When I’m treating the menstrual cycle, I feel a sense of fusion. The fusion of the individual experiencing reconnection back to themselves. When we look at any type of dysfunction or disharmony within the body, we can often trace it back to a moment of disconnection. A moment or moments of active or passive separation from the Self.
This theory in particular affects the menstrual cycle. This is due to the hyper sensitivity of the cycle and the constant balance that it strives to create in the body. When our cycle is disrupted by external or internal aggressors, it can retreat, change & adapt to its new altered environment.
To truly understand what is needed for your body in each phase, we look to the guidance of Yin and Yang. Even though they are entirely reliant on one another to function, they have absolute opposite qualities. Yin is dark, slow, soft, internal, blood, descending and Yang is light, fast, external, Qi and ascension. They are two halves of the whole; if one falters, the other takes the lead. This often can lead to disharmony in trying to achieve an ideal state of harmony.
The menstrual cycle is a story of 2 halves; one half begins as the Yin phase, the other is the Yang phase. These 2 phases are then comprised of 2 stages within them. This means that there are 4 major pivots that complete the menstrual cycle.
So, we divide the menstrual cycle into the Yin phase and then the Yang phase. The bleed and following follicular phase is the most Yin, while ovulation and the luteal phase is the most Yang. The switch from Yin to Yang is a huge turning point in the cycle; this is where you emerge from the contained space, out into the open.
The Liver plays an essential role in this transition, so any held resentment or frustration can dramatically affect this major transformation. Often, when there has been a time of stress, prolonged or acute, this can have an effect on how smooth our liver qi flows. The liver is in charge of making sure qi flows throughout the body uninterrupted. This can be inhibited by emotional distress; this can knot the qi and cause what we call ‘stagnation’.
Stagnation, whether it be emotional or physical has a direct impact on the menstrual cycle. The blood supplied for menstruation is deeply affected by the flow of qi, as is the release of the dominant follicle for potential conception. When the qi is stagnated, things become stuck and can become agitated. This causes a number of psycho-emotional and physiological symptoms.
If this resonates with you, tracking the changes throughout the month is a brilliant way of doing what I call ‘tuning in’. This is a great tool for self-enquiry. The chances are, you will see a rhythm & pattern to your emotions flaring and subduing. Then, you can correlate this ebb and flow to the changing phases of the cycle. This gives a loose form to where you may need to make some alterations to the way you approach your whole being. Whether it be knowing when to slow & soften during the harder times of the cycle or how to capitalise on the more optimistic, energised phase.
As a result, tuning into the wealth of wisdom that the menstrual cycle can provide will not only reconnect you back into your body, but it will also give you inspiration to become in flow. In addition, you will gain insight into where you may need to ask for well-deserved help and support. This is when acupuncture and Chinese Medicine wisdom can have such a profound effect by supporting you and your cycle.
A great place to begin, is by grabbing your journal when waking and unfold with the question: who am I today?