Ok, this is going to feel like a foreign concept to many. That’s because it is. But it’s one that has been tested and retested for thousands of years in Chinese physicians, daughters, mothers and grandmothers. It’s simple. Menstruation and childbirth are the most depleting things for a women’s body. This happens on a deep level, a level called jing which relates to genetics, aging, and vitality. Jing has a hormonal and reproductive aspect and also relates to your creative potential. Jing is limited and once it’s gone, it’s gone, and without it women suffer from problems with menses, fertility, menopause, libido and energy. How can you support your body, prevent the loss of jing and enjoy better vitality? The answer is menstrual and postpartum recovery practices. These activities help your body conserve and strengthen itself at these crucial transition times. This is one of the true gems I have found in Chinese medicine that can revolutionize the way women treat their bodies.
My grandmother may have been right when she told me that too much exercise would be bad for my ”lady parts.” I thought she was crazy. I played sports and loved them. But I didn’t have the whole picture and neither did she. It’s not that ALL exercise is bad ALL the time. We know that’s not true. Here’s the key, it’s when and how you’re exercising that matters. Each phase of a women’s life and each phase of her cycle has different needs. Menarche (first menses), childbirth, menopause and after each period are all transition times where great care should be taken to support and protect the body.
Women are fundamentally tied to nature through our menstrual cycle. Just like Spring leads to Summer so does menarche lead to childbearing years and then to menopause. In our modern culture we have lost the connection to the cycles of nature and to our own natural cycles. In the winter, we eat summer time fruits and veggies and stay up late into the darkness of night. The same disconnection from nature leads us to take a spinning class and go to a late party on the third day of a heavy period. There is a time for everything. Listen to your intuition. Reconnect.
What can you do? During your period and post-partum: Rest, limit vigorous exercise, keep yourself warm, eat foods which nourish and replenish. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are very powerful at this time. Listen to your body.
Lindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist. She is passionate about healthy, happy living, food and is a regular blogger. For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.