I'm guessing I'm not alone in being fascinated by the topic of sexual health. For many women, the last time we learned about our female organs and what they do was in fifth grade, when our teacher told us, through stifled giggles, why our bodies were changing. Decades later, educators know so much more about sexual health, from the neurochemistry of libido to the science of sex-enhancing nutrition and exercise.
When I read the informative new book by one of America's best-known naturopathic physicians, Dr. Laurie Steelsmith, cowritten with her husband Alex, I was fascinated—and genuinely surprised—by how much I didn't know. In Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman's Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine (Hay House, 2012), Dr. Steelsmith helps readers, as she puts it, "discover the many ways in which sexual pleasure can be wholesome and profoundly healing."
This is a smart, serious book for women who understand that healthy sexuality is essential to their well-being. Dr. Steelsmith covers the topic of female sexuality using the naturopathic approach, which considers every aspect that contributes to one's sexual health, including medical, nutritional, environmental, mental, emotional, and spiritual factors. Her emphasis is on creating a holistic, healthy lifestyle, enhancing energy, and preventing illness.
She believes that great sex and great health are yours for the having—you can choose your way into both. All that you do—every choice you make on a daily basis about what you eat, how you exercise, and even what you think about—influences your capacity for both sexual fulfillment and abundant health.
The book is divided into two parts. Part I lays out a four-stage process to achieving balance—in terms of your mental attitude and spiritual state, your everyday lifestyle, the functioning of your sexual organs, and your hormonal health. It also includes advice and tips for regaining sexual self-esteem and feeling positive about yourself.