I totally get it.
It can be really challenging to realize our period's innate and powerful purpose when it sets in with a vengeance every month.
BUT our period is actually a remarkable inner wisdom that reveals much about our health and well being throughout our life.
Our period helps flush toxicity, keeps us fertile, communicates potential hormonal imbalance and encourages us — or at least it should — to slow down and nurture our body and mind.
In today's modern society, so many of us have lost connection to our natural cycles and we don't fully appreciate our cyclical nature nor do we embrace our cyclical need for rest and replenishment.
So, we take higher doses of pain killers to suppress symptoms, we go on the birth control pill to regulate our cycle, and we use tampons to minimize our awareness of uterine bleeding, just so that we don't have to deal with it every month.
Am I right?
While every phase of the menstrual cycle has a unique biochemical, hormonal and cyclical importance, the menses phase is a special opportunity for cyclical self-care.
That's why I want to share with you these 4 secrets to help you better embrace your period as a golden time of self-care.
Rest & release
The menses phase is a time to do less and accomplish more.
Yes, less is more!
During the first few days of menses, this is a quiet time hormonally.
"Our brain and body’s levels of the three major hormones that control our cycle—estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone—are about as low and balanced as they’ll be" says Louann Brizendine, M.D., neurobiologist.
Our brain also has the highest level of communication between both the right and left hemispheres. This is the perfect time to slow down, discern, reflect and take advantage of both our analytical and creative capacities.
Collaborate with your body (and your hormones) to reset, release and purify. Avoid scheduling busy times or giving too much of yourself to others as it will only drive you into a further depleted state.
A well known Traditional Chinese Medicine principle is to stay warm and avoid cold air or drafts during your menstruation.
Enjoy a relaxing warm bath, or use heating pads on the abdomen.
Eat more warming foods and avoid ice cold drinks.
Keep your body hydrated with warm, non-diuretic fluids. Warm fluids promote blood flow to the pelvic area and help relax the pelvic muscles. We also loose a lot of water and blood during our menses phase so it's really important to replenish by staying hydrated.
Overtaxing your body physically is no way to honour the shedding of an organ (the uterine lining).
Any kind of heavy lifting, hot yoga, spin, HIT training, sprinting and even jogging is not what your body needs both physically and hormonally during your menses.
Your exercise goals can wait just a few days while you take advantage of more gentle and grounding forms of movement, like gentle non heated yoga, tai chi or walking.
Relaxation and rest balances the biochemistry of your body and allows you to begin your "inner work".
Consider journaling, meditating or engaging in some form of creative work that feels therapeutic.
Remember that this inner work will prepare you for your next cycle, not only in the development of a new egg, but in your desire to create and manifest anything at all.
Much love and lady flow care,
Elaine Clark, nutritionist, writer, women's health pioneer, and founder of LADYFLOW. Elaine is creating a movement of women living in sync with their hormonal wisdom and creativity. Elaine works with health conscious women to feel at home in their body and awaken to their creative potential. She offers a variety of tools to support women with her workshop offerings, retreats, and wellness products.