Modern living has one tempo – fast. We are expected to wake up each day with the same energy as the day before, exerting ourselves fully five days a week and resting only on weekends or holidays. Most of our emotional and physical pain stems from this fast pace lifestyle.
We have become disconnected from the natural ebbs and flows of life, from nature’s rhythm.
Women’s moods and energy levels wax and wane just like the moon, ebb and flow like the tides, and flourish and decay like the seasons. If we learn how to live in harmony with these cycles they will make us stronger, wiser, and healthier.
Each month our bodies go through mini-seasons with our menstrual cycle.
For example, at ovulation, we are in full bloom and fertile, just like summer. The week before menstruation we begin to retreat inward as we do in the fall. Our inner winter comes when we have our period and enjoy being alone so we can dream and regenerate. After menstruation we are reborn just like spring, having let go, rested, and purified.
The Monthly Seasons of Our Periods
Winter = Menstruation (Days 1-6)
Spring = Week after menstruation (Days 7-13)
Summer = Ovulation (Days 14-21)
Fall = Week before period (typically PMS week for most women) (Days 21-28)
Understanding Our Bodies Better
When we can understand what our body is doing, we can learn to appreciate it. Nature knows how to blossom, flourish, decay, dissolve, and be born again. We have this cycle in us too. You are already completely whole and healthy. This practice serves only as a reminder in case you have forgotten or lost touch with it.
Coming to understand and appreciate what our bodies do for us is liberating. When we mend our relationship with our cycles, we mend our relationship with ourselves and pave a healthier inner voice for those around us. It’s important for women to remember we are life-givers. A woman who no longer bleeds is still carrying that creative energy within her but expresses it in a different way.
Below you can find more information about what is happening during each phase/season of your menstrual cycle.
Season: Winter/Menstruation (Days 1-6)
The first day of bleed
- Progesterone plunges
- Estrogen and Testosterone decline sharply
Energy Level: Our energy is at its lowest. This is a good time to rest, take a day off and introduce quietness.
Insight: A woman during this time is said to have a deeper access to her own wisdom which is why quiet time alone is essential.
As a woman moves into her inner winter, she might find it irritating when family members, partners, or friends are asking her to “do things” for them. Winter is not a time to give to others, but to ourselves. Learning to be self-loving during this time is the healthiest behavior we can adopt for ourselves and our families.
Activities: Some activities to try during this time include: taking baths, having movie nights at home, writing/reading, sleeping/napping, spending time in nature, and gentle movement and stretching.
Season: Spring/Follicular Phase (Days 7-13)
- The pituitary gland releases FSH and LH
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – stimulates the follicles in one of your ovaries to mature (follicle contains egg)
- Leutinizing Hormone (LH) – responsible for ovulation (released by the pituitary gland)
- Estrogen & Testosterone begin to gradually increase
Energy Level: As a woman moves into her inner Spring phase she’s ready to get back into the world slowly and take on new projects, start planning and organizing her month.
Activities: Now is a good time to take on a challenge, try a new exercise that is more strenuous, and spend some time working on a project you have thought about starting.
Season: Summer/Ovulation Phase (Days 14-21)
- Estrogen & Testosterone rise to peak levels
- The egg is released into the fallopian tube (survives 12-24 hours)
Things begin heating up (literally).
Energy Level: A woman’s energy is more expressive and outward. She may feel more social so it is a great time to focus on community building, nurturing relationships, hosting, and being of service to others. Sexual feelings are increased and it may be easier to verbalize thoughts & feelings.
Activities: This is a good time to schedule networking events, ask for a raise, schedule a date night, and try some group exercise classes.
Season: Fall/Luteal Phase (Days 22-29)
- FSH & LH sharply decline and remain low
- Estrogen & Testosterone gradually decline.
- Progesterone rises gradually
- Estrogen spikes slightly but if no pregnancy, estrogen & progesterone drop (causing the uterine lining to shed)
Energy Level: Things begin winding down. A woman might notice herself feeling more inward at this time.
Insight: You may find yourself inspired and more inclined to use your energy towards pursuing creative ideas. This is a wonderful time to nurture one’s own creative insights, write poetry, come up with strategic ideas for your business or career.
Activities: Try to schedule days off leading up to your cycle to dedicate yourself to self-care. Eat well, do yoga, get a massage, sleep in.
PMS: This is the phase where women typically experience PMS (premenstrual syndrome) – mood swings, breast tenderness, food cravings, irritability, and depression.
Although it is COMMON to experience these symptoms, it is not NORMAL. When we ignore our body’s needs, our body talk often gets louder as a result and can manifest as extreme symptoms. This is why I highly encourage you all to really practice noticing how your body cycles. As you become more self-aware you can begin to unapologetically tend to the requests of your body.
To find more about Dr. Ryan and Dr. Allyson more and their chiropractic practice and philosophy, click here. To make an appointment please call (517) 781-4884