The Heart and Our Menstrual Cycle
Today I am writing about a topic that is dear to my HEART.
Much of the knowledge I share is about the ‘science’ of a woman’s hormonal communication. Literally the communication that occurs between our sex and stress hormones throughout the day , the month and our life cycle. It is a sweet and delicate dance , which I find to be important and powerful knowledge for women. Once we know what’s actually going on during our cycles, we tend to feel more empowered with the tools to bring harmony and balance for ourselves. I always say , knowledge is power.
On the other side of the science, is my passion to share and inspire women to access the 'spirit' of our cycles. The 'spirit’ of our cycles is the underbelly of what feels raw, real, dark, messy, sexy, taboo, challenging, sad, and all encompassing. “It” is cloaked in disguise of our “PMS emotions” , which we have unfortunately been taught to hate , mask, and delete. It is when we are feeling our worst and want to shamefully climb into our caves. We all have these days of the month and we all have been there.
However, there is a thread between all of the messy stuff and naturally if we follow our sadness, frustration , shame, and our “messiness”, we will ultimately be lead to our HEARTS. The center of where all of these emotions breath.
In Chinese Medicine , there is a channel called bai mai which translates to “uterus vessel.” It was written thousands of years ago that the connection between a woman’s emotional state and hormonal imbalance is ruled by the heart and the uterus, rather than the brain being the dominant organ. It says the heart and the uterus communicate with each other through the bai mai channel. Every month the heart fills the uterus with blood in order for conception or menstruation to occur. The HEART MUST BE OPEN for the blood to flow through this channel. If it is blocked, PMS or infertility can occur. What could block the channel? Stress and emotional upheaval. (http://www.wellandwisewoman.com/newsletter/see last week's post)
When I learned this , I thought it was both wise and beautiful. It sheds light on our challenging emotions we experience during PMS and our periods and links its directly to our uterus, the home of our feminine essence, where we will birth a child or cycle through menstruation. Clearly, the connection between these two organs reminds us of the importance of tending to the matters of our heart. We literally must keep our hearts open for the blood to flow and our cycles to be balanced.
This is where the work as women becomes the most challenging , but can be the most rewarding. Tending to our hearts and getting intimate with the uncomfortable shame of our emotions will keep the blood flowing and ultimately keep our cycles balanced and graceful.
It can be some of the hardest work we do when our body feels like a balloon , the tasks seem endless, and our hearts feel overwhelmed with unfamiliar sadness. However, staying at the edge of these emotions and gathering the tools and practices to meet them, can and will be where the true medicine of our cycles will be revealed.
The sadness I have felt in the past during PMS never made sense to me , but I noticed it would arrive each month at the same time. I started to notice a pattern in my intimate relationship . I noticed that the feeling of being frustrated during PMS was actually linked to what was underneath , which was a deeper wound of abandonment. I was able to follow the thread of my emotions to my heart and find a deeper meaning to which I was feeling. With more time , awareness and self work, I realized this uncomfortable space of feeling sadness , frustration and deeper wounds of abandonment, was met with what I truly needed to heal, which was connection and love in my relationship. This is how I see our challenging emotions we experience in our hearts , during our cycles, can actually be our most potent medicine.
So next time you are raging with PMS and finding yourself physically and emotionally in the throws of it all , take a moment to follow the thread of your emotions back to your heart, where hopefully will find a willingness to open your heart , open the channel to uterus, and have a cycle that is here for you, rather than against you.
Some helpful ways to keep your heart and channel open!
My dear friend of Medicina Pachamama creates beautiful herbal formulas and flower essences. One of my favorites I rely on most, especially during challenging emotional times or when I feel a heavy heart, is Matters of The Heart. This blend speaks directly to the heart by opening up the heart chakra, empowers our feminine energy, aids in finding strength in vulnerability, and aids in balancing our ability to give and receive love. I always make sure to have this formula around as a wonderful ally. You can buy Matters of the Heart (here) and while you are there check out all of her supportive formulas and offerings.
Ashwaganda: I specifically choose ashwaganda as an herbal ally for the heart because of its ability to support the adrenals. YES, the adrenals again! There is no way around not supporting your adrenals as a foundation for hormone balance. Without supporting adrenals-, our gland that manages our stress , our heart in unable to feel safe. When stressed, our breath and blood flow are constricted to our heart, which does not allow a space of safety and nourishment for our hearts. The result, when feeling constricted in the heart, is challenging emotions which mirroring suffocation and suppression. Ashwaganda is a super star herb to support the adrenals in order to ease these emotions , support the adrenals , and open the heart.
Get Accupuncture: There are so many ways to balance our hormones and acupuncture is a beautiful ally that works. Of course , when speaking of the heart and uterus channel, the best way to do this is by receiving acupuncture to specifically open up this channel. There are many channels and many different treatments which can help with physical and emotional discomfort during our cycles. Seek one out!
Be in Nature: Nature Cures! When feeling frustrated, low energy, anxious, or your list of tasks seems like it’s impossible to complete, make it mandatory to be with nature. Her ability to match where you are at with your emotions, whether that is wanting to feel more energy or feel more grounded, nature will ALWAYS meet you. Being in the presence of nature’s beauty undoubtedly shifts our moods and opens our heart. Make it a practice and priority to get outside for at least 30 min a day.
Self Love Ladies!: You know what it is and I can not tell YOU how to
love yourself. In this exact moment if I asked you , “what does loving yourself look like to you?”, you would have the very answer you need. Simply asking ourselves this question can open our hearts up to how it is we REALLY want to feel and what it is we REALLY need during our most challenging moments in our cycle. The answer may be more time alone, communication or intimacy with our partner, a nourishing meal , time with our girlfriends, a day where you treat yourself like a queen, taking a class...the list is endless and it is most importantly unique to you. During emotional stress, ask yourself what you need , and from an open heart, give yourself this love.