Christiane Northrup, MD, obstetrician/gynecologist is an empowering, internationally known visionary in women’s health and wellness. As a practicing physician for over twenty years, Dr. Northrup is a leading proponent of medicine and healing that acknowledge the unity of the mind and body, as well as the powerful role of the human spirit in creating health.
Her pioneering work has shown that conditions such as PMS, endometriosis, breast symptoms, and uterine conditions are the language through which women’s bodies speak of wounding they have experienced in a culture which has been unsupportive to women and to those values we call “womanly.” Her years of clinical experience have taught her that life-threatening, chronic, or acute illness is often a catalyst for significant inner growth and change. The lessons learned from the thousands of women with whom she has worked over the years have taught her that we needn’t wait for illness to make health-enhancing adjustments in our lives. Regardless of one’s starting point, vibrant improvements can occur on all levels of a woman’s life and health when she learns how to respect and care for herself.
Dr. Northrup stresses that to improve our health; we women need an entirely new way of thinking about and caring for our bodies. Currently, our culture equates health with “disease screening,” such as Pap smears and physical exams, and though these are important, the main focus is still on avoiding or finding disease, not preventing it. Lasting health and wholeness are only possible when we learn and practice the skills and behaviors associated with true health and wholeness. She asks women to ponder the following questions:
What would it be like if you reclaimed the wisdom of your body and learned to trust its messages?
What would your life be like if you no longer lived in fear of “germs” or cancer?
How would your life be different if your body were your friend and ally?
How would your life be different if you learned how to respect your body as though it were a precious creation—as valuable as a beloved friend or child? How would you treat yourself differently?
Dr. Northrup knows that the only way to change the system is for women and men to reclaim their inner wisdom, learn to trust “what they know in their bones,” and become active participants in their own healthcare ideally before problems arise. The intent of her work is to help women (and the men who love them) learn how to create health daily in their lives by understanding that their bodies are largely a barometer of the quality of their thoughts, relationships, diet, and environment. Once people learn that their bodies are a manifestation of their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors, they are in a position to change their lives from the inside out. They become empowered to change the way they see themselves and can gradually shift their focus from disease to health, regardless of starting point.
As a business owner, physician, surgeon, mother, writer, and speaker, Dr. Northrup is committed to creating health and balance on a daily basis in her own life, while assisting individuals, organizations, and businesses in creating the same in theirs. Her work acknowledges our individual and collective capacity for growth, freedom, joy, and balance regardless of our starting points. Her philosophy includes blending the best of conventional medicine, complementary medicine, feminism, global ecology, and 12-step and related spirituality.
Her latest book, Mother-Daughter Wisdom: Creating a Legacy of Physical and Emotional Health (Bantam 2005) explores how and why the mother-daughter bond is at the head waters of a woman’s health. She is also the host of a PBS special on the same topic (which premiered in March 2005 nationwide). Her first two public television specials, “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Minds,” and “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Choices,” debuted nationally in March of 1998 at over 100 stations. The success of these programs led to two more, which debuted in August of 1999: “Your Diet, Your Health,” and “The Wisdom of Menopause.” Through her newsletter, e-letter, and her web site (www.DrNorthrup.com), Dr. Northrup has created a “virtual” healthcare center for women that provide integrated support, education, and health assessment services to help women make changes in their lives to achieve optimal health on all levels.
Dr. Northrup is also the author of the New York Times best-selling book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom (Bantam, revised 1998), which has been translated into sixteen languages, and has sold over 1.25 million copies. Her work has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Good Morning America, and The Today Show. She has also appeared on Donny & Marie. Her New York Times bestseller, The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing During the Change (Bantam 2001), explores the gifts and challenges of this midlife turning point, during which we have the potential to create the foundation for a happier and healthier life more than ever before. Dr. Northrup lives with her family in Maine.
Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom
For the past 5000 years, the female body and everything having to do with it, have been seen as inferior to the male standard. For this reason, men and women both have been taught that the processes of the female body are at the best major inconveniences and at worst, curses visited upon women because Eve at the apple and thus brought evil to mankind. But we have now entered an era characterized by the rise in the status of women, and a growing global awareness of how gender abuse in all its many guises hurts all of us. Along with this rise in feminine consciousness has come the need to revise our thinking about the female body and its processes. Far from being a source of pain and shame, women all over the world - along with many scientists - are discovering that a woman's body is deeply connected to the cycles of the earth - and that when we learn to respect and learn from these cycles, we enter the realm of true wisdom.
The Mind/Body Connection in Health: Trusting the Wisdom of Our Bodies
Consciousness creates the body. Our thoughts, emotions, past experiences, family histories, beliefs, relationships, nutrition, and exercise patterns all form a seamless web of energy and information that leads to our current state of health. Part of the art of living fully and healthfully is accepting that innate wisdom of our bodies as they give us daily feedback about what affects our health - either positively or negatively. When we come to see our bodily symptoms and feelings are our inner guidance system trying to get our attention, we are free to create health daily by making adjustments in our thoughts, emotions, perceptions, and nourishment levels vs. reacting only once disease has developed.
Becoming an Exceptional Person While Remaining Human: Eight Principles for Health & Happiness
In over 25 years of medical practice, Dr. Northrup has observed eight principles for approaching medical care - or life in general - that can, when applied consciously, enhance one's ability to heal or remain healthy, while also living a joyous and fruitful life. Though she originally articulared these as "eight principles for becoming an exceptional doctor" when she was invited to address the graduating University of Vermont College of Medicine Class of 1997 at their commencement ceremony, she later realized that, whether we are doctors or patients or both, we all must embrace our common humanity if we are to experience optimal health and healing. These eight principles form a road map for this adventure.
All Christiane Northrup Books
Mother-Daughter Wisdom: Creating a Legacy of Physical and Emotional Health Purchase Book