How are your hormones doing? If you’re tired, sick, constantly stressed, struggling with your weight or unable to sleep, they may just be in a state of imbalance.
If they are, Susan Joyce Proctor can help.
She’s a Women’s Wellness and Lifestyle Curator who focuses on helping women, especially women over 50, get their bodies back into balance and live their best lives. She was one of the first guests on Your Life Program, and her wisdom is just as relevant today as it was back when the program first launched.
Take thirty minutes to listen to the show, or take advantage of the transcript below, which is about a five-minute read. The transcript has been lightly edited for readability.
A: My first guest today, ladies and gentlemen, is Susan Joyce Proctor, who’s a women’s empowerment and wellness mentor whose proprietary Hema-Dosha system based on one’s constitution and blood type offers a uniquely individualized approach to balancing a woman’s hormones naturally, achieving ideal weight, and achieving youthful aging.
Susan holds professional certifications in Ayurvedic medicine and nutrition, clinical hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming, and is a cum laude Fellow of the Institute for Human Individuality. In addition, she’s certified by Dr. Joseph Collins as a Management of Menopause type specialist, and is featured as a menopause expert at 360Menopause.com.
An inspiring speaker and workshop leader, Susan has appeared on radio and cable tv, and also has lectured about alternative medicine with Dr. Mehmet Oz at the United Nations. She’s been an adjunct professor of Ayurvedic Medicine at Everglades University’s alternative medicine degree program, and serves as a community leader on the university’s program advisory committee. She’s published her first book, The Gourmet Wellness Guide to Healthy Weight Loss for your Blood Type, which talks about creative ways to live an optimally balanced life with vitality and freedom from disease.
Susan, thank you so much for joining us on the show! How are you today?
S: Oh, I’m fantastic, I’m thrilled to be here with you, Andrea.
A: So tell me, how did you get into becoming a women’s wellness empowerment mentor? How did you start this in your life?
S: Well, it’s been a process. I had an earlier career, I think if you recall, as a banker, as Vice President of a bank, and I had a wake-up about 28 years ago, and I realized I had something to offer the world and I needed to find out what it was. Like many women, I struggled for many years with my weight, lived in hormone hell, and I realized there had to be a better way. I have to admit I originally developed this program for myself, and it was so effective and so exciting and empowering I had to share it with others.
That’s kind of the short version of the story. I’m happy to share more.
A: Why do you feel hormone balancing is so vitally important for women? Having hormone issues sometimes myself, and as our ages sometimes put us out of whack, how do you feel about these issues for women? What is your protocol for this?
S: I’m going to take a step back for just a moment. I want to offer a little bit of a bigger perspective.
I consider myself, I’d describe myself as a “wellness gal,” and part of what I mean by that is I ascribe to what I call the “Wellness Paradigm,” in contrast to what I call “The Pharmaceutical Paradigm.”
We live in a world where usually when we have a symptom we’re not happy with, you know, like PMS or a hot flash, we think like, oh, what do I need to take to make that symptom go away? But in the Wellness Paradigm, we really kind of welcome feedback from our bodies to tell us what’s out of balance.
Because I know that it’s more than a belief, it’s a truth of mine, that our bodies are incredibly intelligent, and they want to be healthy, and they know how to heal, and they want to be balanced. And when something is not functioning the way we’d like it to, to me it’s a really beautiful opportunity to see what we can do. Because balance is an inside job. The way that relates to hormones to me, is when our hormones are in balance, it’s a reflection that we are in balance.
So, to your question, why I feel that hormone balance is so vitally important, I’ve really come to recognize over years of working with women on various issues that if we focus on balancing our hormones, that takes care of everything else. Because almost everything else is determined by how well our hormones are functioning.
And when I talk about hormones, we usually think of the sex hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, but of course they’re all so connected with thyroid, insulin, oxytocin, cortisol. I’ve come to recognize that when we focus on that it takes care of everything else, and it allows us to really be happy. Allows us to really thrive in our skin. Having experienced the contrast for myself, from hormone hell to balance, I wouldn’t miss it for anything. And it’s really one of the greatest gifts I think I can offer to others.
A: That’s what I want to get into. You talk about having a proprietary Hema-Dosha system based on your constitution and blood type. Can you describe that program that you offer to women and get a little more detailed about what that means and is all about so they can investigate that for themselves?
S: Absolutely. And we’re going to kind of streamline this because our time today is limited, but what I can share with you is that what I often say is: one-size-fits all doesn’t fit anyone. I’ve come to recognize how unique we all are, in the work that I’ve done, in Ayurvedic medicine we recognize everyone has a different constitutional type, so balance looks different for everyone. In my work with the blood type science with Dr. Peter D’Adamo, I recognized and learned each blood type, O, AB, A, B, are practically different species from each other. So my general work with people, my recommendations on lifestyle are very unique for each person, and you know, as you and I have talked about many times, some people do very well as vegetarians, some don’t, some people do well with raw foods, some don’t, some people do well with spicy foods, some don’t, and I have the tools to help people understand what’s exactly right for them.
