We feel stronger, more energized, vibrant and alluring. A woman’s body is wondrous, magical but delicately balanced, leaving us open to intimate health challenges. These challenges can result from child bearing, hormone shifts, stress or just having our period. Taking responsibility for optimal health through frank conversation, education, best intimate health practices and seeking support when our body speaks, is fundamental for an exciting, vibrant and innovative life.
- Individual Purpose: By identifying our keen sense of purpose and living it daily with conviction, we find safety, groundedness and confidence. Whether it’s building a career, following a passion, leading a family or philanthropic efforts, the empowering nature of standing strong in one’s mission, is paramount to independent health.
- Sexual health: Often misunderstood and always under-discussed, sexual health and wellness to female dysfunction are topics which should be as candid as the male counterpart. Let’s shift these issues into confidence building, personal celebration and empowerment to allow for increased awareness and action taking for self-care and confidence. The medical community is working hard to support us.
- Spiritual Health: Practices like yoga, meditation, or journaling are all means to cultivate self-awareness and connection. A spiritual practice sensitizes us to the nuances of the body, mind and soul to efficiently and independently navigate life’s challenges and self-protect. Self-awareness leads to greater self-love and the capacity to decide how to interact instead of react.
- Self-confidence: Identifying, then facing and working to change things we don’t like about ourselves can be scary and perhaps easier left tightly wound. However, insecurities are impediments that erode and block our natural state of personal independence and power. The upside of facing down our demons is freeing us up for personal evolution and reestablishing our birth right of self-love.
These days it can be difficult to know roles and imposed expectations of us. By establishing and embracing our own sense of self, we can mold our individual roles, set our own expectations and create an overwhelming feeling of empowerment and integrity. At SHE Intimate Fitness™, this is our goal for every woman – to create an environment which promotes independent health through the chemistry of self-confidence.
So what is your definition of independence? How can you pursue personal independence that empowers and flexes your muscles of integrity of individual and confidence building? Let us know in the comments below, or connect with me on twitter @sheintimatefit and https://www.facebook.com/SHEIntimateFitness/
New Health Care Trend for 2017 – Intimate Fitness™ January 02 2017
Ladies, it is time we had a spirited, frank, open and informed discussion about our ongoing intimate health and wellness and to back it up with intimate fitness™ best practices. You may have seen articles on Health and Fitness trends for 2017, but did you notice that NONE were bold enough to site our need to finally create a paradigm shift in the perception and practice of intimate and sexual health and wellness? Well look no further. Together, we are going to create a safe harbor to shine a light on all things pelvic health, sexual wellness and below the belt, right here, every other week. And you can be the driving force of this new critically important trend.
Just picture yourself in a friend’s cozy living room with your inner circle of women, maybe with a glass of wine in hand. Imagine fascinating (yet sometimes squirrely) and open discussions on things like libido and labia, lubrication and toy vibration, urinary tract infections and even why “I dribble when I giggle” will be fair game to explore in this safe, supportive place.
There is something I’d love to emphasize right up front. Ladies, none of us are alone in our need for reliable, solid, women’s intimate health knowledge. For example; do you know what dyspareunia means or what PID is? There is much to celebrate, anticipate and to learn about our complex sensual selves.
I am going to be your sexual health, pelvic and intimate wellness coach invited to your newly formed “Intimate Fitness™” club. With this exciting blog forum, we will uncover and normalize some shame-tinged issues. You will be able to get resolution on those awkward and sometimes embarrassing questions that I will decode with research, guest experts or study-backed answers. You will receive physician explanations on things previously difficult to learn and product recommendations that will improve your passionate lives. This is going to be your comfort zone to delve into and question women’s health, sexual health, hormones, pelvic wellness and more!
I look forward to your far-out queries and enthusiastic participation so that we can all share what we learn and create a revolution toward demystifying our miraculous, pleasure giving/receiving and life creating bodies. The Intimate Fitness™ club is now in session!
Please email questions you have been dying to ask to info@sheintimatefitness and we will get this important ball rolling.
Intimate Fitness™ meets bikini waxing! February 09 2016
Brazil Carnival and spring break are upon us, so it is time to put that body on display pool or beach side, and it is definitely time to tidy up that bikini line. Waxing is one of the most common and favored methods for bikini hair removal because it lasts and leads to softer hair regrowth.
