A space for menstrual wellness, the latest research in pelvic pain relief and bloody good chat. Welcome to the first of our blog posts in our series "Bloody Good" where nothing is taboo and everything is welcome.
In this post, we will be introducing our latest product, TAP 2.0 and chatting with Endometriosis Nutritionist & Naturopath- Kimberly Kushner.
The next generation in Tap TENS tech...
If you follow us on Instagram or subscribe to our emails, you probably know we have released our second generation TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) device for period & pelvic pain relief. As always, we have looked to develop TAP based on quality, convenience, effectiveness and affordability.
TAP 2.0 features a full package experience with 3 different wearable sticky pad options- variety that enables the user to target their pain relief needs. Our TAP 2.0 runs for 1 hour, which was based on customer feedback that people wanted a longer run time. We offer 5 evidence-based modes in our second generation including 2 high frequency options, 2 low frequency options and a special bladder pain mode. We've delved in to the latest research in order to create these modes so you can trust that our product is effective both anecdotally and scientifically.
You can find out more on our website and follow us on instagram at @tap.health to find out all the latest and be a part of our IG stories 'Ask Anything Monday' and hilarious 'Period LOL Friday'. We will also be doing monthly giveaways and sharing some promo codes from time to time so give us a follow and keep your eyes peeled!
Chat with a specialist, Kimberly Kushner, Naturopath, Clinical Nutritionist and fellow endowarrior.
Next up, I would love to introduce Kimberly who I have had the privilege of chatting with over the last few weeks. Kimberly is so passionate about helping women with endometriosis and has a huge knowledge base in naturopathic care and nutrition.
You may know Kimberly from her famous instagram page @kimberlykushner aka The Bali Naturopath- and now Kimberly is channeling for passion for holistic endo care through her new page @endonaturopath (so exciting!).
I asked Kimberly a few questions and she went to work:
Can you tell us a little bit about endometriosis and what you do to help women with endo?
"When approaching the complex nature of endometriosis, it is crucial to gain a comprehensive understanding of the condition. Endo is often misunderstood as JUST a hormonal condition, but it is so much more than that. Endometriosis involves the growth of tissue similar to the lining of the uterus in other parts of the body. These lesions are inflammatory, making endometriosis an inflammatory condition that affects the entire body.
In my practice, I adopt an integrative care approach to address endometriosis. This includes recommending laparoscopy and excision surgery, as opposed to ablation, in order to effectively remove the lesions. Followed by a thorough naturopathic protocol for management. While the exact cause of endometriosis remains unknown, there have been significant advancements in understanding the driving factors and contributors to symptom aggravation.
Recent research has shed light on the role of the immune system in endometriosis. Although it is not classified as an autoimmune disease, immune dysfunction plays a significant role in the condition. Therefore, from a naturopathic perspective, it is imperative to address the immune system, inflammation, and gut health when treating endo. The gut and its microbial activity are intricately linked to the immune system, making it a vital aspect to consider in managing symptoms.
Hormones have a significant impact on endometriosis and symptoms. From a naturopathic standpoint, I focus on optimising sex hormone balance, particularly estradiol and progesterone. Furthermore, I examine thyroid function and adrenal health, as they play crucial roles in the overall hormonal picture, and can influence symptoms of endo.
While there is still much to learn about endometriosis, naturopathic medicine emphasises a comprehensive approach that addresses the immune system, inflammation, gut health, and hormonal balance. By considering these factors, it is my genuine desire to provide the best holistic care and improve the well-being of women with endometriosis."
What are the most common symptoms?
"The most common symptoms I see revolves around pain:
Painful periods Painful sex Painful bowel movements General pelvic pain Gut issues are extremely common too- bloating, cramping, alternating constipation and diarrhea. Other symptoms can include bleeding (not during a period). Bleeding can occur after sex (however there can be other causes of this too) Heavy periods are not as common in endo as it is in adenomyosis, but it is also a symptom I come across. Pain in the lower back, buttocks, and legs."
How can women who have endometriosis manage their symptoms, and what role does nutrition and lifestyle play in menstrual health?
"In order to optimise digestive health, support hormone balance, and manage inflammation, I firmly believe in harnessing the power of nutrition and lifestyle. I witness it work time and time again. Plus, herbal medicine and nutritional supplementation form the foundation of my endometriosis treatment approach.
My primary goal when working with women is to empower them to take control of inflammation and pain while achieving balanced hormones. There is a huge educational journey that unfolds when you work with a naturopath to manage endo. I aim to empower women to better understand what's happening in their bodies, and to make the best dietary and lifestyle decisions to improve their health. We can achieve this by focusing on dietary changes and implementing a personalised anti-inflammatory diet that considers individual preferences and intolerances. A significant aspect of my dietary consideration involves addressing histamine intolerance, as I observe women with endometriosis experience it to some degree. SO, starting with an anti-inflammatory, low histamine diet can be beneficial. However, strict dietary restrictions are not meant to be a forever thing but, if a particular approach works well, we can revert back to it during symptom flares. When it comes to managing menstrual and premenstrual pain and stress, my focus is on regulating uterine contractions and menstrual flow using herbs known as antispasmodics, uterine tonics, and emmenagogues. I also aim to reduce inflammation and the production of inflammatory mediators during menstruation. While not all women with endometriosis experience heavy periods, for those who do, I may recommend the use of herbs which act as uterine tonics, emmenagogues which help improve circulation in and around the pelvic organs, prostaglandin regulators, and astringent herbal medicines. Additionally, my approach to reducing pelvic pain centers around modulating inflammation, for which herbal medicines can be effective. The implementation of a high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory diet is also beneficial for this! Hormone balancing is crucial, and I prioritise promoting optimal estrogen clearance through exercise that you can tolerate, liver support and again- your diet. Pain is such a big factor when dealing with endo, and addressing pain sensitivity and pain-related stress is achieved through the use of herbal medicines with analgesic properties, uterine tonics, and gentle sedatives. As I have emphasised, the importance of gut health cannot be overstated. I thoroughly address any gut microbial imbalances, as well as intestinal hyperpermeability, which can contribute to systemic inflammation. Prioritising gut health is always a fundamental aspect of my approach." What is your favourite period friendly food? "I adore congee- congee is more well known as a traditional Chinese medicine healing food, but we utilise it in Indonesian traditional medicine too (I'm part Indonesian and love Eastern medicine principles!). If you are not familiar with congee, it is essentially a slow cooked savoury rice porridge. Ideally you cook it in a bone broth, add warning herbs and spices, add veggies and some easy-to-digest protein. I like using ginger, garlic, pumpkin, wombok, shiitake mushrooms, bone broth, spring onion, sesame oil, poached chicken, and top with a soft boiled egg. It is SO hearty, warm, and easy to digest. You can make a big pot to ensure you have enough for those days when you just don't have the energy to cook. You can batch cook and freeze it too. I have an easy vegetarian recipe HERE. Enjoy!"
Kimberly has been kind enough to share her free guide to living with endo which you can access: here.
I mean, WHAT A BEAUTY, am I right!?
What would you like to see covered in our next blog? I would love to hear your thoughts below.
CEO & co-founder of @tap.health