As a therapist we are taught how important the menstrual cycle is to a women’s health.
Healthy menstrual cycles in the years between puberty and menopause are usually a sign that your body is working normally. Simply put, it is the hormonal process a woman’s body goes through each month to prepare for a possible pregnancy.
A lot can be assumed from a woman’s menstrual cycle, looking at aspects including, length of cycle, heaviness of period, length of bleeding, clotting, pre-menstrual symptoms and of course, lack of periods.
As therapists we commonly look at the treatments and remedies we can give to support our female clients through any difficulty they may be experiencing.
But, have you ever used your clients’ menstrual cycle as a tool to improve your treatment plan?
For example, have you ever wondered why one week your client can go away from your clinic with a strict regime, and stick to every-single- instruction you gave them. Yet, other times they go away and you’d swear they didn’t hear a word you said? Well, it is quite possible it is related to the phase of menstrual cycle they are in.
There are four clear phases of the cycle, and at Emgoddess we have named each of these phases a after a Greek/ Roman goddess. The phases are follicular – Daphne, ovulatory – Demeter, luteal – Persephone and menstrual – Hecate.
Hormone levels change as the body moves through the four phases, and these fluctuating hormone levels can impact a woman greatly, including her ability to take on a lot or little, her focus and discipline to tasks, her capacity to show empathy and compassion, her pain sensitivity levels, and even her appetite for risk.
Taking the time to consider where your client is in her menstrual cycle could really help you develop a treatment plan for success.
Being Inspired by Daphne
In the Daphne phase (days 5 – 11 in your cycle) you client is feeling generally lighter both physically and emotionally. This phase is filled with enthusiasm, joy and energy. This is the time to set them some big goals. Towards the end of your follicular phase, as the levels of oestrogen increase so will your client’s mood, energy and concentration levels.
Be aware of the pain levels for your clients here. Studies have shown that women are most sensitive to pain in the first half of the follicular phase during menstruation and a few days after it. This is due to low levels of estrogen in the first few days of this phase.
To avoid exacerbating pain, many women are recommended to steer clear of painful procedures for 5 – 7 days after the end of their period.
Pain tolerance reaches its maximum toward the middle of their cycle, and they will be able to resume their health and beauty regimen.
Build the Foundation with Demeter
As your client journeys through her cycle after Daphne she enters Demeter (around ovulation). This is a shorter phase and one where she can feel more balanced and less intense. High levels of estrogen in her body gives her some ‘feelgood’ feelings.
A study shows this phase is one where your client may be less risk adverse, so she is up for a challenge. High amounts of estrogen also activate the ‘reward’ centre of the brain and therefore this is a time where she may be willing to be incentivised for her efforts!
It is a positive phase which results in most women having much higher levels of self-esteem in this phase than any other phase of the menstrual cycle. This is a great time for affirming how well they are doing.
Drive Forward in Persephone
Moving into Persephone brings with it a level of intense emotion. Women in this passionate and somewhat feisty phase can become impatient and frustrated at the lack of results or gentler progress that was made during the Demeter phase. Persephone provides her the energy to power her forward.
This is the time when she feels a deep (almost passionate) connection to her goals. Studies show this is a great time for ‘methodical’ tasks. Having a clear list of actions, you need her to complete is a great way here to get results.
This is the time where she is more likely to make sweeping changes and huge leaps forward, almost wanting to achieve overnight success. The challenge in this phase is to get your client to use the energy to take action while keeping expectations real.
Catch your breath in Hecate
Hecate is the phase at the time of menstruation. It’s a time for allowing your client to lean back from action as there are often feeling physically and mentally tired. She may need to pay more attention on general health and wellbeing such as an improved diet, increased relaxation, sleep and exercise.
What plans can you put in place now to ensure she continues to feed mind, spirit and body? Hecate is also a period of sensing, she is more insightful and connected to her intuition. This is the perfect time to reflect together on what has been achieved along with how you would like to move things forward. It is a time to assess what is working well and not so well. Highlight her progress and really stop and savour her success.
Share with your female clients the power of understanding their cycle. It will give you the satisfaction of seeing your client heal and flourish and allow your client to utilise the natural strengths of each phase,