Blog

HONOURING YOUR CYCLE: Menstruation • Winter • Days 1-7

Do you hate your period?

Do you dread its’ presence every month? Do you feel shamed and dirty every time you menstruate? Has someone scoffed at you or made a joke about “that time of the month” when you’ve showed any type of emotion other that what they felt was acceptable at the time? Maybe you’ve made the comment yourself, maybe you’ve berated yourself for feeling things more intensely during the time leading up to your bleed and for feeling sad and withdrawn during your bleed.

In Western Society – likely you learned about your period (if you were lucky enough to not start menstruating before grade 6) in a sterile Sex Education class in which the boys snickered and made groaning noises the whole time and the entire experience was embarrassing and medically sterile – lacking any emotion or room for deep conversations that should be held over this type of information – and you just couldn’t wait for it to be over!

If you are a mainstream family – likely periods were something that were shushed and hushed and not acknowledged as an everyday fact of life for 50% of the population. Likely you would shamefully hide your sanitary product in your sleeve or your purse as you snuck to the bathroom to tend to your dirty chore.

But that’s not the way it’s meant to be. God didn’t intend menstruation to be a shameful secret, He created the female reproductive system to create life! To sustain life! Menstruation is one part of that magnificent creation – and it can teach us so much about how we are doing physically, spiritually, and emotionally – if we would just change our view on menstruation and listen to our bodies.

I want you to consider the possibility that you could love your period and honour your whole cycle. I’m not talking about the dancing in a field of daisies in a white muslin gown “love your period” idea that menstrual products ads pedal in a desperate attempt to get you to buy their wares. I mean to really understand it, to acknowledge its’ separate parts and what that means for your everyday. I mean to know your body and its’ deepest workings so that you immediately know when something is not right. I want you to see your cycle and your period as a gift from God. The ability to grow and sustain a new human life inside your very own body, and then to bring that life forth to the world. This miracle could not exist for us if we did not have a menstrual cycle.

Yeah, but the Bible says menstruation is “unclean” or “impure” (Lev 15:19-30). But in this context, and for most of Leviticus for that matter, it is a series of laws written for a people in a very different environment with a different culture and in a different time. The concept of “unclean” in this context is ritual impurity. “Unclean” does not mean that God finds something “disgusting”. Rather, in these laws to the Jews around making sacrifices at the temple, an “unclean” person is not properly prepared to offer sacrifices before God. Many things could make people, men and women unclean, even a man who has had an emission of semen was considered unclean for a full day after (Lev 15:16). Before these unclean people could go into the holy places and once again offer sacrifices to God they had to go through cleansing rituals to become “clean” again. It was basic laws that followed along the ideas of good personal hygiene in a time when running water and soap were perhaps not as plentiful as today.

There is so much more to our Menstrual Cycle than PMS and bloating and moodiness and inconvenience. Our periods can teach us so much about how we have been treating ourselves, if we have been nourishing ourselves properly, and whether we have been respecting ourselves and honouring our own personal limitations.

So, what happens during our Menstrual Period or Moon that makes it something to celebrate?

Menstruation Winter Days 1-7

Our senses are heightened – taste, smell, sight, touch, and hearing, and as a result we are more aware of everything around us. We dream more! Bright vibrant and often prophetic dreams! Our energy has more inward focus which makes us less emotionally available for those around us. We go into hibernation, rest and repair. And we are in a process of death and rebirth – of this cycle to the next one, which makes this the perfect time to replace habits and intentions that are no longer serving you with new ones. And you will know what those habits and intentions are, because your intuition is heightened and you can see things more clearly during your Moon!

No wonder women who are in their Moon time are often considered prickly, sensitive and moody. Everything in their nature is telling them to recede, to spend time alone, to be quiet and reflective, and yet external demands of family, work, friends don’t just disappear. But doesn’t the knowledge of why you are feeling or reacting in a certain way change your actual feelings around that reaction if not the reaction itself?

So how can you honour your Moon time and even make it something you look forward to?

