What is Post-Modern Period Care?
We are looking at models of care for women that question the cultural constructs that are generally accepted as truth, and re-discovering a variety of repressed histories of women's wellness & menstruation.
Uncovering the web of women’s health issues really starts with our cultural beliefs and expectations of women to uphold a linear lifestyle with a cyclical design.
The Cyclical Design:
Our hormonal cycle (which typically runs on a 28-ish day cycle) can accurately be compared to the cycle of the seasons. You can see breakdown- linking the menstrual phases to the different seasons of nature, womanhood, and the moon below.
CYCLE SEASON: MENSTRUATION
MOON CYCLE: NEW MOON
CYCLE SEASON: FOLLICULAR
MOON CYCLE: WAXING
CYCLE SEASON: OVULATION
MOON: FULL MOON
CYCLE SEASON: LUTEAL
WOMANHOOD: WISE WOMAN
Our society typically has linear expectations, regardless of gender. In the United States, women are not given any type of menstrual leave, or time off allotted for the rhythm of our energy based on our hormones. This leaves many women left with no choice but to ignore their body's cues, slam some extra caffeine (which overloads the adrenals, especially during menstruation), and keep going.
There's so much to unpack here- but today we'll start with five simple tips to start aligning your lifestyle with your body's natural rhythm.
Five Tips for Post-Modern Period Care:
1. Honor the cycle.
If your hormonal cycle was a season, menstruation would be winter (see the breakdown above). While on your period (or moon time), you might have a stronger desire to rest, indulge in comfort, and skip your HIIT workout for the week. Instead of hitting the gym, try a creative release such as painting, cooking, or a restorative yoga class.
2. Food as medicine.
For healthier cycles that are less symptomatic, try filling your plate with high quality animal proteins, organic produce and fermented foods. Pairing your sugar/carbs with a protein will help balance blood sugar and maintain energy levels, while the fermented foods will help cultivate a healthy gut biome! (QUALITY MATTERS!!! Go for grass-fed, pasture-raised, organic - all the things- whenever you can.)
BASIC SUGGESTIONS FOR ONE DAY OF NOURISHMENT:
- Breakfast: Eggs & Avocado Sourdough Toast
- AM Snack: Mermaid Smoothies: berries, spinach, kefir, greek yogurt & spirulina - Good time to take your beef liver supplement!
- Lunch: Buddha bowl with Protein, Veggies & Grains (perfect use for leftovers!)
- Dinner: Bone Broth Chicken Veggie Soup (crockpot meal)
- Night Tea: Nora Infusion
3. Limit Artificial Light Exposure.
Artificial lights have an effect on our hormones, sleep patterns and overall wellness. Limiting light exposure when the sun is not out can help keep you attuned to the Circadian Rhythm & even shorten menstruation time.
"One of the factors that affects menstrual cycle length is light exposure, and light exposure also has an impact on circadian rhythms. Before the advent of artificial light, it was common for women to cycle with the moon. Ovulation would occur more frequently around the full moon, and menstruation would follow two weeks later during the new moon."-Lisa Hendrickson-Jack, The Fifth Vital Sign
Other ways to Regulate your Circadian Rhythm-
- Sleep in a completely dark space (or wear an eye mask!)
- Minimize blue light exposure (phone/tv/computer) at night. You can also invest in some blue-light blocking glasses if you to work late to minimize the impact.
- Let the sunrise hit your eyes. The early morning sun resets the internal clock, giving a boost of energy for the day and improving sleep at night.
- Limit caffeine consumption. Try a mushroom-based coffee alternative, and avoid caffeine altogether after 3 pm if possible.
- Move your body. Daily exercise and movement allows the body to rest better at night (PS- studies show that sex before bed promotes better sleep, too.)
4. Prioritize emotional well-being.
Your body is an intricate system designed to aid in your human experience. When you tune into the emotions that arise during the physical process of releasing (menstruation) you create space for deeper healing (health). Slow down and listen.
Healthy Ways to Prioritize your Emotions:
- Practice mindfulness or meditation. You can find a local class, try a YouTube video, or try a creative meditation such as painting.
- Reconnect with old passions. Play music, make art, sing.
- Spend time in Nature
- Journal. Allow your emotions to flow out of you and onto the page. (Burn it after, if you want!)
5. Let the Blood Flow.
Consider switching to organic pads or reusable period products to limit your toxin exposure and send your body the message that it's okay to slow down and honor this process.
"Anecdotally, many women who've replaced their regular pads and tampons with organic versions (or reusable versions such as menstrual cups and cloth pads) experience a significant decrease in menstrual cramping and other menstrual cycle issues."-Lisa Hendrickson-Jack, The Fifth Vital Sign
This article is made available solely for educational and informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical or other professional health care advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health professional or provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional medical advice due to something you may have read within the posted Content.