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Hormonal Vulnerability and the Spa Professional
By: Geoffrey Redmond, MD
Posted: June 24, 2008, from the February 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Physical well-being. Hormone shifts can cause migraines, cramps, muscle and joint aches, loss of energy and overall body discomfort.
Emotions. Many women notice that their emotions get out of control in the days before the start of their period. They may cry often or become increasingly angry at those they love most. This loss of control is distressing enough when it lasts only a day or two. But, for some, these mood swings may persist for much longer.
Sexuality. Everyone knows that hormones make sex possible. Unfortunately, they also can make it impossible for some. Without adequate estrogen, vaginal penetration can be painful. For some women, testosterone also is necessary to achieve sexual thoughts and physical pleasure.
The medical community
Hormonal vulnerability is not considered often by the medical community. Although things have improved, there is still a tendency for doctors to ignore complaints for which they cannot find a physical diagnosis, especially with female patients. All too often, a woman consults a physician and, after a few tests, is told, “All your results are normal; there’s nothing wrong with you.” Even though many doctors never have heard of the term “hormonal vulnerability,” women know immediately what it means because they have experienced these disruptions in their own lives.
For a woman who suffers from mood swings, adult acne or any other related symptoms, it is frustrating to seek help, only to have her complaints dismissed. One result is that women are looking for assistance outside the conventional health care system. Many of the services provided by spas fit into this category. The personal care and beauty industries do not minimize women’s concerns as trivial. Instead, they have developed nonmedical remedies that play an important role in soothing the effects of wayward hormones.