Yin and Yang of the Menstrual Cycle Part 4 – Ovulation

Part 2 was focused on the Yin phase (or follicular phase), Part 3 was focused on the Yang Phase (or luteal phase) and now we can talk about how they interact…through ovulation.

Lara Briden recently said it perfectly…”ovulation is how women make hormones”. It is such a huge part of women’s health, yet so many women aren’t ovulating due to conditions such as PCOS, the most common anovulatory condition in women of reproductive age.

The pill also prevents women from ovulating as do many other chemicals, foods and medications.

In Chinese medicine, ovulation is the exact moment where Yin turns to Yang. The nourishing, blood moving, lining building, egg nourishing, feminine energetic state becomes the embryo growing, energy expanding, warming and masculine energetic state.

Without ovulation, you don’t get this perfect ebb and flow of hormone balance.

The primary energy that drives the balance between Yin and Yang is your Liver energy.

The easiest way to imagine how this works, is by understanding how night (Yin) turns into day (Yang)…through the movement of the earth.

The earth is in a constant state of energy movement. It is continuously and consistently moving at a pace that causes night to turn to day, over and over and over again. It barely wavers, at least not enough for us to notice.

If you imagine that something stops the earth from spinning in that consistent and constant pace (ie, the Liver energy becomes stuck), what effect we would have on the balance of day and night? We may get longer nights and shorter days or shorter nights and longer days. Or if it’s really bad…one really loooong night.

The same can happen with your menstrual cycle. Difficulty with ovulation can keep you in a very lengthy follicular phase.

Liver energy in Chinese medicine is responsible for keeping all the energy in your body moving freely, kind of like the energy that keeps the earth spinning.

Things that can cause Liver energy to ‘stick’ can be lack of exercise, constant stress, too much heating foods like alcohol and chocolate or not enough sleep.

If you have ‘stuck’ Liver energy, you may experience headaches, period pain, pain at ovulation, tight neck and shoulders, wake at 1 or 3am, irritability, easy to anger, red face, PMS symptoms or even digestive complaints.

When Liver energy is stuck, it cannot encourage the ebb and flow of a women’s menstrual cycle. Ovulation doesn’t occur or occurs very late or very early.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine work to correct the Liver’s imbalances. We use points that keep the Liver moving smoothly so it can assist with making this transition as smooth as possible.

Things you can do at home
1. Exercise regularly – aerobics and stretching are ideal exercise options
2. Each clean foods
3. Drink plenty of water
4. Reduce stress

Of course, acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help too.