Menstrual Rituals

By Alison Ferrell

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Menstrual Rituals

The changing physical aspects, the body gaining the curvy shape, the glow on the skin, the softness in the voice, suddenly the caterpillar has turned into a beautiful butterfly ready to make its first flight! These are the gifts of menstruation when you welcome your first period.

 

In many cultures, menstruation is celebrated as the mark of commencement of a woman’s fertility. It conveys that now she is capable of growing life within her, and can contribute to the growth of humanity. Your body is in sync with the energy of nature, and it is a very fragile connection. The slightest of alterations in this alignment can throw you out of line and may trigger a domino effect of health complications.

 

Did you know that in an ideal situation, you are not supposed to get cramps during menstruation? When your inner energy is in balance with nature’s energy, the menstruation period is not painful as everything works in tandem within your body. Did you know that not taking due rest during menstruation can throw you out of rhythm with nature’s energy? Also, if you indulge in things like staying awake past midnight, staying asleep till noon, eating non-conducive food, live in a stressful environment, you may disturb your biological rhythm.

 

If this delicate balance is ruined, everything goes haywire. No wonder women have hormonal and gynecological issues related to their monthly cycles. It is because we have come far away from all those menstrual rituals that our ancestors followed to keep our inner energy in sync with nature. In today’s chaotic world, it is hard to follow all those rituals. By giving it a try, you might be able to restore your balance with nature instead of eventually resorting to prescription drugs. Read on with an open mind instead of simply shunning this ancient wisdom away as mere superstition.

 

  • Seclusion/Confinement Rituals: Several cultures around the world celebrate the first menstrual cycle or even the subsequent menstrual cycles differently. It could be in the form of isolation in a moon lodge by the Ojibwe tribe, the Pelazon ceremony by the Tikuna Tribe in Brazil, or the Ritu Kala Samskaram of South India. Keeping the girl in isolation for a certain period is common among these rituals.

 

Women are elite-level multitaskers and have no time for themselves. Being a modern woman, you have a lot of roles to play for balancing home life and building a career. All this does not stop even during your moon cycle. It is the prime reason why self-care is necessary.

 

Use this time to rest and relax and let the moon phases guide you. It will help you recuperate and re-energize yourself. It will give you time to think and plan for your future engagements. Since you will be bleeding, the energy inside you will be low hence it is the ideal time to rest and relax. During menstruation, immunity is low, making them vulnerable to various infections. Here are some rituals that can help you embrace your moon-time and care for your mind, body and soul.

 

  • Meditation Rituals: Now that you have understood that it is time to slow down and get some rest, you might want to take a break from working out. Physical exertion during menstruation only adds salt to injury. It may disturb the delicate balance of energy that you have with nature. Instead, it is time to hang up your athletic shoes for the next 5-days and concentrate on Pranayama, breathing exercises, and meditation to keep your energy in balance.

  • Food Rituals: During menstruation, you lose essential micronutrients via bleeding. It is important to eat nutritious food to restore these lost vitamins and minerals. Many give in to the craving for unfavorable spicy, sugary, and greasy food. Junk foods can put your inner energy out of rhythm leading to different menstrual problems. Hence it is better to opt for healthy options such as herbal tea, healthy soups and stews, salads, and other vegetables and fruits that help in rehydration of the body. During menstruation, the digestive power will be less and hence some women experience diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, bloating, etc., therefore light and easily digestible food items are recommended.

  • Creative Rituals: Moon energy encompasses creativity; it is time to indulge in your hobbies that you have been unable to find time for. Creativity soothes and relaxes the mind. Creativity is also a way of letting it go. Once you have finished with what you wanted to create you feel a sense of accomplishment, closure, or completion, similar to the menstrual flow through which you are letting it go.

  • Hygiene Rituals: Keeping your body clean, use essential oils in your bath to keep odors away. Cleansing your room with natural herbs can also help cleanse the area and make the space aromatic and relaxing. Lighting aromatic candles or incense sticks will also help relax your senses. It helps bring positive energy into your room, mind, and body. Flowers and greenery bring a positive vibe to a room. You might want to get ones with mild fragrance and room purification abilities to help you relax satisfactorily.

  • Pampering Rituals: Get ready to pamper yourself with a beauty regimen like body massages with aromatic oils to soothe pain in the body. Use face herbal face masks that aid in reducing acne breakouts during menstruation. Dry brushing will also help in lymphatic drainage as many people experience bloating in their bodies due to water retention before periods. Drinking herbal tea can ease cramps and also help in detoxification. CBD can help with inflammation.

 

Menarche is one of its most important milestones of being a woman. It represents beauty in many ways, and it needs to be honored and celebrated as this is the life-giving power gifted to us. 

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