Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Lauren Chiren, founder of "Women of a Certain Stage." My personal experience of menopause was a rollercoaster; in fact until I was diagnosed I actually thought I had early onset dementia! I had concentration issues, sleeplessness and I just became very very emotional. It all left me wondering whether that could possibly be normal. Women of a Certain Stage educates organisations and women on all things menopause, provides pathways and programmes that businesses can put in place in order to support their female talent, and also works with women one to one and in small groups to ensure they thrive through this phase of their lives.
What makes you different?
Because of my own experience, and the sheer mental anguish that coincided with my menopause, I've now got a real passion for helping other women to avoid going through that. I've got background in psychology, nutrition, training, health assessment, stress management and coaching and I've also held senior level roles in industry. All of that means I'm perfectly positioned to understand what it's like to be a working woman in a demanding job, going through peri-menopause. I'm a member of the British Menopause Society and I keep up to date with all the latest information, tools and techniques to manage it. It’s not all about HRT!
If you could visit any time and place in history where/when would you go?
Oh dear...I’m not much of a historian, so I hope you'll allow me a little bit of leeway here. There's a scene I love in the film Rob Roy… do you know the one? Where Robert says to his wife "You know how fine you are to me Mary McGregor." It's set in the 1700’s in the Scottish Highlands, and they're just living off the land and looking after each other and their clansfolk. It's a tough but simple life. The scenery and the simplicity definitely appeal to me.
What's your superpower?
Blimey - It’s got to be inspiration! I get crazy ideas all the time - like setting up a business to support people through menopause! It may not make sense to anyone else, but if it works in my mind, then I’m up, up and away making it happen. Nothing can deter me once I get going. A few years back my son became critically ill, so I decided to raise funds for the hospital and challenge myself at the same time. I entered a marathon, even though, at the time, I could barely run to the bus stop. Somehow, slowly, despite having no training at all, I managed to run it. I was so inspired, and so determined to honour my sponsorship for the hospital that I couldn’t and wouldn’t give up!
What's the best piece of advice you have been given?
If you are not happy with a situation, you have three choices.
- Try to change it
- Put up with it with a good heart and carry on
- Walk away
It's tough advice for sure, but when you think about it, incredibly powerful.
What book would you recommend and why?
Informed Touch, A Clinician’s Guide to the Evaluation and Treatment of Myofascial Disorders. It's great wee book. I used it all the time when I was a sports therapist and I still refer to it all the time. It’s beautifully laid out and easy to follow and it helps clients to understand why you might be treating a completely different area to the one they came to see you about.