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About Camille Lawson

Camille has been empowering clients in the healthcare profession for over 20 years. She is a Registered Nurse, a sexuality educator and consultant, and has also been a private practice psychotherapist specializing in relationships. Camille is respected for her expertise in nutrition, and has recently been studying the effects of toxicity on our health. She is committed to educating people about the importance of proper cleansing and replenishing of nutrients in order to balance brain chemistry to create the conditions necessary to achieve optimal health and vitality. Camille speaks professionally to a wide variety of groups with the overall goal of empowering people to be the best they can be! Camille is solution focused, compassionate, and provides CLARITY. She believes every life is passionate and rich and should be filled with health, wealth and freedom – in every sense of these words. She is a successful entrepreneur and a true leader that others want to partner with. Her work is groundbreaking in the area of brain chemistry and nutrition – this changes lives physically, mentally and emotionally. She is also a writer and her articles appear in various publications and on the internet. Camille is a guest lecturer and she is regularly asked to address diverse populations – EVERYONE wants solutions that work!

Healthy and Happy Relationships During and After Menopause

“It’s never too late -never too late to start over, never too late to be happy.” —Jane Fonda

Most of us believe that being HAPPY is our goal in life, and we often define our happiness in terms of our relationships.  While some fortunate women sail through peri-menopause into menopause with few symptoms or ill effects, many of us DO NOT!  Happiness seems elusive when you do not feel like yourself, and this affects how we are in our relationship with our partner, husband, or significant other.

The average age of menopause is 51, which is not so old these days. You could easily have many happy and healthy decades ahead of you and in fact, research suggests that happiness typically increases as we age.  Why then, is this time in our lives often so challenging for our relationships?

Menopause affects all of our relationships: those with our husbands or partners, as well as with our children, parents, friends, and colleagues in both positive and sometimes negative ways.  There are many positives.  Freedom from pregnancy brings sexual liberation, financial freedom and freedom from child-rearing responsibilities bring time for intimacy, time for nurturing friendships, new and old hobbies, and time to explore sexually.  Whether married or single, most boomers report they still want to have happy, sexual and intimate relationships.  They also admit that many of them do not.

Many women experience the common symptoms of menopause – irritability, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, low libido, ‘brain fog,’ and vaginal dryness. These symptoms can make any and ALL relationships challenging.  It is difficult to be loving, sexual, kind, and patient in the throes of hot flashes, anger, exhaustion, depression all while not feeling like yourself anymore.  To make matters worse, many physicians prescribe the usual RX cocktail consisting of Ativan and Prozac which may make you numb, but may not help you live the life that you want at this age!

There are solutions.  Here is a list of my best and most useful tips to help you sail (even at half-mast!) into menopause with a healthy and happy relationship intact or perhaps even better than ever!

  • Educate yourself on the hormonal changes you are going through, and then educate your loved ones so they understand.  You are your own best health advocate and as such, you owe it to yourself to be informed.  Put yourself in the driver’s seat: this will help you feel more in control of YOU even when you do not always recognize yourself.
  • Humour: find it, use it and spread it around!  Sometimes laughing together at the changes you are both experiencing helps.
  • Try new sexual positions if you are having more aches, pains, and reduced mobility.  Be playful and have some fun!  Accommodations can make you more creative.  Use femMED’s Libido to enhance arousal, increase lubrication, and sexual response.
  • Be more emotionally intimate:  listen to each other, touch with affection, kiss more, share music or heartfelt notes.  Appreciate your love and connection.
  • Make healthy choices to support hormone balance using supplements and good nutrition.   I have used personally and recommended to many clients the Hormonal Balance for PMS and peri-menopausal symptoms and absolutely love the ingredients in Menopause Relief.   All the natural ingredients I want to see in a Menopause supplement are contained in this product.  It works for many women to help them manage night sweats, hot flashes, and mood swings.   Good quality amino acids (protein) will help balance your serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain.  They are our “feel-good” neurotransmitters.
  • Get support from close friendships.  Women provide a safe and nurturing place to discuss changes occurring.  Women also love to share good information with each other.
  • Practice loving kindness to yourself and to your partner.  “Let it be” – some things must just be let go of.  In this vein, be clear and non-judgemental in your communication with your sweetheart about the things that really matter.
  • Remember that intimacy is THE glue that holds relationships together; however, this is not just wild, crazy sex on the kitchen counter.  It is also cuddling, holding hands, kissing and being affectionate.  Oxytocin is our bonding love hormone and all of these things bring it on!

