“A history of sexuality runs the risk of confirming popular fears that academics are capable of ruining even the most simple of pleasures”
–Stephen Garton, Histories of Sexuality: Antiquity to Sexual Revolution
It’s a testament to the fact that I, to my dying breath, am and will remain an academic, but frankly, the above-quoted from Stephen Garton? Yes, it does make me laugh. I cannot tell a lie. However, in this short blog post, I hope not to ruin a discussion of something as interesting as sex. That said, I am here and writing because I just updated a page from my Book Corner, titled “Sexual Health, Vitality, and Life Stages” (linked here). Though the updated page itself has a lot of information contained therein, I felt like a brief essay to accompany would be smart. So stick with me, and I hope not to be stultifying but, instead, to educate and inspire.
Just about a month ago, I wrote about men’s health (here). As I am developing my practice (currently, traditional Chinese bodywork and health coaching) and as I get closer to the finish line with board exams, I am looking back on my clinical internship and pondering my experience and influences. The areas where I treated a lot tended towards musculoskeletal, dermatology and facial rejuvenation, weight loss, men’s health, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, fibromyalgia, and stress relief, including anxiety pertaining to insomnia, headache, gut problems, and/or trauma. In my current practice as an AOBTA-CP trained in traditional Chinese modalities and as a holistic health coach, the client profile hasn’t shifted so radically. I’ve continued to engage with these issues in a way that fits within my current scope of practice. Not much will be altogether different once I’m done with board exams. And one thing that will never, ever change? I am always going to be Paula Bruno, Ph.D., former professor and forever scholar.
Sex is an important subject. Sexuality is an important subject. No matter how a person expresses (or does not) their sexuality, it is one of those things that regulates identity to a lesser or greater degree, depending on context and other matters. Taking a healthy, no-nonsense attitude towards the subject can make it a lot easier to discuss with your healthcare provider, and having some knowledge at your fingertips beforehand is even better. To that end, I opted to share my academic material as part of my Book Corner content. I hope you will find something of interest and use therein!
The books that I included in my book corner entry are a response to experiences in the classroom and the clinic. When I was a professor, this topic would surface in on professional level in response to literary theory. Now, in my second career, it’s a case of real people and real concerns. From what I saw in clinic, there is embarrassment when it comes to discussions of health and sexuality. What we learn, both in the classroom and via social media and cultural context, can make or break our sense of self and our feelings of self-worth. My feeling on the matter? It’s all a part of life, so no sense in being embarrassed.
Naturally, I also think that there are answers in the library. Education, and finding the right support for your continued health, make a tremendous difference in how you feel within and how you feel about your body. This matters during youth as much as it does when you are moving towards your vintage years. There is a TCM practitioner for everyone, and what matters is that you can shop around and find someone with whom you are comfortable. This goes for all health concerns, and for health maintenance, too; it’s not just an issue for things that may or may not be considered embarrassing or vaguely uncomfortable, like erectile dysfunction or vaginal atrophy. A good TCM practitioner will help you with your general health maintenance across the board, including but not limited to issues such as infertility, lack of libido, and more.
Do keep up with my blog if you are interested in all facets of health, especially in the realms of the above-described (from musculoskeletal to pyscho-emotional and everything noted in between). Generally, what you can expect regarding health-focused blog posts is going to be from the Chinese medicine perspective, of course. However, from my perspective as a health coach and wellness advocate and educator, you also will also see in what I share the enduringly strong foundation that my Humanities PhD and years of teaching bring to the conversation (see here for more). The next couple months are going to be busy as I wrap up board exams and move on to the next stages of my career in traditional Chinese medicine, but I remain, as ever, your Professor Paula when it comes to suggesting good books for you to read.
May you enjoy good health and I wish us all a vibrant and joyful 2018!
Have you ever though to try traditional Chinese bodywork? At present, I offer tui na (similar to massage) and other ancient Chinese therapies, including cupping, gua sha, moxa, and more. If you are looking for a holistic wellness consultant and coach, my services can entail short or longer term programs. You are your own best investment, and when you take charge of your wellbeing you invest in yourself now and for the benefit of your future.
Two Hearts Wellness is a local holistic health and wellness outfit with a passion for all things nourishing, including but not limited to: joyful living, great food, art, and literature, and–of course–traditional Chinese medicine. If you want to learn more about me, click here and do feel free to follow my blog and/or my Instagram, connect with me on Facebook, or contact me here to set up an appointment for personal training or health coaching services. If you are interested in Asian bodywork therapy, click here to book an appointment online.