It is still widely understood that all women ovulate at day 14-15 or ‘mid cycle’. Whilst for some women, this may be true, for a large and growing number of women, this is not. Ovulation is best calculated as 14 days PRIOR to your period. So for women who have 28 day cycles, day 14 (and therefore midcycle) is the average day of ovulation. However, those with 32-36 day cycles could be ovulating as late as day 18-22. The trouble is, you won’t know until you get your period if you’re using this method to predict ovulation. It may take a couple of months of tracking to understand your best fertile days. Keep in mind too that you may have slightly different cycles depending on which ovary has released an egg. The first half of your cycle is all about ripening a follicle for release. If you have decreased blood flow to one ovary you may find it can take longer for the follicle to be ready. The month you ovulate from this side may have a longer first phase. Keeping record and looking for patterns is the best way to know your own body.
A huge part of Chinese medicine is searching for patterns. Patterns in symptoms, their relationship with other symptoms, with organs, with the environment, with seasons and even with other people and their symptoms.
One pattern I’ve noticed recently is the increasing number of people complaining of ‘feeling flat’. The only thing I know is a common change among you all, is the weather. So what does the change in weather from Winter to Spring have to do with feeling flat?
Spring is the season of the Liver. This means the Liver is at it’s most energetic time of the year. The Liver’s energy is expanding, constantly moving and warming. So ideally, we should be feeling more energetised, more outgoing and more motivated. However, if you have signs of Liver deficiency, you may not be getting to experience the full transition to Spring energy. Signs of Liver deficiency can include anything from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, digestive problems, emotional highs and lows, incessant dreaming, irritability, constant yawning, rib pain, painful menstruation, blurred vision, constant headaches or constipation. It’s a fairly broad list because the Liver is responsible for so many physiological processes in the body. In Chinese medicine it moves Qi and Qi is the energy required to carry out all of life’s functions.
What can be done? Well acupuncture treatments of course! Also, a Liver detox in Spring is a great idea to rid the body of toxins which are slowing down the Liver’s ability to do it’s job. It’s also important to get out in the sunshine and exercise. Vitamin D and movement mobilise Liver energy and help with hormone synthesis and Liver function. You’ll feel increased energy and motivation, the way you should in Spring!