And the way that works with hormones is often when we get our nutrition and lifestyle right a lot of the factors that have been contributing to hormone imbalance just get resolved by these choices. The two areas that I focus on specifically, because they impact our hormones the most directly, are one blood sugar and insulin, because insulin and estrogen have a synergistic relationship. And it’s almost impossible to get our hormones balanced if our blood sugar and insulin are bouncing around. And that insulin reaction to various foods is very specific to our blood type, which most people don’t know.
It’s very exciting!
A: That is really a great tidbit for our listeners to hear. Go ahead, keep going! That’s very, very interesting.
S: In fact I’m just going to share, because this is just so intriguing. I happen to be a fairly rare blood type. My blood type is “B.” And for me, the most insulin-disrupting food, and therefore the most hormone-disrupting food for me turned out to be chicken. Who knew? And when I stopped eating chicken, I dropped so much body fat. My hormones just resolved so beautifully I just don’t eat that kind of food. And I’m offering that as an example, because it’s different for each blood type.
But if you knew it was so easy to get your life in order by eliminating just a handful of foods, you’d probably want to know what those were. So, that’s one of the things I’m so thrilled to share.
And then the other hormone and lifestyle factor that is really critical is cortisol, which is a stress hormone. And when we’re over-producing cortisol, that throws our hormones out of whack. And again, that’s very different for each blood type in terms of our stress response. So it’s just thrilling to me to have these tools to offer to women.
Again, in our brief time together today, I hope I’ve intrigued everyone by what’s available to them.
A: Yes! I want to ask you about that. When you sit down with a woman, what are some of the first questions you ask them? Because many women don’t even know, many people don’t even know their blood type. That would probably be the first step is to find out what that is, but you were talking about their constitution. I think in Ayurvedic medicine it is a top of ovata, pitta, or katha, whether you’re cool or hot or slow or fast, whatever your basic body’s constitution makes up. Is that part of your interview to ask the questions and start your program. Can you expand on that?
S: Absolutely. You’ve described it really well.
A: You taught me well!
S: Yes! I’m so impressed you even used the Sanskrit words. I’m just going to translate for our audience who might not be as familiar. That what you were just speaking about in terms of ovata, pitta, and katha: those really relate to the energies of air, and fire, and water. And so as an example, when someone has too much fire, that often shows up in their lives as inflammation and infections and rashes. Excess fire is actually correlated with high testosterone. Each of these elements also has a correspondence to hormone imbalance as well, which is a really exciting tool we have to help manage this.
So, yes, that’s part of my training. I’ve been working with Ayurveda for 23 years. We can manage and reverse and prevent so many symptoms with just this almost common-sense understanding of how different foods and lifestyle choices increase or decrease these different energies in our system.
As you and I have both experienced, it’s beautiful, it’s very effective, it’s very intuitive. It resonates with our wisdom as women, and listening to our bodies, and aligning with our life force.
A: That’s just such great information for women to learn and discover about themselves. Can you imagine, when someone discovers if they’re hot or cold or fire or air or water, and they put into practices and they engage in those methodologies. If you’re hot, cool you down. If you’re sluggish, speed you up, if you are tired, you know, infuse you with better energy and brain fog, have more clarity, and simply infusing yourself with the proper nutrition and stress-reducing steps, and understanding how their body really works.
That’s a great gift to give to women, especially premenopausal, post-menopausal. I’m sure in each of those stages there are different protocols to follow. So, how would you share with our listeners, say someone is perimenopause.
They still might have their cycle, or having a few of the hot cycles or tenderness or something like that. As opposed to someone who is older, and post-menopausal in your practice, to share with each of those. And then of course, us in the middle going through it. The transitions, each one, you have very specific guidelines that can help everybody in those stages women go through and help them to revitalize themselves. So, go ahead and comment on that for all of us.
S: Thank you, that’s a great question. Well, I work with everybody individually, so it really comes down to the symptoms and the situation each woman is in.
But I can make some generalizations, because you make a very good point about the life cycle.
Generally women that are in what we call perimenopause, that usually starts these days as early as the mid-thirties. We’re exposed to so many toxins in the environment in our world today and in our food supply that our hormones are disrupted by stress and toxicity much more than they ordinarily would be. So the perimenopausal period when our progesterone starts dropping is as early as 35.
And that can cause different symptoms, including PMS, and excess estrogen contributes to weight gain and all that kind of stuff. So, in that period of a woman’s life that’s more typically what we see.
I help women with fertility issues, again, our hormone imbalances, when a woman is in what we call the menopausal period, when her reproductive years are coming to an end, that’s usually when the hot flashes are the most severe because our estrogen is bouncing around the most. And there’s lots of things we can do to help soothe that.
And then in the period following that, which may be a lot of our listeners on this call today, because most of us are Baby Boomers, I’m proudly a Baby Boomer, most of us have already completed the menopausal time of our lives. And we may not be having acute symptoms.
But what a lot of people don’t realize is that the hormonal imbalances contribute to lots of other stuff. And they’re often treated symptomatically in our culture.
As an example, and this one’s kind of heartbreaking, I’ve had a lot of clients who were on antidepressants because they were depressed, and that was the only tool doctors had for them was to write them a prescription.
