Stress, PMS, Adrenal Fatigue and The Surrounding Myths

Period Problems: Clearing Up 5 Common Myths About Your Monthly Cycle

By Saida Desilets
There’s no end to the questions and concerns a woman might have when it comes to “that time of the month.”
Perhaps you feel extra tired during your period or you’ve heard female friends and family members complain about exhausting periods?
Maybe you’ve read of practices that women can use to stop having periods and you’re curious about whether or not this is a good idea?
It’s possible you’ve wondered if somehow your period was a time for detoxing?
Or, you’ve even heard that if you don’t bleed on the new moon, there is something out of whack with your femininity?
Myths about the menstrual cycle abound and it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. The very existence of these myths can even create a variety of neuroses that evolve into health challenges for women.
Here are 5 common myths about menstruation and a mindset shift for each that can help you tune into your own embodied wisdom.

Myth #1: Women lose energy during their menses

This is an interesting myth because it’s a learned idea. Unless you are the rare woman who is actually exhausted during her period, this myth simply isn’t true. Yet because we believe it to be true, we behave accordingly — blaming our period for our exhaustion versus our own lifestyle choices.
On the level of our body and psyche, the menstrual phase of our cycle is a natural reset and rest time. It’s a time for us to enjoy going inward, to attune ourselves to what is working and not working in our lives, and to enjoy nourishing activities.
As for blood loss, unless we are excessively bleeding, the amount of blood loss is not enough to cause fatigue. We lose an average of 35ml of blood with our menses. By way of comparison, when donating blood we give around 450 ml — more than 10x the amount of blood!
In Western culture we often attribute slowing down and being still with being tired or sleepy. But these are unrelated states. What is important here is to note that we have a strong ‘meme’ (a mental virus propagated as truth) interplaying with poor lifestyle habits.
Mindset Reset: Our menses is a time to go inward, to contemplate, to slow down, to reset and realign ourselves with what is most important in our lives. If we’re tired, then when we slow down, we let ourselves relax and rejuvenate.

Myth #2: Our kidneys are adversely affected by the menses

What is actually meant here is a statement on our adrenal health, not so much our kidney health. This confusion comes from attempting to translate an Eastern concept (kidney health) into a Western paradigm (adrenal health). Furthermore, this meme is backwards…
It is the exhaustion or depletion of our adrenals that adversely affects our menstrual cycle, not the reverse. However, it’s common that in the natural rest and reset time of the actual menses, we experience greater awareness of our adrenals and their imbalances.
What fatigues our adrenals? Stress, of all kinds. When the adrenals are in a stress cycle, they can no longer support producing our healthy hormones in a balanced way. This can lead to issues such as estrogen dominance which is linked to the experience of PMS, fibroids, endometriosis and irregular menstrual cycles, just to name a few.
Mindset Reset: By having a good look at our lifestyle, we can begin to make some positive changes towards enjoying more down time and practicing being quiet more regularly. Many women report a positive change in their cycles simply by regaining their adrenal health.

Myth #3: The Taoist premise that encourages early menopause (cessation of the menses)

This idea is spread through different texts that state that a woman loses her JING when she menstruates, therefore leading to the assumption that in order to stay young and healthy, we must prevent the loss of our JING as much as possible.
Here again we have the difficulty of translating an ancient concept with modern medicine. In a very simplistic way, the concept of JING can be loosely related to adrenal health. As we already noted, lifestyle is the main culprit to eroding adrenal health and I have found this to be true in regards to women’s health issues.
What is more draining than our actual menses is our lack of introspection and emotional responsibility. PMS, in my experience, can be diminished or eliminated. We can do this by having the willingness to examine ourselves more deeply and to take ownership of our choices and of shaping our lives into one that is supportive of our natural, rhythmic, womanly cycle.
Mindset Reset: Menstruation is natural. Our environment, our lifestyle and our psychological well-being all play a big part in how we experience our cycle.
When we begin to live more in harmony with our own cycles, we return to our optimum state of vibrant womanly health.

Myth # 4: Menses is a natural detox program

This is another interesting meme that implies that we are somehow ‘dirty’ and must be ‘cleansed’ once per month. Yet, menstruation is one of the four natural expressions of fertility cycle.
I want to jump immediately into the reset for this myth.
Mindset Reset: As mentioned in #3, we do well by owning ourselves emotionally. Often we use our uterus as a sort of psychic garbage can. I’ve noticed, however, that women who honestly begin to use the PMS/menstrual time of their cycle as a time to blossom in their emotional maturity find that their menstrual pain diminished or ceases all together.
Of course, there are ways to exercise, eat, and supplement our lives that equally support the transformation of living in harmony with our feminine rhythm.

Myth #5: If we don’t bleed on the new moon, we are out of sync with our femininity.

This meme is very harmful because not all women menstruate on the dark moon and this does not, by default, prove that they are out of sync with their femininity. In fact, women who follow the recommended protocol to bleed on the new moon may be doing everything right and still not bleed at the ‘right time of the month’.
Mindset Reset: If your cycle is healthy and you feel attuned with yourself, then whenever you bleed is perfect. We must let go of forcing ourselves to live according to external constructs and instead start to live according to what is true for our own unique self.
When it comes to our own deep feminine wisdom, nothing replaces attuning ourselves with ourselves and being willing to challenge and question everything that we believe to be true about what it means to be a woman in modern times. This is a true and courageous act of claiming and living according to our embodied wisdom.
About the Author:
Saida Desilets is a teacher, speaker, author and “Succulence Revolutionary” on the growing edge of researching how women can use their minds, bodies, and spirits to create richer lives through their sexuality and sensual selves. Born with her “erotic innocence” intact, she is the founder of the Desilets Method, a system that creates more pleasure, sexual aliveness, and deep self-love. Saida has led sold-out workshops and seminars for women around the globe for the past 12 years. She is the author of the Emergence of the Sensual Woman: Awakening Our Erotic Innocence, and serves as a guide to women who believe in transformation as a lifelong path of learning, discovery, and walk to freedom.

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