 

Remember Buddha’s words:  “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and attention.  Be happy and help others be happy”.   Menopause is simply a natural and normal phase all women will go through.  Let’s sail through it being our best!

 

Camille Lawson  RN, BA, MEd.    March 2014

 

 

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How Our Hormones Affect Our Libido Through The Decades And What We Can Do About Them

Hormones are the KEY to vibrant sexual health for women. Did you know that we have over 50 known hormones secreted by our body!?  Our sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA and their balancing act or lack thereof, largely influences our sex drive or libido. What makes this even more challenging is that our hormone levels fluctuate with each decade.  The good news is, that armed with insight and knowledge, we can help make our libido BE what we want it to BE!

In our teens, our sex hormones change wildly – resulting in some crazy behaviour. It helps to have patience and structure, knowledge and boundaries around emerging sexuality.  Our twenties bring on more hormonal stability as we mature and establish ourselves in careers and self-identity. It’s also a good time to start thinking about using a good quality multivitamin (containing calcium and magnesium as well). It can assist in laying a healthy foundation and calm PMS symptoms if present.

Many hormonal changes that can affect our sex drive begin in our thirties.  Testosterone starts to decrease slowly for both men and women, affecting everything from desire to muscle tone. Pregnancy can also dramatically your alter libido, although this varies vastly from woman to woman.  Generally the second trimester is a time of increased desire and continues throughout the third trimester.  Post-partum brings on its own hormonal challenges with fatigue and body image playing enormous havoc with our sex lives. For some women,  it may take upwards of 12-32 months to fully feel “like yourself” after having a baby. The good news is that oxytocin, which is secreted with breast milk, is known as the “love” hormone and makes us feel warm and amorous to both our baby and our sweetheart, so save some of that loving for him!

Let’s take a moment now to talk about cortisol. It’s one of the most important hormone’s that affects us throughout each decade.  Cortisol is mostly known as the hormone our bodies secrete when we’re under a high level of stress. It’s often called the “flight or fight response”. Whenever we’re feeling threatened or stressed this hormone allows our body to best manage the situation, too literally, survive. Many of us do not realize the impact that high, prolonged cortisol levels can have. When we’re under chronic stress, our bodies never have the downtime to recover and get back to normal. According to Dr. Kristy Prouse, Ob/Gyn and founder of The Institute of Hormonal Health, cortisol affects libido MORE than testosterone! Once the body does get back to normal hormone levels, a healthy sex drive often follows, usually.……

Hormone levels begin to decline more rapidly for most women in their forties and fifties.  Decreased progesterone may cause irritability, anxiety and elevated cortisol levels.  Testosterone decreases quickly (hormone of desire) and many women are perplexed as to why they simply do not want sex anymore.  To make matters worse, with the onset of menopause, our estrogen levels decline, resulting in dry, thin vaginal walls, hot flashes and brain fog.  None of which are conducive to hot sex!  In order to help manage some of these uncomfortable symptoms successfully, I would recommend trying a supplement like femMED Libido or Menopause Relief. You might find them helpful in reducing many of these  symptoms, naturally.

Hormone imbalances do not have to wreak our sex lives. Many post-menopausal women report increased desire that comes with freedom from responsibilities, children, pregnancy, along with, a commitment to better health, including their sexual health!

