HERE IS A GUEST POST FROM OUR FRIEND CATHERINE OYSTER! YOU CAN READ MORE OF HER WRITING ON HER BLOG DETOX WITCH!
On Friday, June 12th 2015 the Hive House held a ladies night presentation on the menstrual cycle. Our friend Jacqueline Gabardy, who is a practicing Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist, presented a wealth of information on the menstrual cycle from both the Western and Chinese medical perspectives. Before she began, a few women shared puberty stories over potluck and wine, and it was comforting to hear about the common awkwardness and mystery we feel when it comes to our bodies.
Jacqueline's power point presentation opened with a detailed explanation of our reproductive systems from a Western perspective and then the Chinese medical perspective. After this, she related the nuances of Chinese medicine to the Western approach and how the two are similar and dissimilar.
We learned about how our cycles work: the follicular and luteal phases within a cycle, an amazing interpretation of what Qi (chi) is - function, and how our hormonal systems are linked to all systems within the body. Anything that interrupts this function or Qi - be it stress, diet, hormonal imbalance, or disease - can lead to infertility and reproductive problems.
A few amazing tidbits from Jacqueline:
- Did you know the fallopian tubes are not fixed in the body, and can even reach from one ovary to the other to pick up an egg?
- Rest and Digest or Feed and Breed are the crucial, yet often ignored counterpoints to Fight or Flight response in the nervous system. If we're stressed out or ill, our bodies use our resources to heal those immediate issues, and reproductive gets put on the back burner. Nurturing ourselves is vital to calming down daily and chronic stress so it doesn't lead to long-term reproductive health problems.
- Health, Qi, and Jing (essence) are more of a factor on reproductive health than age as a number.
- When we are young, we are born with a set amount of Jing (essence and vitality). As we age we lose Jing, but the group was happy to learn that we gain something called Shen. Shen is Spirit. Forget about teen spirit, mature women have womanly spirit!
Jacqueline also explained how she promotes using the best of both Western and Chinese medicine, and that there is a time and place to suggest IVF among other Western therapies for fertility. Acupuncture, herbs, and diet are recommended for three months before results in reproductive health are to be expected.
It was inspiring to listen to how passionate Jacqueline is about educating women on reproductive health. Looking at how our bodies work holistically rather than from solely a targeted approach was educational and helpful.
Thank you to Jacqueline! And thanks to everyone who came and participated!
Here's the link to Jacqueline's blog: http://sweetbeetandgreenbean.net/
And to Float, her acupuncture business: http://www.floatchinesemedicalarts.com/