– Set aside a parcel of quiet time for yourself every day during your Moon to read or journal or just take a hot bath
– Prepare nutritious meals ahead of time and freeze them so you are spared this work when you are not feeling your best. This is an excellent practice if you have others who rely on you for nutrition during this time.
– SLEEP, sleep and more sleep. Sleep more hours during the night or schedule in a nap each day.
– Slow Down! Don’t expect to be as productive during your Moon as you are in other phases of your cycle.
– Schedule a self-care appointment each month during your Moon time like Reflexology or a Massage. Maybe you’d prefer a pedicure. Give yourself a reason to find joy in this time.
– Drink plenty of hot fluids that include ingredients like ginger, hawthorn and hibiscus. Go ahead and treat yourself with a little honey.
– Consider natural and organic cotton menstrual products or use a menstrual cup or cloth pads. Mainstream “cheaper” menstrual products come with the cost of more cramping and heavier flow as toxic chemicals and plastics (BPA and BPG) are situated right next to very tender mucous membranes.
– Recognize that any cramping and clotting (excluding Endometriosis/Adenomyosis pain) is the result of poor diet, increased stress and shoddy self-care and vow to do it better during the next cycle.

A N X I E T Y

 

A N X I E T Y : worry, concern, apprehension, apprehensiveness, uneasiness, unease, fearfulness, fear, disquiet, disquietude, inquietude, perturbation, agitation, angst, misgiving, nervousness, nerves, tension, tenseness, heebie-jeebies, butterflies (in one’s stomach), jitteriness, the jitters, twitchiness

Though the info graphic makes a good start on defining ANXIETY, it still doesn’t pain the whole picture. People living with anxiety disorder deal daily with the symptoms above plus many many more.

And ANXIETY is proven to be a MAJOR HORMONE DISRUPTOR for both male and female so the symptom list goes on…

How to manage your ANXIETY naturally: (try to do these things on a good day, we know how hard doing anything on a bad day can be)

♥ visit a natural therapy practitioner like a REFLEXOLOGIST to have your Central Nervous System sedated and rebalanced

♥ talk to a Herbalist or Naturopathic Doctor and see if Ashwaganda and Motherwort might be good additions to your daily regime. Other herbal anxiety medications include Reishi … you can see both and buy these products at @goodnnatural and @hollow_reed_hollistic

♥ try to get out for a daily walk or bike ride or yoga

♥ try meditation or mindfulness when you begin to notice your warning signs of impending episode, to reset and hopefully manage severity

♥ Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night

This list barely scrapes the surface, if you have more coping mechanisms to share, please post them in comments below!

N O T E :  some people NEED prescription medication to manage ANXIETY.. and that is MORE THAN OK! You do you, boo! Just know that those medications are more than likely really messing with your Fertility

#Anxiety #Reflexology #NaturalMedicine #HerbalMedicine #Fertility #Infertility

Period Pain

Painful cramps and major discomfort with your period, a major bell ringer for Hormone Imbalance, is common but not NORMAL.

Feeling muscle soreness or awareness similar to that of muscles after an invigorating work out is normal for the uterus during menstruation as it is actually contracting and working to shed the endometrial lining in preparation for your next cycle. Cramps and debilitating pain mean something is wrong… And it’s 99% chance your hormones are not in balance.

Things to do to rebalance your hormones:
· clean up your diet, remove added sugars, junk or fast foods, reduce wheat and maybe even remove milk
· get active! I don’t mean you have to train for a marathon, but take a walk or do yoga or ride your bike. Something small EVERY DAY will start making a difference.
· talk to a herbalist or naturopathic doctor about whether there’s some natural supplements, like Vitex (available at @goodnnatural ) you can add into your new healthier life that will expedite the healing and balancing
· seek hormone regulating therapy (like REFLEXOLOGY) and be consistent in your treatment plan.

R E M E M B E R : The imbalance of one cycle can follow you for the next 3, healing takes time, give your new routines the precious time they need to start working.

Things to do for the period pain in the meantime:
· drink warm fluids, lots of them, particularly ginger based or Hawthorne or Rosehip
· go for a walk to improve circulation
· take natural tinctures of 50/50 Cramp Bark and Black Cohosh (in water) for the pain, it’s much safer than Ibuprofen and just as effective if taken properly (available at @hollow_reed_holistic )

#womenshealth #periodpain #hormonebalance #reflexology #certifiedreproductivereflexologist

Thyroid and Fertility, a Testimonial

Dawna is an early 20’s woman who knew since she was a little girl that she wanted to be a Stay At Home Mom with a house full of children.

