Ella Lauser is a new paradigm sexual health and wellness coach, writer, speaker and energetic healer. But perhaps most importantly she is the sister you probably never had!

At an early age, Ella had the unique opportunity to be a confidant and support system for many people. With wisdom, humor, and openness passed down to her from her bisexual grandma, Ella received a rich education. In 2000 at UC Santa Cruz she began The I Want Sex Club (I.W.S.C.) for students who wanted to talk about sex in a non-judgmental, supportive forum. Shortly thereafter, she graduated with a Sociology B.A. from UCLA, and then went on to teach comprehensive sexual health education to high school classrooms throughout Los Angeles Unified School District.

Now, Ella is finally working on a book that will share her insights on sexuality and in the interim she's offering exclusive private one-on-one coaching packages, providing the perfect space for women to become empowered emotionally and sexually, discovering what they want, how to ask for it and most importantly how to receive it. It's her greatest passion to be of service and offer you the tools, understanding and support to check in and be with what you really are, - amazing and beautiful!

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Think Before Popping Pills or Getting An Injection

As a young girl, I grew up in hospitals, literally. My mom happened to be a nurse, as did my father's mother, so you can imagine that it was often a hot topic in the household whether or not I would follow in my matriarchs' footsteps.
When my parents couldn't find a babysitter on the nights they were both working, I often slept in the ER during my mother's shift, in room 13 to be exact.  
And, around age four, I had a freak accident that left me with a lacerated eyeball.  At first glance, it appeared to be unsalvageable but the doctors put me under and performed a miracle, needless to say, after that experience I was a doctor fan and never questioned their guidance, EVER.
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Point blank- I am a product of the western medicine world and like many, found myself bowing to science as opposed to kneeling in church pews.   I still believed in angels, but that's a whole other story.

So, when doctors told me that I should go on birth control to regulate my periods at thirteen, I started popping hormone-infused pills.  When my gynecologist told me to get the HPV vaccine when it first came out on the market, I signed up that day for my first injection series.
Every year, since I was 10 years old, I had UTIS (urinary tract/bladder infections) and took loads of antibiotics because that's what I was told to do.  I never thought about it, I knew that doctors knew best.

Today, I really stand on a different bank of the river in regards to medicine.  I've grown up a bit in the past few years and I've begun to question the authorities that I revered.  

Unfortunately, I only began to wake up after experiencing some of the most excruciating physical pain I've had in my life.  Funny, that we often start taking better care of ourselves after our body waves a big red flag that slaps us in the face.  It is my hope that the body doesn't have to send a mac truck of a message in order for us to take better care of it.

Let me give you a little background on the physical pain I was in that changed my life.
In 2008, I had been given countless prescriptions of antibiotics during my time teaching in Seoul, South Korea due to lung infections from the pollution.  My capacity to breathe was improving however I was having burning, cramping and severe inflammation in what felt like my bladder and uterus. I was terrified.  I had gone to my GP doc (general practitioner) and knowing I was a chronic bladder pain gal, he prescribed antibiotics when I got back into the US.  The pain didn't decrease much though and I wondered if maybe it was because the antibiotics weren't strong enough in comparison to what I'd been taking in South Korea.

I waited about two weeks and went out of state to visit my newly born goddaughter.  The night I arrived I was just pounding with pain and so I made an emergency appointment with the local town's clinic.  I had a full gynecological exam where they told me I had a pristine vaginal canal and cervix but that I may have had a STI due to some discharge.  (P.S. discharge is normal for all women, we lubricate naturally to clean out our vagina every day not to mention to help us enjoy sex).  Now, because the nurses at the clinic wanted to help me make the pain go away immediately they treated me with antibiotics orally and an injection (just in case I had gonorrhea and chlamydia).  They informed me that I wouldn't get my results back from my tests for another two weeks but better to not be in pain while waiting.
Within three days, I was doubled over in pain feeling like my insides were being dug out and couldn't stop peeing but had nothing to pee out.  By being in the sun for an hour driving (the antibiotics they gave were so strong that I was advised to not be in direct sunlight), I began to feel like my skin was on fire.  Mind you this was early March in Northern California and not Ecuador.  I was just a mess.
After all this, I received a phone call from the clinic saying that I had no STIs and no infections whatsoever, "sorry for the inconvenience."   I was misdiagnosed and full of antibiotics that were aggravating my already pain riddled body, awesome, thanks!

Finally, I went to my yoga teacher at the time who also happened to be a very educated and wise master healer. He told me to do a cleanse, a candida cleanse, to get rid of all the antibiotics because my system was just depleted of its own natural ability to heal. No sugar, no vinegar, no fruit, no mushrooms, no alcohol, no caffeine, no flour, no dairy, no wheat - and did I mention I was vegetarian? What was I going to eat?  Ahhhhh! But I was willing to do anything at this point and figured I could forego ice cream for three months although it wouldn't be easy. 

I bought a homeopathic remedy, started eating a natural antibiotic (garlic) and within two days, the pain subsided and within one week, I was pain-free for the first time in months.  In the past year, I've only had one incident of feeling a tad ouchy and I just cut back on sugar and took some natural supplements (within hours, my symptoms were gone).  If you're thinking you have a UTI, read my post about what to do, click here

During this year of healing, I realized how much diet and exercise contribute to our health.  What we put in our mouths to feed and empower our system does matter.  

