Exhausting Periods?

Challenging 5 Common Myths About Your Cycle.

Have you ever contemplated why you feel so tired during your period?

Perhaps you don’t feel tired, but the women around you always remark about how tired they feel around their menstrual cycle?

Maybe you read about how women can learn to actually stop their menses through specific practices and you wondered about whether or not that was a good idea?

It could be that you also wondered if somehow your period was a time for detoxing?

Or, you heard that if you don’t bleed on the new moon, there is something out of whack with your Femininity?

Myths about our menstrual cycle are so prevalent these days that it is hard to decipher fact from fiction.

In fact, their very existence can create a variety of neuroses that can evolve into female health challenges.

Five Unchallenged & Common Myths:

1. Women lose energy during their menses.

This is an interesting myth because it is a learned idea. Unless you are the rare woman that actually is exhausted during her period, this myth simply isn’t true.

Yet because we ‘believe it to be true’, we behave accordingly, blaming our period for our exhaustion versus our own lifestyle choices.

On the level of our body and psyche, the menstrual phase of our cycle is a natural ‘reset and rest’ time. It is a time for us to enjoy going inward, to attune ourselves to what is working and not working in our lives, and to part-take in nourishing activities.

As for blood loss, unless we are excessively bleeding, the amount of blood loss is not enough to equate fatigue. We lose, on average, 35ml of blood with our menses, yet donating blood, on average, we give more than 10x the amount of blood (450ml)!

Furthermore, in the West, we often attribute slowing down and being still with being tired or sleepy.

But these are unrelated states.

What is important here is to note that we have a strong ‘meme’ (a mental virus propagated as truth) interplaying with poor life-style habits.

Reset: Our menses is a time to go inward, to contemplate, to slow down, to reset and realign ourselves to what is most important in our lives.

When we slow down, if we are tired, we let ourselves enjoy relaxing and rejuvenating ourselves with plenty of rest.

2. Our kidneys are adversely affected by the menses.

What is actually meant here is a statement on our adrenal health, not so much our kidney health. This confusion comes from attempting to translate an Eastern concept (kidney health) into a Western paradigm (adrenal health).

Furthermore, this meme is backwards—It is the exhaustion or depletion of our adrenals that adversely affects our menstrual cycle, not the reverse.

However, it is common that in the natural ‘rest and reset’ time of the actual menses, we experience greater awareness of our adrenals and their imbalances.

What fatigues our adrenals? Stress, of all kinds.

When the adrenals are in stress cycle, they no longer can support producing our healthy hormones in a balanced way.

This can lead to issues such as estrogen dominance which is linked to the experience of PMS, fibroids, endometriosis and irregular menstrual cycles, just to name a few.

Reset:

By having a good look at our life-style, we can begin to make some positive changes towards enjoying more down time and practicing being quiet more regularly.

Many women report a positive change in their cycles simply by regaining their adrenal health.

3. The Taoist premise that encourages early menopause (cessation of the menses).

This premise is widely propagated through different texts that state that a woman loses her JING when she menstruates, therefore leading to the assumption that in order to stay young and healthy, we must prevent the loss of our JING as much as possible.

Again, here we have the difficulty of translating an ancient concept with modern medicine. In a very simplistic way, the concept of JING can be loosely related to adrenal health.

As we already noted, life-style is the main culprit to eroding adrenal health and I have found this to be true in regards to women’s health issues.

What is more draining than our actual menses is our lack of introspection and emotional responsibility.

PMS, in my experience, can be diminished or eliminated by having the willingness to examine ourselves more deeply and to take ownership of our choices and of our shaping our lives into one that is supportive of our natural, rhythmic, womanly cycle.

Reset:

Menstruation is natural.

Our environment, our life-style and our psychological well-being all play a big part in how we experience our cycle.

When we begin to live more in harmony with our own cycles, we return to our optimum state of vibrant womanly health.

4. Our menses is a natural detox program.

Here is another interesting meme that implies that we are somehow ‘dirty’ and must be ‘cleansed’ once per month.

Yet, menstruation is one of the four natural expressions of fertility cycle.

For this one, I want to jump immediately into the reset.

Reset:

As mentioned in #3, we could do well by owning ourselves emotionally.

Often we do use our uterus as a sort of psychic garbage can.

However, I have noticed that women who honestly begin to use the PMS/menstrual time of their cycle as a time to blossom in their emotional maturity, their menstrual pain diminished or ceases all together.

Of course, there are ways to exercise, eat, and supplement our lives that equally support the transformation of living in harmony with our feminine rhythm.

