If your life is straight-forward, you take things like good health or having kids for granted. But not everyone is so lucky.
I have several girlfriends who struggled or still haven’t succeeded in getting pregnant and I can’t begin to describe how painful it is for a woman. People ask questions, friends mean well, family tries to be supportive but it doesn’t give you what you want-a healthy baby and takes away your identity as a woman (I am talking about women who want to have kids, because some choose not too and you have to respect their choice). There are lots of books and specialists out there but many of them are more patronising than helpful and a woman often ends up feeling worse and on her own with her fears. But when I opened a book that was published earlier this year by Emma Cannon called ‘The baby-making bible: simple steps to enhance your fertility and improve your chances of getting pregnant’, it grabbed my attention and from the first page I knew that this book might make a difference for many women out there.
I became so curious about Emma that I decided to interview her and even though she has a busy life, she managed to find a slot (albeit a short one) to fit me in.
When I enter her practise, Emma, a beautiful woman, with shoulder length hair, strikingly beautiful eyes and a healthy glow, instantly makes me feel relaxed, tells me to sit down and disappears to make us some tea. Her practise is very un-medical, with grey walls, beautiful flower paintings, pink cushions and kid’s collages adding a welcome touch-it’s hard not to relax, even if your shoulders are burdened with problems.
One of her clients leaves and we settle in for a chat, Emma’s eyes radiating calm and friendliness and the place is intimate and girly, where one feels at ease to talk and get down to the root of the problem. It is only one of the things that makes Emma and her practise different. I remember going to the practise of Gowri Mota, when expecting my son, and her practise looked remarkably impersonal, women being treated side by side, separated by whimsical screens and privacy becoming obsolete.
Emma has done a degree at London’s School of Acupuncture followed by the postgrad course which covered the management of infertile couples. I ask Emma about her childhood and whether someone in her family had a medical background, at which she shakes her head and tells me that it is probably the fact that her father, a general in the Army, had died suddenly and early, in his 50s, made her think about diet and whether some tests could have prevented his untimely death. This shaped her and her way of thinking and led her to help people who struggle to conceive.
Emma says that she is not anti-western medicine. It’s not bad medicine but bad practitioners and often traditional and complementary medicine produce stronger, much more successful results. She mentions that she had a lump in her breast when she was 27 but no one took it seriously, as she was too young. She still wonders if she could have been diagnosed earlier and not at 37, when she was happily married with two young daughters and cancer diagnosis was even more devastating.
She is sure that her background, her attention to the diet and practitioners she knew helped her recover and so far, she is doing well, not so long ago receiving a five year clear. I am sure that it’s her determination to beat this disease and the support of her friends and family that make her who she is. Many people, having battled a disease in the past, prefer to take a day at a time, listen to themselves and become more oblivious to the people around them. Emma chose exactly the opposite, doing her best to help women who struggle to have a longed for baby, help them tune into their bodies and ultimately become healthier in the process.
Emma talked to me about the importance of a good diet, which helps us feel more in control, but then it doesn’t work for everyone, and if a particular client is too controlling as a person, Emma might choose not to try to give dietary guidelines to start with. Her approach is individual, mostly listening to the patient to start with, observing her and then deciding on the best course of treatment.
As with her book, she tries to make a connection and to push a person in the direction right for them. Every one of us is unique, hence we have different reactions and each one of us has inherited strengths (our Jing, as Chinese call it) and weaknesses. Clients can also vary in their needs, some failing to conceive, some having irregular cycles and some already going through IVF. You also have to bear in mind that the result isn’t going to be instant. Emma says that Western medicine often doesn’t address the spirit and our spirit makes each one of us who we really are, underneath the face that we might choose to put on in public.
Emma combines her life experiences and her intuition in her work and she stresses that it is very important to her to hear what her patients are saying. Some people might need a more medically geared approach and some more emotional but it is important to find the key approach to each individual. Of course Emma can’t fix everything but she is intent on giving people the tools and ideas, trying to examine correctly the heart of the matter.
I do ask Emma if it has taken her a long time to write a book and she surprises me by saying it took her about six months to actually write it but that it was based on years of experience of working with the patients. She had strong intentions and wanted to focus on attracting the people she can actually help.
Even though her name is being mentioned more and more often Emma doesn’t seem to be affected by it and I think being level-headed is what you need in a professional like Emma’s. Good reviews might come and go, magazines might be praising you today, moving on to a new practitioner next month, but it is your substance as a professional that serves you and in the end gives you a much bigger chance of success in treating people and helping them realise their dreams.
P.s I have read Emma’s book but don’t want to review it here, as every person will find something useful for herself and Emma did mention to me in passing that there are quite a few reviews on the amazon. It is written in a manner of a caring but knowledgeable friend, who will hold your hand through difficult times and I think many women will find such approach helpful.
Emma’s book can be ordered via the amazon link below:
Emma’s internet site: http://www.emmacannon.co.uk/emma/