Jennah was one of the first women to message me about coming to the first Wild Collective meeting last September.
She walked into the first meeting, not knowing anyone (not even me), and proceeded to make friends with every single woman in the room within minutes. We giggled, we talked openly fears and goals for our businesses and we discovered our common thread (weird, wild, badass women). The most popular feedback I got on our first meeting meeting was “Jennah is so cool” (not surprised).
The meeting ended with the women trading business cards, and as Jennah handed me her pale purple, witchy card complete with moons and herbal drawings contained in a triangle (a symbol of the feminine divine), I was shocked and delighted at how wonderful she was.
Since then Jennah has come to nearly every Wild Collective meeting, and in between meetings I go to her for her naturopath wisdom (getting that sugar addiction under control) and acupuncture treatments.
Jennah could prescribe me rat poison and I wouldn’t hesitate (but she would never do that because she’s naturopath and not a traditional doctor… thats a joke...get it?).
Jennah, although an incredibly well educated naturopath doctor, is the kind of women that would never introduce herself as “Dr. Miller”, in fact any of my official appointment receipts with her always say “Dr.Jennah” which gives you an idea of the level of intimacy she shares with her patients. She’s wicked smart without being preachy and is equally versed in traditional medical science and “alternative” medicines (and legit the only person I will let put needles in me… but my first acupuncture experience could have a blog post/novel all of it’s own).
I truly believe that a higher power brings you your tribe at the right time, and I’m so happy that I’ve got Jennah in mine. Here’s a conversation we had about how she came into her path as a healer and why periods are so great.
Let's get into it!
Amanda: Did you have a deciding moment when you knew you wanted to practice healing? (did you feel like it was a “calling”)
Jennah: I think I always wanted to go into something that involved dealing with other people and helping them come into their own healing. I originally went into nutrition and I was like ‘I’m going to be a dietitian and I’m going to tell people what to eat.” and somewhere along the line I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do. It was too superficial and it didn’t look at the whole picture. Food is only one aspect of health. Plus I was always really interested in botanicals and that kind of thing. Naturopathy was one of those things that just kinda came to me. I did one of those cheesy career quizzes in High school and my top recommended career was naturopathic doctor and I had no idea what it was, but just kept on coming back into my life. As a very little kid I wanted to be a witch and I was always playing with plants and stuff, and [in naturopathy] there is so much focus on nature and it’s about using plants for healing and tuning into your feelings and emotions. So I guess it started as a kid but I wasn’t sure what it was actually going to look like in the end.
Amanda: A big part of what makes your practice so unique, is your focus on women specifically. At what point did you decide that women were going to be your focus?
Jennah: I think that happened in my last year of naturopathic college when I was doing an internship, seeing patients one on one, and I ended up attracting a lot of women's health cases. A lot of our supervisors told us that we would end up attracting what we were good at, and for me that ended up being women's health and hormonal health. I just loved it so much. They’re areas that naturopathic medicine is filling the gap for. I feel like stereotypically, women are an underserved population in the conventional medical system. For example, women’s pain is grossly undervalued. So when women go in to see their family doctor and tell them that they’re in pain, it’s not taken as seriously as it should be. And naturopathic doctors are typically the first ones to value this information and adequately work up the case and recognize that these women are actually in pain.
Amanda: You talk a lot about periods. Which is amazing, because I think I’m with every other woman on the planet in feeling like my period was gross or shameful or a bad thing for most of my life. What’s drawn you to talk about menstruation so much?
Jennah: I think it was natural progression. Menstrual health is one of those things that's getting talked about more now, but it’s still not as open as I would like it to be. It’s been called a fifth vital sign by a lot of the works that I read and resources that I go to. It’s like a report card that women get every month and gives you a good indicator of what's going on with your overall health. I always ask women what's going on with their periods regardless of what their main health concern is because usually whatever is going on with you health wise shows up in your period too. Like, if someone is super stressed out, even if they say they aren’t stressed, it usually leads to period pain or irregular menses. Stuff like that.
Amanda: Is there a resource that you could recommend for women trying to understand more about their menstruation cycle?
Jennah: I’m obviously more than happy to talk directly to anyone that has questions about periods. There’s also a lot of good books out there on tracking your menstruation, and getting to know your body. There’s this one called Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Tony Weschler and it kind of changed my life when thinking about periods. It talks about fertility awareness method and tracking your own cycles and actually being aware of what cycle day your on and how that impacts your body. Honestly, the best thing people can do is to start tracking your cycle, by actually keeping notes of what symptoms your feeling on what days (cervical mucus, basal body temperature). There’s definitely a recurring pattern when it comes to mood and emotions and the more we’re aware of that, that's when we can step into our power and understand that we’re cyclical being and there is a cycle to how our bodies work. For example, right now I am in my premenstrual phase (my “Autumn”), where things are more yin based and my ability to articulate myself when I write is much better as opposed to speaking (that’s the strongest in the ovulation phase when you feel much more extroverted).
Amanda: It is like a vagina code, that is like programmed into us and once we figure it out it's like unlocking the secret to the universe.
Jennah: Yeah! I imagine the world would be a utopia if our workplaces accommodated for the cycles of a women. Like imagine doing all of your presentations during your ovulation phase (when you’re your most “yang”) and all your writing projects will be done in your premenstrual phase.
[side note: I also recommend following Lee from America. She tracks her cycle and uses each stage to her advantage leveraging different kinds of exercise and food for each stage]
Amanda: What excites you about where women are right now?
Jennah: I think, honestly, us talking about our periods is the best part. I talk to a lot of people about period stories. Like their first period, and my first period and it how these experiences were never something that was talked about openly. I like that we’re starting to open the doors for that. I really want it to be an open discussions between all genders. Like, it’s not a weird thing that we need to sanitize for male consumption. Just like nature has a dark side and there's a life and death cycle, women have that too. The fact that we’re becoming more open about it, is so exciting for me. Women in 2018 are stepping into their power as human beings, and that’s incredible. [Note: At this point in the conversation I start describing a reimagining of the modern day “red tent” that celebrates menstruation and includes champagne, whisky, netflix and free massages…. A girl can dream]
Amanda: You’re a badass by nature. But what makes you feel extra badass?
Jennah: I think that feeling has developed over time. I was the captain of my rugby team in high school, which I think people are surprised to learn because I’m not a very large human. I think that actually taught me alot about how to step into my power as a small, but mighty human and I try to continue to do that. I try to bring that to everything, it doesn't always translate, but I guess fake it until you make it? I guess you don’t really know you’re badass until someone else says it.
You can find Jennah on @jennahmiller and jennahmiller.com