Period Drama. No I'm not talking Downton Abbey or Upstairs Downstairs. Im talking about downstairs downstairs.
Periods, menses, on the blob, having the decorators in, moon cycle. It has many names and usually causes the same reaction in us - that "here we go again" feeling.
Its no wonder we feel like this and are generally disconnected from our cycle when aeons ago we would have been considered unclean and sent away from our village until we stopped bleeding. Whilst today's response is less extreme the mystery surrounding the menstrual cycle is still pretty tricky to figure out during puberty. I remember countless girls in my school being comforted as they mourned and coped with the shock of "coming on".
The general outlook is that we are "inconvenienced" by our cycle and this is exacerbated by the media - we are inundated with adverts telling us that we can still jump out of a plane whilst bleeding but only if we use their sanitary products as, without them we aren't able to function. Even the word " sanitary" annoys me, its clinical and suggests we can make it "clean".
We can make the cycle go away with the plethora of hormone contraceptives available now. However a really healthy menstrual bleed relies on an extremely delicate balance of hormones in our endocrine system. Contraceptives totally confuse this balance as do chemicals such as parabens (which are called Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals or EDC's)
It's actually strange that we think that hormone medications are a good idea when you sit back and think about what they do. I often see huge fallout when someone chooses to come off contraceptives and it can take alot of boosting to get the body to get back to normal. Not to mention the environmental and physiological issue of having so many hormones excreted into water and getting into the food chain!
I recently read a crazy article by Walter Last who actually believes that a menstrual bleed is toxic and symptomatic of ill health. He would probably still have us banished from our houses chased by pitchfork-wielding villagers. He recommends eating a raw food diet to stop your periods. This is called ammenorhea and is, in fact, a medical condition sometimes caused by being anemic, underweight or having a vitamin B12 deficiency which can be extremely dangerous!
According to many acupuncturists there will be different qualities of blood depending on how healthy your cycle is. This is a huge subject but in short its healthy to bleed on the full or half moon. Flow shouldn't be too fast and shouldn't hurt or feel difficult.
Blood needs to be a good red, not brown, or pink. It needs to be free flowing without clots or lumps and be viscose but not thick or watery. Your cycle is often the first sign of an imbalance in your body, so don't just ignore it. See a practitioner and get it sorted out.
Good solutions are not tampons. These are horrific for your body as they stuff up your flow and can lead to re-absorption of the stuff your body is trying to get rid of. Tampons are a possible cause of Endometriosis not to mention thrush,TSS, vestibulitis and terrible environmental waste.
Pads are okay but personally I favour Mooncup, They are easy, fuss free and environment friendly. I love seeing how my cycle changes each day and I've become really tuned in to what my body is doing. You don't get that with tampons there is no discernible daily difference as the tampon sucks up everything.
Of course if you have problems with your periods or are going through the menopause it can be tough to celebrate it but by working with a Kinesiologist or other alternative health practitioner you can get to the bottom of the problem and be free to really admire this incredible process.
It is the deep source of our feminine power, that we can have an entire cycle of life and death take place in our body every month. To really embrace your flow it's important to stop being embarrassed by it. If you have never let your blood actually run free down your leg and watched it in awe and honour, you really wanna give it a go. You can shower afterwards but just try watching it for a minute or two and ignore the ridiculous conditioned "eugh" thoughts. This isn't an injury or a problem, it's our deep mystery, it's the reason men don't get us and the reason that the feminine was deeply suppressed for thousands of years.
Wear it like a badge of honour it makes you part of the womens army. I know an incredible woman who has been known to smear her face like war paint with her menstrual blood. Another I know empties her moon cup on her roses. I for one love my cycle and feel deeply in touch with my body now I witness it doing its thing and not just stuffing it up with tampons.
So I ask you to reconsider your period, not as an inconvenience but as this incredible cycle that shows how inextricably we are linked to nature. Our emotions change every 60 hours because of our hormone response to our cycle, which explains a lot. The hugest changes in a woman's life are marked by the coming and going of this cycle - puberty, childbearing and then becoming a tribe elder. Ultimately, it is the sign we women and our amazing, strong and gorgeous magical bodies have the power to grow and support a life. What's not to like about that?