An Oakland-Based Brand That's Helping Women With Womb Health, Holistic Healing & Overall Wellness
Holistic health is starting to become an important discussion within communities of color. So we chatted with Jasmine Thompson, the founder of Jasmin Thompson Enterprises.
Let's start with a little about you, what was your journey in promoting self care and holistic healing? (When & why did you start this type of work?)
My holistic health journey began at the age of 10 years old when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was the first person I saw take ownership of her health and her healing. I remember having unpasteurized apple juice, echinacea and an aloe vera plant in our home on a regular basis. I knew at the age of ten, that unpasteurized apple juice was healthier than the main brand, echinacea supported my immune health and aloe vera was a plant used to heal cuts and bruises. This awareness was by far one of the greatest gifts my mother gave me; the belief that I have agency in my health and that the earth offers all I need to care for and heal body. I used this philosophy to discover and understand my personal health and what my body needed to thrive.The healing power of holistic health is liberating and empowering and as I began to deepen my personal understanding of holistic health I found myself having conversations with those closest to me about their health issues and possible solutions. This passion has grown to a community level of sharing resources and knowledge.
My self care journey started much later in life, probably in my late 20s, after repeatedly getting burnt out and exhausted by the twists and turns of my life. At the age of 28, I made a private and semi-public declaration to “completely change my life”. This included physical space, emotional connections, spiritual practices, financial wellbeing, career and most importantly, how I cared for myself through these transitions. There are a few major elements that made this declaration a reality after 3 years of self work (personal development): 1) I got a life coach (honestly one of the best decisions in my adult life); 2) I mastered setting boundaries and 3) I began chinese acupuncture and herbs practices. In addition to these major elements, I became very interested in food and herbal therapies and what my body needed to feel good and healthy.
At 30 years old, my holistic health and self care journeys intersected and became a new lifestyle and way of being- my “new normal”. It was at this point that I began sharing my self care/self love/holistic health journey publicly and the community began to view me as a resource on the topics. As a woman, I focus on women’s health and women’s issues because I often share from a “lived experience or encountered” framework. My intention is always to activate or reactivate the belief in the healing power of the woman.
With your brand Proud Legacy - you work to provide products and services to support women's reproductive health ... why is this especially important from a small scale point of view?
When I first started discussions about women’s reproductive health, it was to illuminate the "un-had" conversations between generations- helping women to make the connection between their personal womb health and the health of the wombs in their families. I wanted to create safe spaces to have the seemly uncomfortable conversations about our wombs and the wombs of the women in our families. Also, I realized that women rarely have public discussion about their reproductive health and often are misinformed or unaware of the reproductive health resources available to them. I strive to share information to support healthy wombs and healthy periods because I believe healthy wombs create healthy pregnancies. The best aspect of a small scale exchange is that the women who are receiving the information then have resource and agency to share with other women in their lives. The intimate settings allow women to feel comfortable and vulnerable when talking about such a sensitive topic.
What is one reproductive health fact that most women or WOC may not know!
Fibroids is the health issue I want to share and here are the facts for WOC, specifically African American women. 25% all women by age 40 will experience fibroids however 50% of African American women over 30 experience fibroids compared to 20% of white women. There are many reasons for this fact, many of them are connected to the lifestyle and culture in the states.There are two things that can support women who experience fibroids, early detection and regulating hormonal imbalances. Some early signs of fibroids include backache, frequent urination or feeling bloated in the womb area. It is important to highlight that women have agency to balance their hormones by eating foods that are high in vitamin B, taking evening primrose capsules, incorporating ginger and cinnamon in their diets and using castor oil and lavender oil to rub the womb area.
You're a doula: How long have you been one? What your experience thus far especially navigating this space in Oakland?
I wanted to be a doula for at least the last 5 years but it wasn’t until the late 2016 when I learned that 3 very significant women in my life were expecting. Each of these women wanted me to actively participate in their labor process, so my journey began in that moment. I have officially been a doula for 10 months and have supported 4 mothers in the prenatal, labor, postpartum process. Being a doula in Oakland has been positive and welcomed by the community however I have had mixed experiences in the hospital settings.
Do you think it's especially important for WOC to have doulas? Why or why not?
Having a strong birth partner is essential for all women because the laboring mother deserves to have someone who advocates for her, soothes and comforts her and offers companionship in the process. Often a doula is this person for both the laboring mother and the other expecting parent/partner. WOC should explore the option of a doula regardless of their preferred birthing environments, doulas are available for home and hospital births. Doulas can support prenatal care by trimester, labor options, hospital rights and advocacy, breastfeeding/ lactation support and postnatal healing.
In your experience with both Coco Coalition & Proud Legacy: What is the one area where you find WOC need the most help when it comes to health, wellness, self-care, etc?
Simply the awareness of resources to support their health and wellbeing.
In your time working in this space - what has been the most inspiring for you? Most challenging?
The most inspiring experiences have been witnessing childbirth and watching women’s health improvements The most challenging experiences have been encountering western thoughts/systems