modern day preaches us to be normal. media asks us even to be extra atheletic during those days.. what should a common woman like me do & what should i tell my daughters?
as part of kalya shastra and in the pursuit of understanding just the basics of our human body, i am learning, learning, learning. this thirst also lead me to be in the operation room during different surgeries. i have become friends with blood. yes, with precautions.
i am blessed to meet, discuss & clarify my queries from various doctors from all systems of medicine. in this journey i have kind of understood a little about our periods. i am no expert or a doctor. have discussed this topic with a lot of elderly intelligent women on how periods was treated those days. based on so many inputs, i follow simple to-dos & not to-dos which i have started following this at home for me & my family and we are definitely feeling comfortable. read this. but, do your own research, understand your body, follow lifestyle that suits you. if my experience helps you i’m glad. but, re-iterating again, pl decide any lifestyle change consciously. mindfully. no one can understand you & your body other than you.
now, before we delve into my experiences, let’s get the answer to this interesting question: so, how much do we bleed?
healthy normal women bleed anywhere between 30ml to 80ml every month.
there are exceptions, my mentor doctors also have mentioned there are women who bleed just a one drop or even around 400-500 ml every month.
incase you are keen to test this, take a fresh pad, measure and pour colored liquids in the pad as much as you think you usually bleed. this will give you an approximate.
so, what have i learnt? menstruation is natural. it’s healthy for a woman. it’s the time woman’s body gets purified every month. like i always mention, we need to respect & love our body. it’s our blood going out with all that we don’t need in the body. never scrunch your face while touching your pad or blood. our body is doing all the hard work to bring out all that is not required to stay in the body.
what should i do those days? we all typically do everything that we do the other days.now a days, we don’t treat our periods days anything different. somehow we are made to believe that it is cool to work out, be very active on those days, do everything as usual. that’s something we might need to change a little.
so, should i simply stay in a corner of my home like those days? no. not required.
whenever possible give your body rest. it’s ok to sleep more than usual. leisure walk for 15-20 mins is perfectly ok. there is 25 – 24 more days for you to do a lot of work out. just give a break for heavy workout those 3 or 4 days. rest. rest. rest. that’s really really important. help your body do its work. body needs energy to go around and collect everything that we don’t need. it’s monthly cleaning time. let’s focus on cleaning.
for professions where you have to be physically very active, she also needs to take extra care on these days, rest as much as possible. you will be the best person to plan & decide how & when to rest extra. though we might exerting a little extra pressure on body may not make difference, we need to know that it does make difference in long term.
women with long commute or fixed working hours will have challenge to take time to rest. but where there is a will, there’s way. go inward whenever possible. even talking takes so much energy. save your energy whenever whereever possible. it’s not just for you. you are helping your body. remember that everymoment. some one’s doing cleaning for you & you are giving a conducive environment. that’s it.
this topic is getting to become my favorite. ideally no bathing. but, avoiding bath may not feasible at all. so, pl use warm water for bathing. let this be a quick bath just for cleansing. not a long relaxed bath. and yes, avoiding anything synthetic those days on your skin is also very very useful. we have our own gaura, anantam, sukshma. so, make it a quick skin cleansing bath only for hygienic purposes. why not long bath to cool off our body?
our body needs heat during periods
this heat needs to be conserved for all these period days to help body bring together all that it needs to bring out. also, from the energy point of view, the water flowing over the back during a bath has a peculiar effect on the 7 chakras (plexuses) one of them being the mooladhara chakra. and this is the chakra near reproductive system. this effect of water over the mooladhara chakra might hinder to the outflow of the menstrual blood. and hence we were advised not take bath those days
eating easily digestible food helps a lot. this is again to conserve energy. if the body has to divert energy to digest, who will clean well?? you got it?? take time, chew well, don't swallow until it mixes with your saliva. observe each taste & texture of your food. all these helps a lot. how much? cannot be quantified but can be experienced
it’s well known that pcos, pcod are more due to hormonal conditions. and these hormones to behave well, we need to keep ourselves calm as much as possible. stress during these days affects the hormonal levels in the body and may create hormonal disturbances
during periods or before periods, some women have mood swings. when you are connected with your body, when you know you, you can handle them well. simple breathing exercises help. it might sound cliché but it works. trust me.
we live in the most modern, technologically developed era. so, resting, eating soft food, not bathing, calm mind might sound antique and old school. but, we need to understand this, our body hasn’t changed, our organs & body systems haven’t changed. we need to what we need to do to take care of our body. let’s use technology to work from home & take more rest those days.
but other days, there’s no stopping. let’s storm out with all our energy & strong healthy body. let’s make beautiful, healthy, happy world for us, our friends & family
there's definitely arguments that the women in all other part of world are so active.. they are all healthy.. even without the period days break. i am really not technically equipped to answer this argument. and frankly, how do we know they are all healthy as a practical fact?? we all know how yoga & meditation is adopted now across world. they have realized the benefits of slow living & mindful living. likewise, periods day rest might also be adopted worldwide in years to come.
atleast in India, we never had terms like PCOS, PCOD and so many other issues 60-70 years back. why now? isn't something somewhere we are missing out our ancient indian wisdom?
when we know what to do & why we do so, we can spread this clarity with reasoning to our kids, family & friends. the result – good health and avoiding traps of lifestyle diseases.
there’s so much more to share in each topic i write. i always start writing thinking this article is going to be only 20 or 30 sentences. but end up writing longggg ones like this.. still i am not satisfied. specifically this topic is very very important. naming this series - good red. let’s catch up soon with more learnings.
take care. let’s love & respect our body. let’s go #allnatural mindfully
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Hi Krithika!!! That’s a good one, I love to read such long, useful blogs, especially the ones with ancient wisdom… this is the first article I am reading of urs. Will continue with the rest. Do post more of this kind.
Good to learn and acknowledge on this topic…I totally agree our Indian culture has a deep n meaningful reason behind every custom.
Tq for sharing great content
Thank you for the wonderful article, on living mindfully, especially in this time and age where we have so little time for ourselves.
As a sports physiotherapist, I agree with your views on taking it slow during menstruation to get in sync with the energy systems and transition of hormones.
Our workout/ fitness routines can be synced with our cycles. A couple of apps are available to do so too.
It’s recommended to perform light exercises 5-7 days prior to menstrual phase. During menstruation- rest or perform mild stretches, and practice yoga, pranayam, meditation.
As energy rises after menstruation, one can increase intensity of exercises, increase weights during workouts.
This of course depends on prior activity level, current state of mind and individual preferences.
I would also like to suggest measuring blood flow using a menstrual cup- since it’s easily measurable and is good for the environment too!
Hi, thanks for the beautiful write up. I have doubt on showering. It is said not to take shower for first 3 days of menses. And about bathing, can you explain in detail? Please advise.