Wild Feminine: Finding Power, Spirit & Joy in the Female Body
by Tami Lynn Kent
[2011. Atria Books/Beyond Words, 400 pages, paperback.]
[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 97, Spring 2011, © 2011, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Sarah Harwell.]
In the pages of Wild Feminine, Tami Lynn Kent offers a holistic approach to women’s health care, exploring a blend of traditional and alternative physical therapy practices—including Maya Abdominal Massage—in what she’s termed Holistic Pelvic Care. Kent, who practices in Portland, Oregon, takes her readers on a journey through the “wild feminine landscape.” The energies of the ovaries and uterus are discussed in detail and, together with the fallopian tubes and vagina, comprise the “pelvic bowl,” the sacred root of the female body. Through a series of guided images and practical instructions, Kent teaches women how to create a pelvic map that helps them connect with physical and energetic patterns linked to both physical imbalance and creative potential.
The book includes short narratives to help contextualize its main concepts. The stories are based on Kent’s work with women and speak to those who have experienced fertility issues, postpartum depression, perineal tearing and abuse, as well as women who simply wish to connect more deeply with their bodies and root feminine power. Kent is also mindful of including women who’ve had hysterectomies or have experienced trauma. The emphasis here is on self-empowerment and total well-being. Kent sees pelvic self-care as an ongoing practice that women can engage to reclaim and sustain balance. Her discussion of the menstrual cycle is validating and reminds all women to honor the natural cycles of the female body, and to find meaning and purpose in what they communicate. Wild Feminine supports women in finding their own root connection, letting go of shaming cultural messages about their bodies and allowing their creative, feminine energy to flow instead of giving it away or withholding it in fear.
Readers who resonate with energy work and “alternative” care modalities will find Kent speaks their language. Yet, Wild Feminine offers a grounded, clearly articulated framework for women’s pelvic care, informed by Kent’s extensive experience as a physical therapist. Midwives and doulas will find Wild Feminine’s take on conception, pregnancy and birth related pelvic care progressively-minded and an excellent resource, for themselves and their clients.
Reviewer Sarah Harwell is the managing editor of Midwifery Today. She lives in Eugene, Oregon.