On Monday, we learned how to preform breast exams. In CCNM's teaching clinic, in groups of 3 or 4 students, under the supervision of a Naturopathic Doctor, we were able to practice performing the exam on real patients. I must say is that the "Naturopathic" breast exam is much more in depth than an Allopathic breast exam. The exam should take 2-3 minutes per breast and it covers not just the breast tissue, but the entire rectangle of skin between the clavicle, sternum, 5th rib, and the midaxillary line (aka the imaginary line that runs through the center of the armpit downwards). Breast cancer can metastasize anywhere within this rectangle area, so Naturopathic Doctors are thorough with their technique to detect any abnormalities that may be present.
On Tuesday, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a women's only hydrotherapy spa. I've been wanting to attend this venue since I took my Hydrotherapy class last year. Clothing at this spa is optional, but I wore a bathing suit :P I alternated between warm, very hot, and freezing cold temperatured pools, saunas, and steam rooms. This alternating hot and cold circuit allows the body to be 'treated' by the waters. I loved the experience, even though some of the circuit steps were far from relaxing; stimulating may be a better description. My skin felt incredible and I slept like a baby once I got home that night: it just goes to show how therapeutic water can be!
On Wednesday, we learned all about the female genital organs (vagina, uterus, ovaries, etc), including relevant pathologies. We were also (briefly) taught how to preform the female pelvic exam. Next week we'll be able to practice using plastic simulators. We won't be able to preform a true pelvic exam (on a real patient) until third-year.
Lastly, Thursday (today) is International Women's Day (if you want to learn more, check out Google's front page). I recognize the importance in celebrating the progress that has been made in bringing men and women to the same level; however I consider myself more of an equalist. I want to see men and women treated equally, meaning that for every Women's Day, shouldn't there be a Men's Day too? Nevertheless, today's holiday is a nice way to end my women's health-themed week.
Image source here.