The Tao of Reducing PMS
Our generation on average is enjoying the longest life span in history. Today's woman has a whole new lease on life. We are not only interested in living longer; we want to live better. For women, this means, having a menstrual cycle that does not bring pain or an extreme loss of energy every month.
For Taoists, who are renown for living well into their later years, their idea of living better is called having 'youthfulness in old age.' What especially fascinates me is finding out what female Taoists have done do to stay young and full of energy, for many of these women not only enjoyed long lives, they remained beautiful as well. The Taoists I am referring to often lived hundreds of years ago and did not have access to longevity creams or artificial means to preserve their youth. Their natural rejuvenation methods reveal a highly intelligent and unusual feminine perspective. And they are one hundred percent natural.
According to female Taoists there are two key things a woman must learn to do to maintain youthful in her body and spirit. First, she must reduce the amount of energy lost during her menstruations.* Secondly, she must cultivate a healthy libido. These are also the key ingredients to the art of energetic menopause.
One of the sure signs we are losing too much energy during menstruation is when we experience strong pain, discomfort, high blood loss or excessive stress and irritability each month.
In the view of female Taoists a woman's energy loss is at its apex when she is releasing blood. As any woman knows, during menstruation, we tend to get tired more quickly and we can become short tempered with less provocation. We can also feel bloated, moody or listless. Unfortunately, these discomforts lead many women to 'wish it would be over' and look forward to Menopause as an end to these troubles.
What some women are discovering however is that not all our troubles disappear. We just get new ones! Many women experience a thinning of the genital tissue, which can make sex uncomfortable. Then there is the infamous extreme fluctuation of hormones, hot flashes and the like. While not every woman experiences these symptoms, many do.
Regulating the Menstrual Flow
One of the secrets Female Taoists discovered to avoid these excessive ups and downs, before, during and after menopause, is learning to regulate the menstrual flow. The monthly rollercoaster of rising and falling emotions or physical strain is a major cause of premature aging.
Experiencing seemingly uncontrollable mood swings or recurring pain indicate that too much energy is literally 'leaking out' during menstruation. This limiting pattern of feeling moody and weak, and losing energy is completely unnecessary. There is much you can do to change this pattern without relying entirely on drugs or supplements.
Following Your Energy
In order to regulate, or you could say, 'harmonize' your menstruations, you must learn to "follow your energy.' Even if you have already entered menopause, you can still find the pattern of high and lows of your energy each month. *. There are four simple keys to following your natural feminine energy. The first is to know when each month you will be bleeding, or when your energy is in a low phase. Mark these times on a calendar and plan for it.
Once you know your timing, the next thing is to make a conscious choice to rest more when your energy is at its lowest ebb. When your body naturally wants to rest, do everything in your power to rest. Think of it this way, you are pouring out, releasing toxins, blood: energy. It's not the time to be giving out lots of your energy. Its time to go inward and rest.
Success in following your energy resides in making it a priority to start listening to what your body wants. Many women during this time do just the opposite. They try to fit into everyone else's patterns, and try to overcome exhaustion. Rather than following the body's call, they push against it. Habitually going against what your body needs every month results in a chronic irritability and increased discomforts during menstruation. What most women do not realize is that years of ignoring the natural inward pull of the body during menstruation weakens the libido over time.
The Third Key: Educate Others Around You.
While presenting these views, I have heard the complaints, "but I cant rest when I am menstruating, there are things I have to do' My answer to this is there is always a way to change how you do something. Lets say, I have a personal trainer and I have to work out (after all, I cant get a refund!). You need to educate the people around you. You can make a decision to go ahead and do the training, but the way you train is completely different: it's more relaxed. Following your energy, listening to your body, you can tell the trainer you want to do very gentle exercises today. No heavy weights or over doing it. Moderate exercise is excellent during menstruation! Resting does not always mean taking a nap, or taking the day off, although, if your life allows, by all means, go ahead! Cultivate the attitude that rest is what my body wants, and rest is what it's going to get!
The Fourth Key: Nurturing the Body
What are the kinds of things do you especially like doing during your menstruation? Since learning to follow my energy, and educating others around me that I am going to take my needed rests whenever I can, I have found that my best times for writing come just before and during my menstruation. Training myself to go inwards, I have written some of my best poetry during my 'moontime."
There are many things you can do to nurture your self. Taking regular brisk walks, seeing uplifting movies, reading books you love, creating art or practicing a gentle martial art, are excellent ways to follow your energy and go with the more restful states your body wants.
During menstruation, your energy is not only going inward, you are much more sensitive to everything around you. It is best to avoid crowds or jarring activities. Do not be swayed to do things that will likely bring stress or conflict while you are menstruating. Deliberately place yourself in inspiring situations. Try to be more contemplative and put your inward energy to good use. Most importantly, allow yourself to do the things you most enjoy.
Creating a life long pattern of following your energy is something any woman can do at any age. Taoists believe the earlier you start the better. It is not only empowering to create your life in a manner that takes into consideration your natural highs and lows of energy, through the years it will keep you happy, sexy and young.
*. Or if you have entered menopause, you can learn to understand your cycles in a different way. If you cannot locate your natural high and low, start by choosing seven days at the same time each month. You can also use the waning moon.
You dance in my heart
Amara Hsien Ku
Amara Hsien Ku is an internationally renowned author and sexuality instructor within the Taoist White Tigress tradition. The Art of Energetic Menopause is a gentle approach to balancing your hormones and increasing your libido naturally. Methods within the Energetic Menopause Program have been used for hundreds of years by countless women to rejuvenate and restore their body and spirit.
Written by Nadia MacLeod