Every month I profile a new incredible woman, each from a different walk of life. Different professions, causes, backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, and anything/everything else!
So without further delay, let me introduce Tanya Smith…
Dr. Tanya Smith, TCM is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Registered Acupuncturist, AND a Birth Doula. Using acupuncture and traditional herbs to heal women’s reproductive health, she is committed to “throwing back the silk curtain to demystify Chinese Medicine so it becomes a mainstream choice for women’s healthcare.” Her mission is for women to listen to the subtle whispers of their symptoms when something is out of balance and not wait until it’s severe to get help. That why she’s definitely a Shameless Woman.
What drives you to do what you do?
What drives me to do what I do is the misconception that PMS, painful periods and other menstrual disorders are normal. Women seem to expect to suffer their periods each month and aren’t aware that there is anything they can do to make it better. And in my work with fertility, most of our reproductive issues stem from troublesome periods. When I work with women, I have the opportunity to see how they can improve their symptoms so they don’t suffer and often support them in improving their relationship with their bodies.
How does being a woman empower / challenge you?
Being a woman has been both challenging and empowering. I have had my own challenges with menstrual pain and heavy flow that my doctor recommended surgery for. I have also had difficulty with fertility. My own experiences have informed my practice so I am able to create a safe space and listen to women in a way that I don’t think I could do if I hadn’t had a similar experience.
I have taken the time and opportunity in my life to explore who I am and find out what lights my fire. My work gives me incredible satisfaction, to know that I make a significant difference in people’s lives. And I love being part of a movement for positive change in the world.
What advice would you give to young women who want to follow in your footsteps?
I was given one very helpful suggestion for getting clear about what I am interested in and have employed it throughout my life. I make a collage with images that I collect from magazines. The key to this is to not censor yourself as you flip through the magazines; any image that grabs your attention goes onto the collage. Slowly, a theme starts to emerge. Try it! Then have the courage to follow through on living into these things, through volunteering, shadowing, reading or researching. Take action!
What is one person, place, or thing every young woman should know about?
Your cycle. I am amazed how many women I talk to that are out of touch with the rhythm of their monthly cycle. Being in touch with your cycle will help you identify when you should be working on a big, creative project and when it would be wise to schedule some down-time. It’s not just about menstruation, but being aware of the ebb and flow of your emotions, energy levels and moods.
What is the most important thing we can do in order to change the world?
You can change the world just by resolving to express your emotions. This unleashes our creativity, keeps our bodies from getting stuck and sick, improves our relationships and allows us to express our uniqueness in the world. Martha Graham, a modern dancer, put it best when she said, “There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it! It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
You can find out more about Tanya and her practice at www.lifecycleswellness.com.