By Josfyn Uba

Dr. Perfecta Osawaru is the founder of Renoma Holistic Health. She is a specialist in pain management and women’s health. She also hosts a weekly podcast “Share Your Story with Renoma,” which features true-life stories of women’s health struggles.

As an alternative medicine practitioner and women’s health specialist, she has helped many women navigate through life without nursing pains. In this interview, she shares some of the challenges women face, especially with their menstrual cycle, and her efforts in helping them.

At what point in life did you realise that you wanted to be a medical practitioner?

I always like to start with the fact that this profession found me, I never went in search of it. But the point when I realised I wanted to venture fully into the health sector was after dealing with several health issues from childhood up until a couple of years back, and no one was addressing such health issues at the time. 

After I got better, I realised the need for others to be equipped with the right knowledge to help them prevent such ailments before they arise or worsen.

What inspired you to set up Renoma Holistic Health?

I saw a gap and decided to fill it. As I mentioned earlier, at first, I was ignorant about the right steps to take to prevent certain ailments and was also a victim of such, especially with regard to my menstrual health. I decided to educate others as much as possible by breaking down the barriers limiting them from living healthy and pain-free.

Then the holistic health sector is one that is not widely known in this part of the world. Someone had to be vocal about the alternative medical procedures that can help combat ailments. 

What perspectives or beliefs have you been challenged with?

The idea that pain is normal and should be endured endlessly is what I can’t understand. People have found reasons to nurse pains on a daily basis. I have had to constantly challenge the norm that pain is not a baby and so should not be nursed. Our bodies aren’t storehouses for pain. Hence, I am in a constant state of re-engineering people’s mindsets from the idea that, in the first place, one can live a pain-free life.

What are the alternative approaches you employ?

I specialize in pain management and women’s health. In that light, it would be both genders, anyone dealing with pain, musculoskeletal challenges as well as pains related to women’s health.

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For pain management, some of the holistic healing approaches I use include acupuncture, cupping therapy, moxibustion, herbal medicine, fire therapy, etcetera. As someone who greatly suffered from high levels of menstrual pain for over a decade, I know that more women would do better concerning their overall health, if they had the right information in that aspect. That’s why the two books I wrote were focused on menstrual health.

What are the highlights of your books?

My first book is titled “Menstrual Pains: Knowing Your Triggers and How to Ease It” while the other is “Flow Freely: Practical Steps to Understanding Your Body and Having a Painless Period.”

Whether a lady’s dream is about taking full charge of how her body works, optimizing fertility, enjoying more productive time, as opposed to nursing period pains, or being confident in her overall appearance, this book reveals a practical step-by-step guide on how to understand your body and have a painless period every single month.

The first part of Flow Freely revolves around the need to understand what menstruation is really about, what to do in each phase of your cycle and how menstruation can be used as the fifth vital sign to help you have a better understanding of how your body actually works. This will eliminate the often unreliable guess work too many women have relied on for ages.

The second part entails how to prevent and overcome period issues. It highlights how unhealed mental stress can lead to the physical manifestation of the pain some ladies experience at that time of the month, and then delves into the subject of body positivity. 

What are your best moments doing your work?

My best moments are found in the joy that beams up on patients’ faces whenever their pain levels have dropped, when they are healed or because of a proper understanding of the way their body works. That has to be one of the best feelings that come with this work—being a source of blessing and putting smiles on people’s faces, most importantly helping them journey through a pain-free life. One of the defining moments of my work in my immediate space was when a friend dealt with a frozen shoulder for a couple of weeks. He had tried all sorts of over-the-counter pain relief medications and even resorted to wrapping ice around the area—anything at all to get the pain off him.

The pain was so terrible that it restricted his movements and couldn’t really allow him to function fully as the core of his work required him to constantly use the mouse. Having dealt with that to no avail, he reached out to me. I suggested a holistic approach to his treatment, using acupuncture and cupping therapy for his frozen shoulder. That singular session gave him great relief from the excruciating pain he had dealt with for weeks prior. By the fourth session, all the pain was completely gone.

What was the last stressful situation you had with running your business and how did you manage it?

The last stressful situation would be breaking down this part of medicine into easy-to-understand content. When I started out, I was speaking in terminologies that only people in my field would really grasp but I later began to incorporate story-telling and illustrations to pass the message across to my audience. This is because, if no one understands that you have a solution for them, you are not in business. Another thing is the reach. Getting more people to know that there is a solution to their problems was quite challenging. I am constantly trying to create awareness about what I do.

Now, what are the missing gaps in the healthcare industry in Nigeria and what is your advice to stakeholders?

I know that no branch of medicine can stand on its own. The other healing modalities should be given a chance to contribute to the development of the health sector. I am also aware of the fact there is a need to integrate medical practices to get better results for patients when needed. Seeking to understand the root cause of an ailment rather than masking it up temporarily will avail much. Preventive mechanisms should be encouraged a hundred per cent. Adequate education about what works and what doesn’t as regards client’s health and lifestyle should be greatly emphasized. The many problems we currently deal with would drastically reduce if these measures are considered.