Over the month of December, I want to introduce you to my inner circle. This is a group of women, all experts in their own fields, who dedicate their time to helping other women find more balance and a sense of fulfilment in their lives. These women have all deeply impressed me and affected my life, mindset and choices in many ways. You will get to meet them in person during the online Stuff Talks Ambitious Woman Summit on 10-16 January.
For years, I’ve been suffering from a hormonal disease, PCOS, a disease that is said to be lifestyle and emotion-related. This has been all the more upsetting since I like to think of myself as an expert on emotions – yet I couldn’t seem to get to the bottom of it. That is until I discovered music therapy.
Hello adult acne
I stopped taking the contraceptive pill when I was 26. Immediately, my face was covered with acne. I wasn’t really surprised, I’d heard this might happen. In fact, I was first prescribed the contraceptive pill as a teenager to help fight my teenage skin problems. This was the done thing back then, I don’t know if it’s still the case.
I decided to give my body a few years to readjust. After over a decade on the pill, that seemed fair. But three, and then four years down the line, my skin just seemed to be getting worse. And worse. And worse. I was eventually diagnosed with polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS), a so-called lifestyle disease that affects almost 1 in 10 women worldwide. Cystic acne is one of the symptoms of PCOS.
I was adamant I would not take any medication in my attempt to solve this issue. I also didn’t want to use any strong chemicals on my face. Forget Accutane, forget cortisol. A woman’s best friends in her fight against acne were deliberately out of bounds.
Over the following few years, I tried a bunch of things. I went completely vegan, I went on fasts, I did yoga every day. Having been told that stress was a common cause of PCOS, I tried all the ways I could think of to “not get stressed.” Things got better a few times, and then they got bad again.
Deep dive into my emotions
On my journey fighting stress, I took a deep dive into my emotions. (So much so, in fact, that I even certified as a life coach on the way!)
But I still had acne. Lots of it.
A chance encounter
A little over a year ago, just when lockdown measures were starting to ease, I met Celine for coffee, the girlfriend of a close friend of mine. She had just moved to Delhi from France where she had just finished her degree in music therapy.
During our conversation, I asked her what her thesis, as part of her music therapy degree, was on.
“It’s on the link between emotions and skin issues and how music therapy can help,” she said.
I would lie if I told you that I almost fell out of my chair. By then, I’d kind of heard it all when it comes to “magical” ways to cure acne. Nevertheless, I was rather keen to try it out.
The real deep dive into my emotions
To understand how music therapy works, it helps to understand how the brain deals with emotions.
Emotions have a strong associative component. When you experience an emotion, your brain will go and look for other memories in which you experienced a similar emotion. It’s actually a pretty good strategy, as looking into past and similar situations could help you find useful information for your current situation. But that’s also why you get stuck in emotional loops.
For instance, when my husband says something that really annoys me, I can’t help but think about all the other times he said something that upset me. Old memories could help me find a way to solve this fight, or just make me even more angry!
These associative emotional systems get triggered during music therapy and can help you get to the roots of emotions you’re struggling with. Music therapists use this associative system, and slowly (sometimes fast!) bring you to find the origin of the issue. They use music, and the emotions triggered by music to help in the process.*
Music therapy helped me work on (and with) my emotions in a whole new way.
Since then, my skin has improved remarkably and my PCOS symptoms have reversed a lot too.
Try it for yourself
I’d like to invite you to discover a session with Celine during the Stuff Talks Ambitious Woman Week. You can register for free here.
During the week of January 10-16, every day you’ll get to meet an amazing woman and expert in her own field who will share with you tips, insights, mindset hacks and other tools that can help you on your journey.
You’ll get the videos sent directly to your inbox so that you can view them when it suits you. (Because I know you’re super busy)
That’s seven amazing women over seven days, with a live call with all the speakers and attendees on the last day.
You can register for free here.
*This is just one aspect of what miscue therapists do, they have quite a wide range of tools and applications.