Hi! I’m Rose. My personal story with cycle charting goes way back to when I was 19 years old and didn’t want to go on the birth control pill. I had an equally strong desire not to get pregnant. So, I did what any self-respecting nerd would do – I hit the library.
After reading every book I could find about birth control (yes, this was before the Internet), I discovered the Fertility Awareness Method. No one had ever told me that I could keep track of my fertile signs and use this as a natural birth control method that was equal in effectiveness to the Pill.
I was instantly hooked. I read some more books, and taught myself how to chart my cycles – and it worked! I wasn’t pregnant! I started teaching workshops within a year because I felt that everyone deserved to know about this life-changing information. I then began a decade-long apprenticeship with Dr. Geraldine Matus, the founder of the Justisse Method of Fertility Awareness. and became part of a group of Justisse students who founded the Fertility Awareness Charting Circle Edmonton in 2005 so that we could get teaching experience.
In 2006, I finished my Master’s degree thesis on the topic of Fertility Awareness Education. Unfortunately, the gruelling process of writing that thesis took its toll on me and I found myself burnt out and exhausted. By 2007 I was absolutely sidelined by chronic fatigue. I barely had enough energy to walk a block, let alone go to a job. It was exhausting to do the simplest things: even going to the grocery store was a major outing that took several days to recover from. I had severe pain in my abdomen on a daily basis. Even scarier: my period stopped completely for about 2 years.
At first I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I couldn’t get a diagnosis. My family doctor thought I was depressed and wanted to put me on Prozac. (Hint: not helpful). In the end, it was Dr. Matus who helped me figure out the causes behind my fatigue. Through reading my charts and assessing my symptoms, she was able to tell me that I had a thyroid problem, adrenal fatigue, and a leaky gut. She referred me to a functional medicine doctor who did the necessary testing to confirm my diagnosis, and they both gave me holistic protocols to restore my health.
It was a long process of changing my diet, taking supplements, and undergoing various holistic therapies, but I’m happy to report that I was able to make a full recovery. Having personally dealt with years of chronic illness as well as various kinds of trauma, I felt uniquely qualified to help others sort out the root causes of their health issues. I knew that Dr.Matus’s approach had helped me where conventional medicine couldn’t, and I wanted to offer that kind of deep, hormonal healing to others.
I am now a faculty member of the Justisse College where I did my HRHP training. I have a holistic health practice at a naturopathic clinic in Edmonton, Canada, and I also work remotely with clients from around the world.
Over the 17-plus years I’ve been teaching cycle charting, I’ve taught hundreds of women (plus some transgender and gender nonconforming people) how to get off the pill and use natural birth control effectively. I’ve had the reward of seeing my fertility clients get pregnant and bring in their adorably chubby babies to drool all over my desk. I’ve been able to celebrate with my clients who have cleared up their period cramps, identified their food allergies, gotten their libidos back, and now feel awesome and healthy.
And I get the privilege of regularly hearing people’s ‘TMI’ stories about their periods, sex lives, and cervical mucus.
Also, I love puns. If you want to hear any menstrual cycle jokes, I am at your cervix!
Rose has been charting her own cycles since 1998 and has been a Fertility Awareness Educator since 1999. She has been a facilitator of the non-profit Fertility Awareness Charting Circle since 2005 and completed a Master’s thesis of original research on Fertility Awareness in 2006. She is a certified Justisse Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner and a faculty member at the pioneering Justisse College. She is a member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research and the Association of Fertility Awareness Professionals. Rose maintains a holistic practice at a medical clinic in Edmonton, Canada.
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