Here are some great tips to consider to maintain your Intimate Fitness™ when removing hair from such a sensitive and let’s admit it, miraculous area.
When making your waxing appointment, be sure your spa/salon has sensitive skin wax specifically for use on the bikini area. Exfoliate, moisturize and hydrate at least 24 hours ahead of your appointment. Clean the area before waxing using a wipe like AfterGlow or a baby wipe - for your protection and as a favor to your aesthetician. Avoid alcohol consumption and consider taking your own unscented corn starch body powder with you to apply prior, if that is the waxer’s method. Your own bottle of AfterShave post hair removal treatment to apply post waxing to soothe, calm and moisturize is a great idea too. AfterShave has the added benefit of removing residual wax and diminishing ingrown hairs.
Waxing may be more painful a few days before and during your period, so perhaps plan around it. A big exhale when the wax strip is being removed helps the body relax to reduce pain sensations. Advise your aesthetician of skin treatments you are on like Retin-A or Accutane.
Waxing and other hair removal methods are very stressful to skin, so pamper it post hair removal. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize and hydrate. Consider wearing lose clothing and cotton panties or perhaps go commando under a fabulous maxi dress so waxed skin has a chance to be friction free. Be cautious of sun exposure for about a day following and be sure to apply sun screen when you do hit the lounge chair. Any bikini hair removal should also be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance of a sexual encounter………even delightful sex friction can cause serious irritation and leave you more vulnerable to STDs.
Waxing tends to cause more ingrown hairs than other removal methods so exfoliating with AfterShave, Tend skin, a loofa, or a gentle scrub to diminish dead cell build up which leads to ingrowns.
If shaving is your preferred grooming tool, be sure to use a fresh razor every time. Viruses (like warts) can be transmitted on razors around the body. And the sharper the edge, the less irritation to the skin.
Deciding how much to remove is up to you of course, but for those of you who are very sensitive, have vulvodynia or recurring irritations/infections in that area, please forgo the Brazilian style and just groom outside the labia. Consider that nature put hair down there for what must be a very good protective, health related reason, so be mindful of that when deciding whether you are going to trim the hedges, or pull the entire plant out by the roots.
What on earth happened to my libido? February 08 2016
Let’s start with an official definition of libido: 1. Sexual desire. 2. The energy of the sexual drive as a component of the life instinct. So yes, Ladies, sex is a birth right!
The presence or lack of libido can be important to our quality of life. I learned this when mine took a nose dive for a year from a very high place. According to the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) 1 in 3 women in the US experiences low sex drive (hypoactive sexual desire disorder). The ASHA reports “symptoms can include a decreased desire to have sex, fewer sexual thoughts and fantasies as well as sexual responsiveness”. Low libido also diminishes our allure, sexual charisma and can result in our sex lives taking a back seat to the business and stresses of daily life. It takes a toll on intimate relationships, reduces self-esteem, sexual organs can atrophy (if you don’t use it you lose it) and the many benefits of sex are missed out upon.
Have you noticed a shift in yours? Do you know what brings it up or down?
Mental, physical and environmental issues may negatively impact our sexual energies.
There are three major female life events when libido takes a hit; postpartum, perimenopause and menopause. Reproductive hormones fluctuate, causing symptoms like weight gain, mood swings, insomnia, vaginal dryness and an overall feeling of being off. These endocrine roller coaster rides can strip us of our sexy. Studies are also underway to reveal the effect of testosterone levels on female libido. Keep in mind, hormones are not the only reason, some women are not affected and there is help.
Caring for children or aging parents, financial difficulties, work stress or relationship issues can weigh heavily on sexual vivacity. Is your life running rough shod over you sapping you of time or energy to engage in sensual play? Alcohol, tobacco, anti-depressants and other meds can also take a toll. Are you medicating?
The brain is the largest sex organ of the body and feminine erotic energy is strongly tied to our heads and hearts. Our attitudes about sex and interestingly those of our peers, influence our sexual approach. What sensual and sexual permission do we give ourselves? Do you explore, experiment and ask for what you want? How is your communication with your lover(s)? Do church and state have a say in your bedroom activities?