I began to really look at natural approaches to healing and decided that maybe subscribing to the "pop a pill and fix it" mentality wasn't in my best interest.  In fact, I don't believe it's in anyone's best interest.

My perspective was shifting and this put me in a bit of a pickle as far as my education in sexual health and also in conversations with my beloved mom/nurse.  It seemed the education I had was fear based and not big on asking questions of doctors, clinics, and medications.  
I was extensively trained by a premier sexual health organization and never were we taught about natural health remedies.  For years, I was the ask-able person in an extended circle of people not to mention a teen health educator.  I advised many about methods of birth control but not the long term effects, I taught kids about infections and pregnancy, and I encouraged getting exams as often as possible.  I believed in what I taught and I told hundreds of students to get the new HPV vaccination because I really thought it was in their best interest.  I even went so far as to get the HPV vaccination myself because I was afraid of the alternative.  I knew of quite a few women under thirty that had died of cervical cancer and I had countless women in my life who had been treated and "saved."
And now, if I could go back in time I would have done more research on natural remedies and offered those choices to the students, friends, family and myself.  By operating from fear of "what could happen," I thought better to nip in the bud but I never looked at what I could do daily to make my life and body happier.  Luckily, I'm only twenty-seven and I've still got plenty of time to keep educating myself and others.

For the record, I'm not hating on doctors or western science- I think some amazing things have been accomplished in the past 100 years (I love you Dr. Gratiot, I can see because of you) but I think we've missed the point about healing ourselves and looking to more natural options.  A psychiatrist I once knew told me that the best way to treat depression was a little bit of exercise, sunshine, lots of water and healthy food- but rarely did his patients take that prescription seriously.  

The work I do as a coach, speaker and author with Go Ask Ella is all about holistic sexual health and really empowering women to make choices from a place of truth, education, passion and not fear.  A lot of stuff is just basic and were not told for whatever the reason.  I'm really honored to now be a more informed space of wisdom, I'm grateful for the experiences I've had because they allow me to relate to people and I totally get where they come from.  I do my best to be a bridge between western and traditional methods.  I don't stand on soapboxes but I ask questions and I implore others to do the same.  

My biggest regret is that I got vaccinated for HPV and my greatest relief is I didn't have complications from it.  So you can imagine I gulped pretty hard recently when I was asked to spread the word about getting vaccinated against HPV.   My friend who sent me the email  is walking in the Revlon Run/Walk for Women after having lost young female friends to cancer.  I get it that they want to fight against cancer but I think there's a lot of money made around cancer and the fear of it.  Telling people to eat organic doesn't make for big business.  
My vote is to drop the fight and start to love your body and pay attention to what you do to it.  The energy of war on anything feels counterintuitive.  And, isn't it interesting that a company like Revlon is sponsoring this event? The NY Times just published an article expressing chemicals are the largest contributing factors to cancer.  And what do you think are in the ingredients of Revlon makeup?  Helloo!!  Is anyone else seeing the vicious cycle here? We don't know what's in the things we wear on our skin, that we eat, and we certainly don't know what is in the vaccines nor do we know what the long term effects will be.  In fact, haven't we just gotten sicker as a society with all the medicine we're ingesting?  Aren't there more cases of cancer today than ever before?  Makes you think doesn't it?  I sure hope so.

Choice is freedom.  Research, talk to people, ask me and if I don't know I'll do my best to find more information and be real with you about it.  It's my hope that more people are making informed choices from a place of love and not fear.  By speaking about sexuality and health in a real way, I feel it reaches more people and pulls down the veil of shame, guilt and fear.

I leave you with this video that was sent my way today.  I didn't know the HPV vaccine was being mandated, that young girls were being injected by law and I had no idea that so many young women were already experiencing seriously awful side effects from Gardasil (which by the way has the best advertising campaign I've ever seen).  
Please watch and share:  


Loving you,

Ella


4 comments:

  1. Dina Marinelli BrandtMay 12, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    I am in complete agreement. Thanks for writing this!!! In addition to my reluctance to taking antibiotics, you know about my hatred for birth control pills, right? I was told to take them at age 16 to clear up my skin and regulate my period, which it sort of did, but what I wasn't properly informed of was the huge side effect of becoming a CRAZY person! (I told you I used to actually and habitually punch lockers at school because I couldn't control my anger, right? Scary.) After being off the pill for about 5 years now, I could never even imagine getting that angry.

    I just feel sorry for all these young teenage girls that are on the pill who think that the mood swings are natural and maybe just part of their personality. Or worse yet, that these mood swings warrant prescriptions of other pills like anti-depressants! Pills upon pills. There's got to be a better way...

    xo
    Dina

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  2. I was out of control crazy like a Molotov Cocktail when it came to my hormonal imbalance from birth control pills. It's wild that PMS is so laughed about and swept under the carpet when it's a real issue. I tried Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Levlen 28, Lo-estrin, Yasmin... everything and what a rollercoaster ride it was. Nothing felt right for nearly ten years.
    It's scary that so many docs just prescribe anti-depressants to young teens and don't bother to check hormone panels. After my first period (which lasted nearly two weeks, ugh), the school nurse thought I was depressed and pushed Paxil on me. No one ever asked anything about my puberty status. Crazy!
    A little exercise, investigation and some red tent action would have done us better.

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  3. Lovely article, spot on.

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  4. Thank you for this lovely post. You might think about being a contributing blogger on Elephant Journal....they're awesome:)

    -Aurora

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