By Gabrielle Lichterman
Polka Dot Press/Adams Media 2005
282 pp., $14.95
Veteran womenâ€™s health writer Gabrielle Lichterman is onto something here â€“ itâ€™s called Hormonology, and her book is described as a daily horoscope for your hormones. Meaning that by reading one of the 28 chapters this book is divided into (one for each day of a fertile womanâ€™s cycle), you can find out what the Big Three â€“ estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone â€“ have in store for you each day. Sounds like scientific, dry reading? Think again. Lichtermanâ€™s breezy style of writing has you chuckling all the way through your forecast, even on grouchy PMS days (but, for the curious, included in the endnotes are references to the studies she bases her conclusions on).
What to expect? On Day 5, your libido should have you â€œnot only making the first move, youâ€™re as tenacious as a sexual telemarketer.â€ Day 7 finds you with your left-brain skills at an all-time high for the month â€“ â€œYouâ€™re logical, practical, and full of wise decisions. Youâ€™re like Alan Greenspan. Only funner!â€ And on Day 28, when PMS has got your energy at a low, â€œestrogen, testosterone, and progesterone are all plummeting to the bottom of the chart today and, like accomplices looking for a plea deal, theyâ€™re taking you down with them.â€
I found this book to be very educational. Prior to reading this, I thought hormones affected womenâ€™s behaviors and moods maybe during PMS, if at all. I found out instead that estrogen and testosterone work to make a woman more extraverted, mentally sharp, and open to new experiences during the first half of her cycle. Then, declining hormones result in a woman becoming more introspective and right-brained during the final two weeks. Itâ€™s interesting that a womanâ€™s cycle is naturally conducive to reflecting on oneâ€™s experiences and integrating them emotionally and mentally as an ongoing process each month.
I had more questions about that and in a personal correspondence with the author, Ms. Lichterman responded: â€œIt is incredibly fascinating how nature has set up both men and women to behave in certain ways for certain reasons — women are more outgoing and flirtatious and have a higher libido leading up to their fertile phase while we’re more sedate and sensitive during the second phase of our cycle when mating could be potentially dangerous to a developing fetus. Meanwhile, men have most of their energy in the morning, which would help them hunt down animals in the wild. Of course, nowadays, we can use those same impulses for other reasons. The energy of the first phase of a woman’s cycle can be harnessed to launch a new business. And the mornings can be used by men to pitch a new client. Neat, huh?â€
Neat indeed. I found 28 Days to be enlightening, accurate, and most of, fun to read. Biology is certainly not destiny, but this knowledge can be used to gain an advantage, day by day.
Find out more about Hormonology, and Gabrielle Lichterman, at www.Hormonology.info
Review by Diane Saarinen