Spoken word artist Jaspreet Kaur knows the power of language better than most…and she’s using it to tackle stigma.
Also known as “Behind the Netra”, Jaspreet is also a history teacher and award-winning writer working to change the way we speak about menstrual health.
The less we share, the less we’ll know when something’s not right - so it’s essential to get comfortable chatting to our friends and future generations.
With our host Dr Gemma Newman, Jaspreet shares her experience with overcoming period-related shame and making friends with her body.
So what takeaway advice does Jaspreet have for us all?
‘My message to all women and girls out there is start listening to and understanding your body – make friends with it. Take time to get to know it.’
Thanks to period-tracking apps (pen and paper work too): ‘I learned so much about my cycle. Why I feel certain ways at certain times of the month – why I had headaches or was more constipated, so needed more fibre in my diet. Learning those things made me feels so liberated and empowered – understanding what my body is doing.’
‘Whether it’s poetry, music or dance or another form of writing, creative expression can be a powerful tool to support your mental wellbeing,’ she says.
Teenage Jaspreet was anxious and depressed – writing poetry and journalling helped her through her mental health struggles. ‘Since age 13, I’ve used writing as a way to let out everything I’m bottling up. I literally felt the pain, confusion and worry released from my body.’
Eventually, it led to her career as a poet (where she performs as Behind the Netra).
In a stressful post-pandemic world, she believes creativity is more important than ever. ‘It can be incredibly powerful when you can’t access other forms of support. And it’s something you can do straight away.’
Find out more about Jaspreet on instagram.com/behindthenetra and on her website behindthenetra.com
A doctor for over 17 years, Gemma Newman has worked in many specialities as a doctor including elderly care, endocrinology, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry, general surgery, urology, vascular surgery, rehabilitation medicine and General Practice.
Dr Newman's specialist interests are in holistic health and plant-based nutrition as well as lifestyle medicine. In her practice she has come to understand that body, mind and soul are not separate, and that it is only in addressing the root causes of stress and disconnection that we can truly heal, from the inside out.