 

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Menopause and Relationships

Girls are like phones. We love to be held and talked to. But if you press the wrong button you’ll be disconnected! -author unknown

Isn’t that the truth, especially during  perimenopause and menopause. For many of us, one wrong move or word by the people who matter to us the most, can mean a quick disconnect (read SNAP!!).

The average age for menopause is 51 — which is not so old these days. You can easily have many happy and healthy decades ahead of you, and in fact, research suggests that happiness typically increases as women age. Why then, can this time in a woman’s life, be so challenging for our relationships?

Menopause can affect our love relationships, in both positive and sometimes negative ways. The freedom from pregnancy and for many of us, child-rearing, can provide us the time to rediscover our sexual selves and our partners.

The challenge is now that you finally have the freedom to rediscover yourself sexually, the common symptoms of menopause – irritability, anxiety, depression, lack of  sleep, zero libido and a dry vagina can make it somewhat challenging. It is difficult to be loving, sexual, kind, and patient in the throes of hot flashes, anger, exhaustion, depression and simply not feeling like yourself.

There are solutions.

A recent client of mine illustrates what is possible after menopause when we are proactive, knowledgeable and find collaborative health providers. Margaret is 55 and found that her previously healthy relationship with her husband changed dramatically after menopause. She was cranky, had no sex drive and suffered hot flashes every night. Her experience made it impossible to get a restful sleep. She felt miserable and isolated. She missed the way things used to be between them. Being proactive, she began her own research and found an integrative health professional who advised her to have her hormone levels tested, suggested a therapist, and a nutrition expert. They helped her work through the various issues that were interfering with her relationship and her health.

I worked with Margaret for 6 sessions and during that time she started taking natural health supplements that I use and recommend; specifically, femMED’s Menopause Relief and Libido. Menopause Relief is an excellent product that helped Margaret manage her menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings and femMED Libido which helped boost Margaret’s libido.

Because our relationships can really improve for the better during this time, I recommended that she read “Passionate Marriage” by Dr David Schnarch. It is my favourite book for learning how to grow within yourself and thereby grow your relationships.

Margaret reported major breakthroughs in how she felt physically, mentally and emotionally during our last session.

I encourage you not to give up if menopause is adversely affecting YOUR relationships. There is hope, help and many years left to both thrive and embrace life to its fullest!

 

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Beat Holiday Stress, Easily, With These Tips

Stress is a response that we all feel at some point in our lives.  Some stress is considered healthy, as it sharpens your mental faculty, however,  too much can be harmful to your health.

Stress causes the release of a hormone called cortisol into your bloodstream. Cortisol in and of itself is not a bad thing as it is important for many functions such as regulating your metabolism, blood pressure, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream and your immunity. Prolonged high levels of cortisol, however, can effect your body detrimentally with a myriad of health problems such as: high blood pressure, lowered immunity, blood sugar imbalances, decreases in bone density, and a decrease in the amount of testosterone produced. Psychologists have long known that chronic stress causes psychological ailments as well, such as: depression, anxiety and anger. I don’t know about you, but I know many otherwise reasonable stable people experience these feelings during the holiday season!

For many of us, the upcoming holiday season produces more cortisol surges than any other time of year!  However, the good news is that there are simple things you can do to significantly reduce stress and – get this- even ENJOY yourself more!!

So, what can you do about it?

 Visualize this, according to Life Extension Magazine:

“Don’t let stress stick to you like fuzzy stuff to Velcro. Let it slide away, like a cooked pancake off a Teflon skillet.”

Meditate every morning for just 3-5 minutes – YES you can!  Studies show this will calm your mind, energize you and set you up for a busy day and night.  The simple act of stilling your mind chatter for a few minutes each day can be incredible and not just for your stress levels. Meditation is thought of as a great way for finding solutions to problems. Highly successful people regularly use meditation as a tool to rebalance themselves as well as coming up with new business or creative ideas. We have all the answers inside of ourselves, so meditation is used to quiet the external noise so you can hear your creative internal voice. There is not a right or wrong way; just do it and watch Aunt Sally’s shrill voice fade comfortably away…This simple act of stilling your mind will help lower your stress levels.

