Dr Libby Weaver is coming to Hamilton next week, and Cambridge News has two double passes to give away. Ahead of her visit, Claire Castle asked Dr Libby a few questions about life, aging and hormones.
How do you think that mothers in particular can inspire a new generation of girls with an innate belief in their inner beauty and abilities, bearing in mind that this is a concept that many older women struggle with?
I do believe that it’s important for all of us to work on our own self-image and worth in order to model for younger generations that there is another way, and this is why I’m so passionate about helping women of all ages to get back in touch with how precious they truly are—no matter what. However, I’m full of hope that we can have a positive impact and help our young girls develop a strong sense of self-belief by choosing how we compliment and validate them. Let’s tell them that we trust in them to make excellent decisions, that we believe in them to become whatever they set their hearts to. Let’s tell them they are beautiful but also focus on all the other qualities that we see in them—their kindness, their leadership, their strength.
How can we prevent accelerated ageing and is it possible to turn back the clock once this has commenced?
Ageing is supposed to happen, but we can most definitely prevent it from occurring at an accelerated rate. The best way to do this is to consistently nourish your skin from the inside out – this means eating loads of colourful plant foods every day to provide the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that prevent skin cell damage and help to stimulate collagen production. The outermost layer of our skin is constantly being replaced and so although this renewal process does take longer as we get older, it is possible to improve the health, and therefore the appearance, of our skin.
Given that everyone is different, are there a couple of things that we should be starting to do if we’re not already and stopping if we are to help balance our hormones as we get older.
The relentless output of stress hormones is a common thread in so many of the imbalances I see with various other hormones. This is especially pertinent for women leading into menopause, where ovarian production of sex hormones shuts down and we need to rely much more on sex hormone production from our adrenals – the same glands that produce (and prioritise) our stress hormones. To reduce stress, sometimes it can be necessary to change our perception of pressure and urgency and of what stress means to us. This is often easier said than done but doing this emotional work truly can be life-changing. Diaphragmatic breathing is another strategy that is highly effective for reducing stress hormone production. I can’t encourage a daily breath-focused practice enough – for both men and women.