Shortly after the birth of her 2nd child, Dawna’s thyroid function went off the scales and Western Medicine struggled to stabilize it. She was advised that she would not be able to conceive again while on Thyroid medication and her Thyroid fluctuating so wildly.

Dawna approached me to see if Reflexology could help her.

Using the highly evolved and evidence based Hormone Balancing Protocols of Barbara Scott’s ReproFlexology, I was able to facilitate Dawna’s body ability to stabilize itself and in 4 short weeks (not typical results) her levels were normal and she was able to regain control of her fertility.

Here is more, in Dawna’s words…

” I had my second child June of 2016 and after about 3-4 months I started losing a lot of weight really fast , I was concerned because I had already lost most of the “baby weight” and was now just losing more. I was losing about 18lbs every 2 weeks.

I ignored this though.

I was alway REALLY hot, like REALLLLLLY HOT.

Ignored that too thinking it was just my hormones.

Then my right eye started giving me problems. It would blink slower, close and stay closed and get super lazy. It would happen at about 8pm every night and with time it got earlier and earlier.

Finally I went and saw my dr and he tested my thyroid.

My levels were at 167 and are supposed to be under 4.

I was started on meds right away but had to give up breastfeeding due to the medication being unsafe.

The meds worked for a few weeks but then my levels went too low, and then too high and they never remained at a normal amount.

My dr knew I wanted to start trying to get pregnant soon, so they were trying everything to get the levels under control.

Nothing worked.

My son was almost about to turn one and I knew at his first birthday I wanted to start trying to conceive.

I reached out to Gloria and she told me she could help me, it would take 6 weeks of seeing her. 1 session a week.

I did it.

After 4 weeks my levels were tested and for the first time they were normal .

After my 6th session I decided to continue seeing her because I loved it so much.

April was the first month my levels were normal

May was the first month I had a normal period.

May is the month I got pregnant! My son hadn’t even turned one yet.

I was scared because of the risk of miscarriage with thyroid issues. I still am scared. But I’m 9 weeks pregnant and everything is going well so far, and I’m still seeing Gloria and my levels still remain normal.

The dr’s are shocked that my levels didn’t jump high with pregnancy.

Dawna “

New Pricing Structure

I want to spend a few minutes speaking to a new pricing structure that I am moving forward with and my reasoning for the restructuring.

For the last 3.5 years, my hourly rate has remained the same even though the quality of treatment and training of the Therapist has increased significantly.

In 2016 I became the first North American Reflexology Therapist to become Certified in the highly effective ReproFlexology – Reflexology for Fertility course, out of South Wales.

This training gives my clients access to superior hormone balancing protocols for both men and women that has changed the landscape of Fertility Medicine and hormone balancing throughout the age groups. Specific protocols for dealing with PCOS, Endometriosis, Progesterone Deficiency, Cystic Ovaries (etc), Sperm Morphology or Motility, Testicular Cancer, Hydrocele or Varicocele, (etc) each one a separate protocol, so completely different than the routine reflexology taught in many of the North American Reflexology schools.

In 2017 I completed the Maternity Reflexology Course which provided superior skills and knowledge in Fertility, Maternity, Labour Priming, Birth Support, Postpartum and Baby Care by the Maternity Reflexology Consortium out of the UK.

These new courses and new focus on Women’s Health, Fertility, Maternity and Birthing Support bring along with them more prep time before each client, more research for each new diagnosis, more time reading hormone panels and semen analysis reports and staying up to date on newest tests and supplements, as well as regular monitoring of Fertility App Charts and unlimited text and email support for my clients, as many of you already benefit from.

And as much as I cannot separate myself from this new training and superior protocols, I know how much my clientele appreciates the effectiveness of these new protocols as I implement them in my regular sessions as required.

The new pricing structure will begin October 1 2017. Please see chart below for comparison. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns about the new pricing structure. I would be happy to discuss any concerns with you.

Please head to janeapp.glorialaing.com to book your September appointments to take advantage of current pricing.

