Did you know there are 4 hormonal themes or “phases” that occur during a menstrual cycle every month? Each phase has a particular hormone that is dominant and is prime for balancing every 28-30 days. These hormones are strongly influenced by foods, supplements, herbs and self-care and can be balanced or thwarted by the simple choices that are made everyday. For example it is ideal to support healthy estrogen production during the first half of the cycle and progesterone in the later half of the cycle. Too often women navigating a hormone imbalance will be inadvertently flipping or suppressing or elevating their hormones by taking particular herbs, supplements or using essential oils or creams at the wrong time. This is why it is vital to understand what is normally happening during each phase or day of the cycle.
Every 7 years a woman will have predictable hormone strengths and vulnerabilities as she transitions from one season to another. Ever heard of the 7 year itch-well in TCM its true. Every 7 years women go thru a hormonal shift. Remember when you were a teen and had irregular or heavy periods? How about the after turning 35 things “changed”? How well do you know what your body is telling you. How we move thru each 7 year phase will ultimately effect our menopause or the perimenopausal years before menopause makes herself official.
During youth (14-21) there is a hormonal spring. Things are new and hormones are up and down. In mid life (From 21-42) fertility is at its peak which makes it a kin to summer. During the years fertility declines (42-56) and the predictable maturation of an egg every month starts to vary, and women move into the autumn season of fertility. As menopause becomes official (with the absence of a bleed for 1 full year), women may either stay in a hormonal autumn if they are generally in balance, or shift into the winter. With the support of hormone supplementation (for estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, pregnenalone and more) even after menopause women can stay juicy and navigate the aging process more gracefully. Taking this into consideration we can predict, support, navigate the inevitable changes themes that occur every 7 years.
For women, understanding this concept is the key to heal many other facets of health including digestive issues, headaches, migranes, skin conditions, endometriosis, cysts, thyroid challenges, mood disorders, depression and GI issues. The best healing program is one that takes into consideration a woman’s menstrual cycle and hormonal season, as each phase is a window of opportunity to address a specific facet of health.
Understanding the windows of opportunity during each 7 year cycle and phase concept of the menses is called cycle mapping. Cycle mapping is a tool for knowing when the body is most receptive to healing because of what is happening biologically at a specific time of the month or time of the day. For example, it is best to do intense cleanses in the luteal phase (premenstrual phase) than it is right after the having a period (the follicular phase). Supporting adrenal and thyroid issues are best addressed and focused on right after bleeding and during ovulation. For menstruating women, there is an optimal week of the month to cleanse the liver. For all women, there is an optimal time of the day to take thyroid and adrenal supplements. As a result of understanding cycle mapping, each day you will be able to make to best choices in foods, take the correct supplements and herbs, use the most optimal essential oils and do the best for yourself in the way of specific self-care practices. Cycle mapping also helps to understand your emotional rhythms, predict times of the month you will feel your best and mitigate those times you typically may not. This can be learned by women of all ages and stages or seasons of life.
Somewhere between 35-42 women experience a drop in Human growth hormone. This sets the tone for hormone deficiencies, not feeling as resilient in bouncing back from stress, childbirth or even drinking wine. They start to feel “off”. These subtle changes in metabolisim start showing up for women and are attributed to “normal aging”. By taking a more proactive approach with cycle mapping, women can start to navigate easily transition into the journey of peri-menopause in the later 40’s.
If you are not actively having a period due to pregnancy, postpartum or irregularity, I suggest following the suggestions for phase 4 the premenstrual phase. If you are in menopause or have irregular cycles I suggest lunaception. Lunaception is linking up to the moon light with the eyes in order to activate the endocrine glands. As the moon goes from new to full, gathering energy and increasing light energy it influences everything from emotions to the water in our bodies. The moon can influence the release of an egg and a women’s hormones thru the effect receiving light has on the eyes that influences pineal and pituitary glands. The moons changes can be seen in the night sky every 28 days. Aligning self care with the phases of the moon as if you were having a cycle is a perfect anchor for women who want to balance hormones after menopause. Do you know what phase the moon is in right now? Make a point of going out and looking at the moon in the evening or early morning. Receive the light in the eyes. Being connected to the moon is another powerful secret for women to create hormone balance.
Women’s bodies are wise. Women’s bodies are unique and a mirror of nature, the earth and her cycles. Empowering women of all ages to connect to their innate wisdom is my passion and mission. The knowledge of self care, cycle mapping, and lunaception are a vital step in any successful healing plan. If you want to learn more about what happens during each phase of your cycle, how to figure out what phase YOU are on or what you can do to support yourself, download how to determine what phase you are in and what hormone is at the forefront. Do you need some more clarity. Do you want to know even more about what you can be doing during each phase in regards to self care, food and supplements? If so down load my tips for a balanced menstrual cycle here.
Want to go deeper and get YOUR specific, guided, unique healing plan- consider a 3 month healing plan and coaching as I guide you weekly, establish your healing plan and keep you focused on your program. Start your journey by taking my quiz The Feminine reconnection– and watch my YOU TUBE Video. Want to explore your results? Schedule an initial session or sign up for a class with Dr. Deanine to start your journey.