Now that I’ve told you the story that took me from hating my period to seeing it as a beautiful and sacred part of my life, I want to talk about how I've been able to do that.
As a woman - your menstrual cycle is, in so many ways, your internal compass.
I’ve gone from 15 years of hormonal birth control (and not having a period for 7 of those years) to naturally syncing up my cycle with the phases of the moon. I have two beings to thank for helping me along in that journey - the moon herself and Alisa Vitti.
Women's bodies are synchronized with the lunar cycle.
Our bodies' menstrual cycle as a whole is structured to follow the same flow as that of the lunar cycle. Traditionally (before the days of electricity and airplanes and artificial lighting), women would bleed with the New Moon - cleansing and renewing - and ovulate with the Full Moon - growing into fertile abundance. The average woman's menstrual cycle is 29.5 days - as is the cycle of the moon.
When I fully grasped that connection between my body and la luna, I felt such a beautiful cosmic connection. In fact, when I was in the process of calling my period back to me after 7 years of zero bleeding, I had a practice of placing both my hands over my womb and looking up at the moon in the sky every night. I would make notice of what phase she was in and, even if I couldn't see her, I would find a way to connect. To remember the magic of the universe lives within my body.
Alisa Vitti is a brilliant holistic health counselor who, in her 20s, was suffering from total hormonal collapse consisting of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), obesity, total body cystic acne, and having a period about once a year. Taking her health into her own hands, Alisa delved into how holistic health and functional nutrition could recalibrate her hormonal system. She came up with a protocol that completely healed her body and now she is thriving.
Alisa has written an incredible book called Woman Code, which I have read cover to cover several times now. In the book, Alisa talks about how the body is self-healing and, if we can learn her language, we can have access to an infinite source of energy, vitality, clarity, and unwavering purpose.
It all comes down to understanding your hormones and the phases of your cycle.
Your monthly cycle consists of four phases: follicular, ovulatory, luteal, and menstrual.
Inspired by Alisa's holistic philosophy, I've broken each of the phases below by what's going on from a hormonal, bodily, lifestyle and lunar perspective.
Follicular Phase (7-10 days)
Hormones: Your ovaries are preparing to release an egg and estrogen increases in your uterine lining in preparation to host the egg.
Body: You’ll feel an increase in physical energy and might start feeling restless.
Lifestyle: You have the most access to creative energy that you will have the entire month during this phase. Tackle creatively challenging tasks, begin new projects, plan and dream big.
Moon: Half visible, making way for the next cycle.
Ovulatory Phase (3-4 days)
Hormones: Hormones rise, follicles swell enough to release an egg to travel to the uterus.
Body: Energy is high. Your skin will be glowing and you will smell and feel irresistible to the people around you. You are most fertile during this phase, so this is the time you should be most mindful with sex (whether you are trying to get pregnant or not).
Lifestyle: You have the best communication skills and the most energy all month. Have important conversations (like asking for a raise) or go on a first date.
Moon: Full, you are ripe and receiving
Luteal Phase (10-14 days)
Hormones: Progesterone and estrogen rise and, if egg hasn’t been fertilized, progesterone will suddenly halt, which will trigger your period.
Body: Your phsycial energy declines and premenstrual symptoms (PMS) start to develop like bloating, irritability, headache, mood swings, and cravings
Lifestyle: As Alisa says, “awareness, attention, and comfort are key now". You will want to turn inward and have an urge to nest and be more domestic. You’ll become detail oriented, so plan an organization project for this week. Slow down social engagements so you don’t get too exhausted.
Moon: Half visible, preparing for the shedding of everything from this last cycle.
Menstrual Phase (3-4 days)
Hormones: Progesterone drops, triggering the shedding of your uterine lining and you begin to bleed.
Body: You may experience pelvic cramping, backache, fatigue, and cravings during this time. Focusing on slowing down and your comfort is key here.
Lifestyle: During this phase, access between right and left hemisphere of the brain is the biggest - making it the time you are most tuned into your intuition. I suggest journaling during this phase so you can keep track of the subtle messages coming your way
Moon: New and invisible. Time for new beginnings and intention setting for the next cycle.
This is meant to be a starting point to get you engaged with your body and the different phases she goes through every week. Alisa's book goes into far greater detail about what specifically is going on in your body chemistry throughout each of the cycles and even has an amazing food chart that tells you exactly what foods to eat during each cycle in order to heal imbalance.
A note about your cycle: If your cycle does not equal 28 days or you bleed for more than 4 days or you don’t bleed with the full moon, that doesn’t mean anything is necessarily wrong with you. This is just a general guideline that can help you connect more to your natural rhythm of your unique body. My cycle is constantly moving around and I just stay curious as to what that could mean.
To learn more about aligning your cycle with the moon, I also suggest reading this article on lunaception.
Do you track your cycles every month? Have you ever thought about your body's connection to the moon? Leave a comment below with your thoughts and let's continue the conversation!
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