Menstrual Phases (Part 5) - The Luteal Phase

Between 6:00 and 9:00 position of our yin-yang symbol, we enter another dynamic transition of the menstrual cycle. I consider this the most magical, and yet most invisible aspect of the fertility cycle. Yin has transformed into yang through the process of ovulation. Under the influence of LH, the follicle has transformed itself into the corpus luteum or yellow body, which secretes progesterone for a pre-programmed 14 days, or half a moon phase. This “yellow body” bears the color of earth, to which the spleen belongs, which governs the endocrine function of progesterone’s holding effect. The spleen meridian runs through the ovary. The egg has been released, the fimbria (or fingers) of the fallopian tube has picked it up, and if sperm have made it through the vaginal canal, cervical opening, up the uterus and into the tube, fertilization is possible. If fertilization takes place, one cell becomes two, and the zygote, which means “union,” splits. Here the central tai ji pole, or original chong meridian, opens to heaven, where, the Taoists describe a poetic vision as the big dipper pours the essence of the stars into the new individual to provide it the spiritual essence for its upcoming life.

The liver meridian runs through the fallopian tube.  When its qi is unobstructed, fertilization is more likely. Liver qi stagnation can cause the fallopian tube to “clench”, and even may end up showing a false positive in an hysterosalpingogram.

In our reverse cycle energetic, required to create an individual through the pre-heavenly essence or prenatal creation, the liver directs its energy to the kidney, as blood feeds the essence. The kidney grasps the qi. The penetrating (chong) meridian arises from the uterus; and is the envelope through which consciousness chooses expression. According to the Ling Shu, (Spiritual Pivot, 1st Century BCE), every day of the menstrual cycle, the qi descends via the Governing meridian, one vertebral process per day, until day 21, when it enters the chong meridian, which allows the mingling of heart fire and kidney water. If the parents essence have ignited the cosmic qi (or if the cosmic qi has allowed the parents essence to ignite…) the entrance of a new soul will enter into manifestation. This is the time of implantation. The palace of the child must communicate with the embryo, which is also emitting chemicals calling for a home. The endometrium expresses proteins that let the embryo know, “you have a home here.”

Held anger blocks the liver-kidney conversion. Excessive worry and anxiety can inhibit the spleen qi’s holding ability. What can you do to help this process most? Stay out of it. Nature did not intend for your involvement at this time.

If this magical union takes place, the lung (whose highest function is “releasing”,) directs prenatal creation as it calls the corpus luteum into increased production of progesterone to uphold the embryo during the first ten weeks, at which time the placenta will take over its function.

If the cosmic qi is not ignited, the lung directs a new cycle to begin; the uterus discharges its blood and a cycle of hope is renewed.

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.

Menstrual Phases (Part 1): Shen

Endocrinology + Gynecology = Potential for Life Introduction to the Menstrual Cycle: Part I

On the left, we have the energetic generating cycle of the endocrinological system, whose job it is to respond to the patterns in life that are already in existence.

On the right, we have the Taoist cross model of interaction, which illustrates the ability to jump to a higher level of possibility - evolution. This also allows us to look at the interface of the “reverse generating” cycle, which takes us into the “preheavenly” realm, where the unborn is brought into the earthly realm.

The menstrual cycle is the interplay between the generating (hormonal) cycle, and the reverse generating (menstrual) cycle.

During menses, the full uterus empties itself, and the hypothalamus returns to a zero point to reset the entire process. At ovulation, the full ovary empties itself, as the hormones are high. The generating cycle creates hormones in response to the way we perceive the world. The reverse generating cycle occurs invisibly beneath the surface, pulling out possibility based on the interface between our response to the world and how the spirit of existence wishes to manifest itself as a reply to the messages we have transmitted.

12:00 – onset of the blood phase.

The uterus empties itself as the hormones begin to rise.

3:00 – we move into the yin phase.

Hormones support follicular growth and proliferation of the uterine lining.

6:00 – yin transforms into yang.

Yin and hormones peak as a conversion occurs to a more active secretory endometrium.

9:00 – we enter the qi phase.

The uterus will either hold, or direct a new cycle to begin. Hormones will either rise to support conception or will reset to begin another new cycle.

We will go over each of these cycles in more depth as we look at the interactions, hormonally and gynecologically between the earthly generating and pre-heavenly cycles of conception.

Fertility Acupressure - Luteal and Pre-Mentrual Phase