Yin and Yang of the Menstrual Cycle Part 3 – Supporting the Yang Phase

Last week, I discussed the Yin phase of the menstrual cycle. I hope it made sense. This week I’ll spend some time talking about the Yang phase and what you can do to support the second part of the menstrual cycle.

If you remember, Yang is the opposing energy to Yin. It is warming, transforming, energising and expanding, which is similar to progesterone’s function in the body.

Yang is like the power supply for your body. A reduction in this power results in food taking longer to digest, body responses slowing, metabolism slowing, embryo growth being impaired, energy transformation being impaired, fluid metabolism slowing, cognition and memory slowing.

So while estrogen and Yin help grow your lining and deliver nutrients to your eggs in the first phase, progesterone and Yang help to hold your lining in place and help a fertilised embryo to continue to grow and also help it implant and stay implanted.

Interestingly, your body temperature noticeably (if you have a healthy amount of Yang energy) increases after ovulation. And keep in mind that heat in nature always rises. So this is also a function of Yang, ‘raising’ energy to hold a pregnancy in place and to supply clear energy to your head for clear thinking.

Women who have ‘breakthrough bleeding’ or spotting (an indication that Yang is not holding blood up) just before their period may have a type of Yang deficiency. These women are usually very tired just before their periods and can have a very low sex drive – not ideal when you’re trying to fall pregnant.

They may also have difficulty losing weight and problems with fluid metabolism – bloating and swelling.

A severe Yang deficiency can also contribute to recurrent miscarriages. The body doesn’t have enough warming energy to help an embryo develop, implant and remain implanted.

I actually find many women with ‘unexplained’ fertility fall into this Yang deficiency category. There is no blood test or scan to show that an embryo fertilises but doesn’t have enough ‘warm energy’ to transform, implant and hold.

So Yang energy is very important to your health and the health of your menstrual cycle regardless of whether you are trying to fall pregnant or not.

Things you can do to help Improve Yang

1. The first thing is to improve your Yin. Check back at last week’s newsletter to some ways to do this. Yang is always born out of Yin (and vice versa)
2. Keep your feet, low back and low abdomen warm
3. Eat warm, nourishing foods
4. Avoid icy cold foods and drink – (those Acai bowls are THE worst meal for women to eat regularly)
5. Get acupuncture and moxa (of course!) – to move cold out of your pelvis and start building warmth. I love the heat lamp to help with this too.
6. Take some prescribed Chinese herbs – there are some great herbs that can push out cold and warm the pelvis, Kidney and digestion to improve Yang energy

I hope this helps. I am always happy to hear from you if you have any questions.