Menstrual Phases (Part 4) – The Ovulatory Transition

Yin has reached its zenith. Accordingly, estrogen rises to its peak, performing yin functions of maximum follicular growth, maximum endometrial proliferation, production of clear, thin, fertile cervical fluid, and the cervix becomes more yin: soft, open and moving upward to the center (yin) of the body. If all of the previous functions have been met during the Yin phase (adequate and unobstructed blood, qi, and essence,) a cascade of events occur throughout the body in response to these yin cues. The hypothalamus tells the pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone, which will cause the mature follicle to discharge its egg and turn into a corpus luteum. This process is governed by unobstructed liver qi, directed by the lungs. If the process is unobstructed, as these internal energies rise, there is a concomitant rise in libido, as she feels a magnetic draw to her partner. Believe it or not, your most fertile time is when you feel sexiest. Pay attention to this, rather than an ovulation predictor kit. It is far more reliable. This is the summer of the seasonal solar cycle; the full moon of the liunar cycle. The spleen has produced the blood, its qi has lifted it to the heart and pericardium, where it is endowed with the life giving powers of heavenly essence (tian gui), and it is now directed to the liver and then to the uterus via the kidneys. This process can be inhibited by having a “heavy” heart, laden with depressed, repressed, oppressed, suppressed emotions and resistance to life circumstances. This inhibits the true expression of who we are and how we interact in life, and thus inhibits internal movement. The heart receives and interprets sensory input via the hypothalamus, which could be seen as occupying the spleen’s ascending power to the heart and pericardium. This process advises the entire HPO axis whether or not life is ready to be received within.

Guilt, anger and frustration stagnate the feedback that rises to the hypothalamus via the governing meridian. The “wei” qi or protective energy increases and moves inward toward the center, to keep out pathogens during fertilization. A woman may feel sick during this time if her wei qi is low. If the liver qi is obstructed, she may feel breast tenderness, irritability, and anything but the usual rise in libido. Ovulation may not be not smooth, and the cycle may be out of sync during this time.

Your energies are maximum during this time. If there is stagnation, you likely do not feel well during ovulation. If you don’t have signs of obstruction, your moods are likely enhanced, and you may have higher energy levels. Feel free to increase exercise during this time. Run, bike, dance kick-box – whatever you love. Drink milk thistle or peppermint tea if you have liver qi stagnation. If you have a lot of repressed emotions, practice getting them out physically. Stomp, scream and slap the blockages out of your system. Hit a tree with a branch. Hit a punching bag.  And those of you have been on retreat with me, perform the boulder exercise.