What Every Woman Should Know

By Andrew Lavender © 1996

"What Every Woman Knows" may be a flattering (and very often justifiable) allusion to the omniscience of women. But "What Every Woman Should Know"--and doesnžt--is too often more to the point.

One shocking example of the gap between what women (in general) do not know but should know is the extent to which the (male-dominated) medical profession (again, in general) takes women for granted and/or treats them as second class citizens--at best!

In Women and Doctors (1992), Dr. John M. Smith, a board-certified Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the certifying medical body in Dr. Smithžs field, deplores--and documents--the too often cavalier, if not incompetent, medical treatment that women as such receive at the hands of male physicians, especially in gynecology, where more inexcusable damage is done to them than they may ever know. And Dr. Smith asserts: "It is critical that women be aware of the level of abuse occurring, that they have a healthy degree of sensitivity to it, that they understand what the appropriate relationship between them and their doctor should be, and that they learn to create the proper relationship with a given physician--or if itžs not possible, to recognize an improper doctor-patient relationship and end it quickly and decisively." To this, a hearty "Amen"!

And in another area where women have generally been too readily over-medicated for so many "womens complaints" (mostly stress-related) by their male doctor's, Dr. Candace Pert, internationally known research pharmacologist and professor, has been quoted: "I think we could replace 90% of mainstream medicine with a weekly massage. ... Examining life-styles [hardly the focus of the typical MD's attention] with an eye to prevention is a key focus for good health." Again, "Amen"! Here there is help for women who want to know more but who have been repeatedly told by the conventional media that massage is either a frivolous luxury for spoiled women in search of hightened beauty or for men looking for sex in disguise.

Bruria Ginton, LicMT, founder of ASSOCIATED MTs™ reports: "Massage therapy--pain relief without side effects--is already one of the three most used alternative forms of healthcare. Preventive as well as ameliorative and rehabilitative, massage therapy is--in the hands of the licensed MT--one of the safest, most effective means toward continued well-being and the maintenance of good health, emotionally as well as physically. And in the arena of ever-rising medical costs, it is--dollar for dollr--easily the most economical. It is this last factor, that of sky-rocketing medical costs, that should now bring to licensed massage therapists the recognition (and clientele) that it has so long deserved as "the earliest, the safest, and the latest of health technologies." To this too, a final "Amen"!

# # #

ANDREW LAVENDER, PhD, NcPsyA, Professor of English Emeritus (CUNY) is a communication consultant and psychotherapist. He was the first Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Baruch College (CUNY) and has taught for many years at the Alfred Adler Institute (NY).

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