Exercise most days even if it is ONLY 20 minutes!  During the holidays one of the first routines we give up is often our exercise pattern – Don’t!   20 minutes of a brisk walk, light weights or quick cardio will assist you more than you realize to feel good and enjoy the holidays.

Stay healthy:  Have a protein shake before you go to a party. Indulge as you wish, but the protein will help you stay full and balance any sugars and carbs you consume.

Use a good quality, natural multivitamin with antioxidants daily, such as femMED, to boost your immune system and provide your body with the baseline nutrients and minerals you need for energy and vitality.

Try hard not to book events back to back.  It is ok to say, “no thank you”!

Drink one glass of water before every alcoholic drink and drink several glasses before bed.  You have heard it before and YES it does make a huge difference in how you feel the morning after! Moderation is quite acceptable.

Sleep – quality, restorative sleep matters during this busy season.  Studies show that even if we are getting less sleep than we require, if it is restful (not fitful) then we feel restored the following morning. The sleep we get between 10 PM-2 AM promote the body’s production of the human growth hormone. Try to go to bed before midnight most nights. femMED SLEEP Formula is a natural way to ensure you are getting the proper sleep you need.

Hormonal Balance is KEY for us women, especially during the holidays. Since hormones affect our moods, our patience levels with family and so much more, the holidays are the perfect time to incorporate femMED Hormonal Balance into your daily health regime.

Finally, keep in mind that this is a special time to be with friends and family.  It is a time for you to relax, enjoy, laugh and be grateful for the wonders of life and not let stress ruin your holiday!

Enjoy a Happy Holiday!

Camille Lawson RN, BA, MEd  December 2012

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Summer Survival Tips and Vitamins for Skin, Nails And Hair

Now that the glorious summer that we Canadians long for all year is well underway it is time to ensure that we survive (and enjoy!)  the sun, heat, water, and the other elements.  I find that by mid-July, after a couple of weeks visiting friends at cottages on rocks and beaches my beauty regime can stand a bit of tweaking.  Our skin, nails and hair can all take a beating from our beautiful outdoor lifestyle that we are unaccustomed to – not that I am complaining one bit!

Here are a few tips that work well for me:

  1. Use a broad-spectrum, natural sunscreen at all times with an SPF of 30 or higher.  Don’t forget skin on your hands and feet that are exposed most often.
  2. Speaking of feet, many of us wear flip flops frequently and these can cause cracked heels and rough skin.  Use a good quality, paraben free moisturizer.  Certain vitamins can also help to maintain smooth skin (see below).
  3. Hydrate frequently – think of water as moisturizer from the inside out. Your skin will thank you!
  4. Make sure if you shave, wax, or laser hair that you do it several hours prior to sun exposure or else sensitive skin may get irritated.
  5. Bug bites can be more than annoying – my best natural tip is to use Tea Tree Oil.  Works like a charm and stops scratching!
  6. Hair can become very dry from the heat and sun.  Use a deep conditioner while IN the sun once a week then wash out after an hour or so.

When choosing vitamins for skin, nails and hair to stay looking their best and healthiest be certain these key ingredients are present in sufficient quantities.:

  • BIOTIN  - research shows improvement in brittle nails and hair loss.  BONUS:  studies show improvement in blood sugar control
  • SILICON – very important mineral for strong bones and good connective tissue to have healthy skin and hair. BONUS:  Maybe useful for atherosclerosis
  • Vitamin B3 or Niacin – very important for maintenance of healthy skin and blood circulation.  BONUS:  can lower and control cholesterol levels
  • Vitamin B6 – essential for amino acid conversions (protein) to make them bioavailable.  BONUS:  VERY good for our nails, skin, and hair

As always, I do my research and have found the femMED line of products to be of the highest quality and specific for OUR needs.  femMED’s Hair, Skin, and Nails formula has the key vitamins for skin, nails and hair I am looking for when choosing a supplement to improve my summer looks from the inside out!

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