And when we took a deeper look we could see that all of their hormonal levels were low. And the emotional experience of having estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone all being insufficient is usually depression. So we’ve been able to support those levels, and women have been able to come off medications.
And that one makes me so happy, because while medications are sometimes important, they’re are always side effects, and it’s always a band-aid. It’s not dealing with the underlying issues.
And one of the things I want to mention here that is quite important is the value of knowing exactly what our levels are. That’s one of the things I’m able to offer women that I’m very excited about, is the ability to do your own home testing. So that you can find out exactly what your levels are.
A: That’s great!
S: It’s more than great, Andrea. It’s very important.
A: Absolutely! What a great tool for women to be able to help themselves and not have to get on prescription drugs to feel better. You know, as you know, I’m a very holistic practitioner in my career as a fitness instructor and life and health coach.
So to hear this, you know, I’m approaching these transition years. So me I’d be absolutely curious to find out what my hormonal numbers are. I’m sure my husband would, too!
But I think that’s great!
S: It’s critical because even when we’re using natural remedies like herbs and essential oils, which I love, without knowing where we are and where we need to get to, even natural things are contraindicated.
You know, just because something is sold at a health foods store doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
And, so we don’t need to be shooting in the dark. And actually that comes a little bit full circle in our conversation about why I call myself a women’s wellness and empowerment mentor. Because having all these tools available is very empowering to us. We don’t need to be just as the victim of a system that just wants to write us prescriptions. We can really find out what’s going on with our bodies, how it’s affecting our lives. We have tools to understand what our options are.
It’s just a beautiful, wonderful thing.
A: Do you ever suggest natural hormone replacements for any of your clients? Or are they still another last resort like prescription medicine?
S: That’s a great question. I do consider that a last resort. And I do refer some clients for hormone replacement. But what I specialize in is hormone restoration. Because that’s one of the reasons I find the testing so valuable.
When a woman gets tested, and we see that all three of her hormones are very, very low, that would tell me that her adrenals are so exhausted they are just not doing their job. And generally a woman is so depressed in a situation like that she’s just not usually in the state of mind to make all of the wonderful lifestyle and nutrition changes that I would recommend. So I do see that as a very viable option in those cases.
But for most of us? If our bodies are functioning and we just need to support and tweak, I really prefer to work with the body to restore its own hormone balance. I’ve seen again and again that the body wants to do that. It wants to be balanced, it wants to exercise its intelligence, and when we give it the good stuff, you know, nutrition and self-care, and when we reduce the bad stuff, toxicity and stress, generally this amazing body that we have knows how to heal.
I love seeing that. I have so enjoyed experiencing it. We have all this wonderful information available to us, and we live in this kind of world.
I notice we’re going to be wrapping up in a few minutes. And I did want to share a little bit about how women can find out more.
A: Yes, well tell us! How can they find out more to achieve their optimal balance? Give us your website, and your information to get in touch with you. I’m sure that many women that are listening of course will have these questions. It’s very empowering and relieving to know there are natural and wholesome ways to restore their health. And once they can understand the value of knowing their hormonal numbers and the methodologies that are food-based and stress-reducing based and fixing your adrenal gland and your thyroid and all the rest. I’m excited right now! Share with us how they can get in touch with you and what their options are.
S: Great, thank you. The best way to reach me is at my website, which is https://getyourjuicyback.com/, I’m based here in Del Rey Beach, I have a private practice where I work with clients, and I wonderful workshop that’s coming up on November 10, in Boca Raton at the Red Tent where I’m going to be offering a workshop called “How to Have Happy Hormones,” where I’m going to be sharing all of this information in much more detail. And I have a free teleconference coming up in honor of this time of year, which I like to call breast health has so much to do with our hormones of course, I’ll have all that information on my website, would love to welcome more women into my community and I have so much more to share.
A: That is fabulous. I’m so happy to have you on the show. Any final thoughts before we have to wrap it up? We have a couple of minutes. What else would you like to tell them for their own self-empowerment? What words do you have for them?
S: I’m going to leave us today with some words of inspiration. One of my most inspiring thoughts is the Dalai Lama’s quote. He said something very beautiful back in 2009 at a conference. He said he believes the world is going to be saved by the Western woman.
I’ve really reflected on this a lot. And what I’ve come to see as my truth is that yes, we have the opportunity to bring balance to the world. Our world has been so out of balance for so many years with too much male energy and not enough female energy. They’re both beautiful, but we need them to be in better balance.
And I’ve recognized for us as women, in order to bring balance to the world, we need to be balanced ourselves. I’m excited about the leadership roles we’re taking in the world, about the roles we’re taking, and I know that if we’re whacked out, with insomnia, we can’t sleep because we have too much cortisol, we’re out of balance because of our hormones, we’re not functioning and thriving at the level we need to be at to contribute all of our gifts and make the world a better place.
To me while the personal benefits of what you and I are talking about today are very exciting, I’m thrilled to share them and experience them, I really see us all having an opportunity to offer more to the world because we’re fulfilled and thriving, and that’s the thought I’d like to leave us with today.