Women are more emotional creatures of the two sexes, so our fantasies and how we feel plays a larger role in our libido strength. Self-love can absolutely impact our quality of sexual satisfaction. A friend’s relationship recently collapsed because his fiancé couldn’t get around being overweight. He loved her completely, but she let her self-deprecation and insecurity ruin their sex life and undermine their relationship. STDs and the physical manifestation of the disease and stigma attached to it can rob us of our desire to be desired too. Do you like your body and think you are sexy and desirable? Or do self-deprecate? French women have it down - they highlight and accentuate their best feature(s) and don’t give a second thought to the rest, thus oozing confidence and allure.
An interdependent blend of the physical, the emotional, the environment and mind set coalesce to generate our sex drive and how we show up as our erotic selves. Humans are highly sexual creatures, engineered to attract, desire, give and receive pleasure. You have the power to make it bloom or push it off the radar.
So should you care? In talking with sisters, friends and female colleagues, the importance of libido in one’s life greatly differs. It is a universal yet very personal thing. If yours is low and it bothers you or is negatively impacting your life, seek help. Managing low libido is something to be done with medical professionals; OBGYNs, Urologists, sex therapists or even religious counselors.
Next installment we will explore libido enhancing activities and ideas. Have a super sexy, intimately fit week even if you don't believe in the Hallmark holiday approaching.
3 ways a new lover can affect your intimate health. October 01 2015
Don’t you just love the first kiss, stimulating caresses and that heady exhilaration of a blossoming romance with a new lover? Adrenalin, dopamine and serotonin flood our systems making us feel energized, creating butterflies and even blinding us. But ladies, it is critical we be smart about it too as our intimate health can be at risk. We are solely responsible for our intimate fitness™ and being aware of easily avoidable, uncomfortable, unhealthy mistakes empowers us.
Unless you have each been given a clean bill of health by your physician from a battery of STD tests (including herpes) condom use is a must. We have all had AIDS education, so just consider this your best friend whispering a safety message in your ear. There are great condoms on the market these days, and advice on how to measure for a good fit, so please don’t let your new man talk you out of his wearing one - you may seriously regret it, literally for the rest of your life. www.luckybloke.com.
We each have different body chemistry and metabolism. A healthy, happy vagina has an acidic pH in the 4 range - semen interestingly is pH 7-8. Strange but true, we can be allergic or sensitive to our new lovers body fluids. So if semen irritates or causes yeast infections, consider using a condom and quickly rinsing with a pH balanced intimate wash like AfterIt after sex.
Sex and pleasurable friction go hand in hand. Fortunately women self-lubricate to enhance the delight and reduce friction. If we don’t produce enough slick, which is often the case, it is a good idea to invest in a high quality lubrication (more on that later in the month) like Uberlube. Dry sex hurts, leads to soreness and micro-tearing that diminishes our intimate health and fitness and leaves us vulnerable to pathogens. www.uberlube.com
How often should I get a pap smear? Mammogram?
Teach me how to do a self-breast exam.
Do you recommend I take a daily pro-biotic?
What is the best form of contraception for me?
How do I avoid getting UTIs, BV and yeast infections?
How do I know the difference between a yeast infection and BV?
What are the most common STI’s I need to beware of? And how should I avoid them? Should I be tested?
Tell me about and teach me to do Kegels properly.
What is normal healthy vaginal discharge like?
I have an odor down there. What can I do about that?
My libido (sex drive) is low. Can you help?
If you have any pain in your vagina, around the opening or during sex, ask your Dr. about it.
Should I be worried about PFDs (Pelvic Floor Disorders)? Including urine and fecal incontinence.
Ask ANY other questions you may have concerning your breasts, vulva, vagina.
When should I get my first DEXA or DXA (bone density) scan.
As CEO of SHE Intimate Fitness™ and a leading expert in the field of intimate health and wellness, Nina Helms is on a mission to empower women to live a more confident, vital and self-aware lifestyle. Helms has been a researcher, counselor, author and presenter on the topic of intimate self-care and sexual wellness for over a decade. She is the creator of SHE Intimate Fitness™, the first skin care system in the US designed to support Intimate Fitness™ and wellbeing.