The beginning of your menstrual cycle - day one of your period, can be a day to dread. Take some time during the first few days of your cycle to rest. Your body is going through a lot in that first day of your period so give yourself the time and space to rest. If you do need to work or have activities to do on the first day, make the effort to let yourself rest in any moment that you have time. Rest even more during your lunch and other breaks, take extra moments during your day to meditate, and try to avoid doing any extra errands. Anything that doesn’t need to be done on that exact day, put it off to the next day when your body will have more energy to do it. Just Say no. (more on this another time) Pro-Tip have an acu-nap for extra rest and relaxation. It is also the most potent time to regulate your qi.
Mid Cycle, when you are ovulating, is the time when your body is producing the most estrogen and testosterone. This is good news for everyone.
The increase in these hormones give you more energy, make you feel sexier and willing to take more risks. Use this time to practice your feminine charm and to socialize with friends and family. Pro-Tip: Take this one step further and ask for a raise at work, or ask someone new out on a date - or even just have a good old fashioned flirt session. Females are more attractive to males during ovulation. Have you noticed the extra stares?
If you are one of the many women that start to feel anxiety, sadness, and/or moodiness in the second half of your cycle after ovulation the probable cause is rapidly dropping estrogen levels. Estrogen's best friend is serotonin, the feel-good chemical, so low Estrogen levels make you feel blah. The good news is that you can increase your serotonin levels naturally by eating certain foods. Serotonin is made primarily in your intestinal tract and when it diminishes along with your estrogen you'll start craving bad carbs like sweets and bread. Pro-Tip, eat sweet vegetables like
sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and pumpkin. These veggies are energetically grounding
and will kill those sweet cravings! (Great recipe for Sweet Potato Hummus here)
Unfortunately dropping estrogen levels also diminish your bodies ability to suppress pain. Pro-tip: On days 23-28 of your cycle avoid getting your bikini wax, going to your OB/GYN or the dentist or any other painful procedures because they will feel so much worse than say around ovulation. You may also notice that you feel your acupuncture needles more around this time. As a general rule of thumb; the more estrogen reserves your body has the better it can handle pain.
As the Estrogen leaves your body in the second half of your cycle, your Progesterone levels go up. Progesterone's main purpose is to create a healthy uterine environment for baby but it also has the effect of relaxing your smooth tissue. As your intestinal tract is made up of smooth tissue this often means your digestive system slows down and you can become constipated. Exercising is especially important during this period to help keep things moving. Pro-tip: take a good quality magnesium supplement to keep your bowels moving. You'll thank yourself when the cramping starts and your uterus has room to move without coming up against a full bowel.