5. If we don’t bleed on the new moon, we are out of sync with our Femininity.

This meme is very harmful because not all women menstruate on the dark moon and this does not, by default, prove that they are out of sync with their Femininity.

In fact, women who follow the recommended protocol to bleed on the new moon may be doing everything right and still not bleed at the ‘right time of the month’.

Reset:

If your cycle is healthy and you feel attuned with yourself, then whenever you bleed is perfect.

We must let go of forcing ourselves to live according to external constructs and instead start to live according to what is true for our own unique self.

When it comes to our own deep Feminine wisdom, nothing replaces attuning ourselves with ourselves and being willing to challenge and question everything that we believe to  be true about what it means to be a woman in modern times.

This is a true and courageous act of claiming and living according to our embodied wisdom.

If you would love to understand your own inner wisdom, check out my book.

If you enjoyed this article, please like it, share it, and leave your comments below so we can continue to unveil our own truths about what it means to be a healthy woman.

13 replies
  1. Anja Thorrez
    Anja Thorrez says:

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom. It is not easy to be “a woman” nowadays. See you in Amsterdam.xxx Anja

    Reply
  2. Christine Pike
    Christine Pike says:

    Dear Saida.. I wonder if my early menopause was a result of stressful living. In fact I’m sure of it though for the last 3 years have enjoyed a Jade Egg and Taoist practise which has revolutionised my energy levels and smoothed the menopause ride as it was shock arriving at the age of 34. I’m 43 now and don’t suppose my period will return though I sometimes wonder if it will. In your experience of menopause health what would you recommend as a good ‘detox’ program .. Inner smile/ sounds definitely help, but curious to know if there’s other tips. Thank you : )

    Reply
    • Saida
      Saida says:

      Aloha Christine, thank you for sharing so openly!

      Are you doing anything for your adrenal health? This is the ‘secret’ to supporting your hormonal system.

      Alisa Vitti wrote a great book called WOMAN CODE that does address our Femininity through nutrition.

      Reply
  3. Alicia Morrow
    Alicia Morrow says:

    Lovely article, Saida. So glad to see you doing your good work. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience! Sending love…xx

    Reply
  4. Penny
    Penny says:

    I just have to add that my motivation here is to have less frequent periods than every 2 weeks, or cessation altogether would be just perfect. Gratefully for most of menses life, I’ve been close to every 28 days my, but it’s been 37 years…… 🙂

    Reply
    • Saida
      Saida says:

      Ahhhh! The practice does help to regulate your cycle, but you need to be very consistent with it and this includes using breast massage.

      You may also want to check out Alisa Vitti’s book: Woman Code as it has plenty of great information for having a healthy cycle.

      Reply
      • Penny
        Penny says:

        Thanks Saida, I appreciate your sharing. I’m actually enjoying the practice when I do it..really starting to sense the energy moving to where I direct it, very cool! I get a little muddled with what to practice, when, etc. though. I had a second thought about the periods and they really are fine except for the incovenience,I felt full of energy this time despite it, my body may be balancing itself out this way naturally. It’s good. 🙂

        Reply
  5. Penny
    Penny says:

    Saida, you’re an angel, honestly. The jade egg practice definitely helps, I love it. And it’s a pleasure 🙂 Help. Can the ovarian breathing truly cease menstruation? On the cusp of menopause, I would certainly love to master that. What are the benfits at this stage to do so? How often do you need to practice it? Do you know of anyone that has mastered it? I was reading something Jutta said in an article that seemed to contradict what I’ve read about it, that the O breathing can bring menses back post menopause….anything you can share would be great. Love P

    Reply
    • Saida
      Saida says:

      Aloha Penny,

      When it comes to our cycle and ceasing it or not, I have never met anyone who can genuinely do this that wasn’t somehow already out of balance hormonally or close to menopause already. I personally only achieved this twice and both times I was away from fertile women. Perhaps that is why this practice is more for nuns or women who are not part of regular life.

      I do not know if it can bring back the menses. What I do know for certain is that some women have a ‘stress-induced’ menopause and when they rectify the stress, their periods come back, I’m imagining that this happens, whether or not they are aware of the practice. I have had students where that was true for them (they also did the practice).

      But its not very scientific to assume that something is correlated unless you can consistently replicate the results.

      As for your own practice, it is always beneficial to bring more mind-body connection and healthy blood flow to your ovaries and pelvis, this is the main reason these practices actually work. The results you will get are proportional to time invested. 🙂

      Reply

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