SERVICE OLD PRICE NEW PRICE
Traditional Reflexology 60 min $63.00 $75.00
Traditional Reflexology 90 mins $94.50 $112.50
Fertility Initial Consultation 90 mins $94.50 $112.50
Fertility Follow Up 60 mins $63.00 $75.00
Maternity Reflexology 60 mins $63.00 $75.00
Maternity Reflexology 90 mins $94.50 $112.50
Maternity Priming Reflexology 90 mins $94.50 $112.50

 

 

Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance

 

Hormone Balance, or imbalance, affects women across all the stages of menstrual life.

From the very beginning stages, a young woman approaching Menarche starts exhibiting signs of surging hormones, mood control issues, headaches, increased appetite, acne… fast forward to a woman who has been menstruating for a few years already and she is experiencing Pre Menstrual Symptoms like back pain, tender breasts, mood control issues, increased appetite, cyclical acne…. a New Mother, recently birthed and hormones having a hard time normalising, experiencing frequent bleeding well past the time of lochia, perhaps she is experiencing mood control issues as well and not sleeping well even when babe is sleeping, and a Peri Menopausal woman, night sweats, anxiety rushes, tender breasts, lack of sleep in luteal phase, loss of libido and all of the above symptoms as an added bonus… in the majority of cases these hormonal imbalances can be addressed and significantly improved if not resolved through natural medicines and natural foods.

Seed Cycling is one very easy and delicious way at addressing hormone imbalances.

Simply stated, the different types of seeds you eat during the different parts of your cycle have properties that will naturally begin balancing your hormones.

Now not every cycle is 28 days, as my clients know VERY well, [soapbox time] .

“Normal” cycles run from 21 to 35 days. To best calculate your follicular and luteal phases if you have a regular cycle, take your cycle length and subtract 12 or 14 (the number of days in an ideal luteal phase) to get the number of days in your Follicular Phase.

So if you generally have a 35 day cycle (give or take) you likely ovulate around Day 21-23. if you have a 21 day cycle you likely ovulate around Day 9-11.

If you are dealing with a more serious diagnosis like PCOS or Secondary Amenorrhea, this can still be VERY beneficial for you. You likely (especially if you are TTC) are already tracking your cycle in a Period Tracker of some sort (I recommend Kindara to all of my clients due to ease of use, adaptability and easy share function). Simply follow instructions for Follicular Phase until you have a positive ovulation indicator, then carry on Luteal Phase instruction.

So how does one go about Seed Cycling?

Here’s a cute infographic (that i couldn’t find an original source for so if someone knows, PLEASE educate me)

 

 

During your Follicular Phase (Start of Bleed until you Ovulate)
1 tbsp. freshly ground flax seeds: full of lignans that block any excess oestrogen.
1 tbsp. freshly ground pumpkin seeds: high in zinc which supports progesterone production.

During your Luteal Phase (After Ovulation until your next bleed)
1 tbsp. freshly ground sunflower seeds: high in selenium for hormone metabolism and liver detoxification.
1 tbsp. freshly ground sesame seeds: full of lignans that block excess oestrogen

Now, before you run out to your local Bulk Barn to load up on these tasty treats which are sure to send you into hormonal bliss, lets discuss FRESHNESS and ORGANIC!

I am not a huge pusher of organic, not because I don’t believe true organic is beneficial, rather because I know things marketed as organic AREN’T always, but they DO always carry a higher sticker price. So unless you are able to grow your own FRESH and ORGANIC seeds (and please, if you are, send some my way), find a reliable source for FRESH and ORGANIC seeds, like your local health food supplier (not grocery chain)… I stress FRESH because ground seeds lose their nutrients quickly enough that you don’t want something that’s been sitting around in barrels or bags for a long time. For maximum effectiveness, fresh is your best bet. I say (in this case) ORGANIC because why would we put something grown with hormone altering chemicals into our body as a way to regulate hormones… silly question, I know, you already thought of that yourselves because you are one smart group of readers!

Now, how do we consume these amazing hormone regulating tasty treats?

How about:
– on a bowl of hot breakfast cereal
– as a salad topper
– mixed into your 5% Greek Yogurt
– on top of that zucchini noodle coconut amino stir fry you just made

the possibilities are as endless as your Pinterest Search options..  now GO, DO!

Gloria Laing – Reflexology Therapist and Doula
Reflexology for Women’s Health, Fertility, Maternity, Birth Support