Business

Bleeding and Business: How Amy Thomson Turned Her Health Crisis Into an Innovative Tech Company

The founder of Moody says a better understanding of our hormones and menstrual cycle is the key to optimising work and wellbeing

By Florence Robson

7 May 2021
A

my Thomson is not your typical tech entrepreneur. With an all-female engineering team and an ethical data policy, the founder of Moody – an app and tech service for women’s health – is determined to do things differently.

Formerly the director of a communications agency that counted Nike and Microsoft among its clients, Thomson regularly worked caffeine-fuelled 10-hour days. Eventually, chronic anxiety and exhaustion caused her periods to stop and after a year of consultations, she was finally diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, otherwise known as hormonal burnout.

Immersing herself in research, Thomson realised how little she knew about the inner workings of her own body – and how differently she would have led her life if she was better informed. She sold her agency and began building Moody, a company dedicated to helping women understand their bodies and optimise their wellbeing.

She has now published a book, Moody: A Woman's 21st-Century Hormone Guide, providing a holistic and practical blueprint for understanding your hormones and optimising your life around them.

Below she tells us about the myth of the 24-hour cycle, why she’ll never sell user data and why we shouldn’t dismiss self-care.

Image by Amy Thomson via The Stack World

There was a void in technology built for women, by women...

Technology is at the heart of Moody. Developing an app has allowed us to democratise the science of hormone cycles. You can log your symptoms and moods, receive a daily forecast and access a library of personalised wellbeing solutions. By monitoring changes in your body every day, it is easier to identify the root causes of any issues. It is empowering to track your own patterns and understand how your body works.

We want an ethical approach in the tech industry...

Everything our users put in the app is anonymised and never sold to third parties. Instead, we have a subscription model; anyone can track their hormones for free but there is an option to subscribe for additional tips and videos around nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle advice. I believe that this is a really sustainable model to allow us to provide free tracking technology to generations of women while living up to our values.

Image by The Stack World

Women’s bodies don’t work on a 24-hour cycle.

When you menstruate, your oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels vary across the month. These fluctuations make a real difference to how you feel day to day, week to week. We need to bust the myth that you can get up every day and perform exactly the same way. It’s just not realistic; our energy levels, motivation, food cravings and sleep patterns all change across the phases of our cycle. Armed with the science, you can start to work with the push and pull of your body and adjust your routines accordingly.

We tend to dismiss pain when we should be talking about it...

But that pain is important and is relevant to our daily lives and overall health. We should never ignore it. Writing the book, I realised how important it is that we start to talk about what we’re going through.

‘Armed with the science, you can start to work with the push and pull of your body and adjust your routines accordingly.’

Image by Amy Thomson via The Stack World

Stress requires a holistic approach...

For me personally, extreme, prolonged stress led to my periods stopping because the overstimulation of adrenaline and cortisol has a knock-on effect on your whole endocrine system. There is no drug you can take to magically solve that problem. If you think you’re suffering from burnout, you need the support of your doctor to get your hormone levels checked and then, depending on the results, it’s a holistic journey of supporting your mental and physical health.

Wellness should not be considered a luxury.

Something that blew my mind while researching hormones was the realisation that self-care is not an indulgence; it’s something we need to stay healthy at a chemical level. The routines and actions that make us happy have genuine benefits for our physical health. They help us to tap into the internal supply of chemicals that we need to self-soothe and stay well.

Image by Amy Thomson

I don’t base my life around a five-year plan...

Instead, I structure my goals around my cycle and set achievable expectations for myself each week. I look at what nutrition is right for me within that particular phase, how much water I should be drinking and where I might need a little more self-care.

We want to support women in every life stage.

Our ambition at Moody is to go beyond diet and exercise to recommend other changes that support your cycle, whether that is via supplements or sleep aids. There are so many gaps in knowledge around women’s health, and we want to be there to move the conversation forward and support women in every life stage, from puberty through to menopause and beyond.

Header image: Amy Thompson photographed by Marina Abadjieff

The Short Stack

Moody is an innovative tech company revolutionising the relationship we have with our hormonal health.

By Florence Robson

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