Menstrual Phases (Part 2): Menstrual (Blood)

According to the yin/yang model, the blood phase governs the 12:00 to 3:00 position.


The beginning of the menstrual cycle is heralded, as all new beginnings are, with a release. A viable pregnancy was not supported. The corpus luteum involutes, progesterone levels and temperatures drop, and as one cycle turns over, the next one begins with letting go. This is a crucially important time. Energetically, the lung initiates the movement of release. Like a finger on top of a straw, when its holding capacity is withdrawn, the liver directs the release of menstrual blood, as the heart-kidney axis pours its heavenly essence through the vaginal canal. The bao mai or envelope of potential, causes the uterus to liquefy and shed its lining.


The energy of this internal channel, directed inward and downward, must be unobstructed. There must be an outlet through which the life force, in the form of blood, can flow. Energies are directed within and down, not up nor without. We release and let go. With any process of letting go and moving on, there is sadness and loss.  We may feel depressed. That’s because the energies are depressed. This is natural and normal, and nothing to be resisted. Grief experienced and expressed, allows a new cycle to begin. If we inhibit this movement, we can halt the resetting of a new cycle, upsetting the delicate balance. For example, if we do not experience the internal sadness and instead cover up with a false positive attitude, we are going against the flow of nature. If we overindulge in despair, we can cause too much of this downward movement, holding the energies of renewal down, inhibiting a new cycle of creation.


This can result in blood stasis, where the blood remains congealed in the channels, blocking the upcoming cycle. During the blood phase, we are to be at rest. TCM tells us not to expose ourselves to severe temperatures, too much exercise, immersion in water, or intercourse. Because the cervix is open, it can take in during this time if we are not calm and releasing from within.


Any disruption of the natural flow can result in blockage of the heart kidney axis, counterflow qi, blood stasis, and inability to turn over to initiate a new hormonal cycle.


Days 1 – 3 of the menstrual cycle indicate the menstrual expulsion, and the hormonal resetting. If this cycle is complete, estrogen, progesterone, and FSH should be at a low on day 3. Complete release then initiates a rise in yin. Hormones will start to rise; the uterine lining will start to fill.


Scanty blood flow – blood deficiency; the uterine vessels have not received adequate nourishment.

Early menses, spotting – can be due to blood stasis, heat, or qi deficiency

Continued bleeding – same as above, interrupting the “reset” of  a new cycle.

Failure of temperatures to drop – heat, inflammation, incomplete release

Pain during menstruation – cold, blood stasis, qi stagnation; interrupted outflow

Emotional stagnation – unwillingness to go within and experience the full release

All of the above issues can be obstructed by blockage in the heart-kidney communication. The vibrant energies of the life force, love itself is not adequately directed to or not capable of being received by the deep kidney energies.