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Monday, February 7, 2011

Moon Lodge: Alternative options for menstrual issues

A few days ago I saw a headline in the news that woman were outraged that a popular brand of tampon had disappeared off the shelves. The article suggested that woman should be more open about sharing and talking about menstrual issues and concerns. The article went on to suggest if men experienced menstruation there would have been more advances in how to deal with the side effects. I'm not so sure about that...

In native tradition, woman's menstruation was called her "Moontime". During her cycle, she was honored as a creative force and was released from her duties of family. She was encouraged to retreat to the Moon Lodge to enjoy the company of other woman. Woman were provided with this sacred space during menstruation to release the old energy of their body and prepare for a reconnection to the Earth Mother's fertility. They were not banished from the tribe as some myth suggests, but allowed to celebrate their connections.

So maybe that's the sharing we should be doing as woman all share a very common connection. Unfortunately, our modern lives and pace, doesn't seem to allow for the "removal to the Moon Lodge". Perhaps we should. In particular, a lot of teenagers lately seem to be experiencing menstruation in dramatic fashion with pain, dizziness and excessive cramping. I wonder if this is a sign of our changing world forcing us to take a look at traditions that have been forgotten...

In the meantime if you find yourself having to cope with cramps,pain, dizziness and other symptoms that make it difficult to function in the world, there are some alternative suggestions that may be helpful.

There are a lot of homeopathic preparations that address different symptoms of menstruation. As with all homeopathics, you need to consider the individual when selecting the most helpful remedy. Some to consider include; Pulsatilla, Lachesis; Sepia, Conium Maculatum, and Magnesium Phosphate for period pains. Belladona may be helpful, particularly if there is heavy bleeding. Nux vomica may help with nausea and vomiting. More commonly used for certain pregnancy issues, Actaea Racemosa, also known as Cimicifuga can also be very helpful for some woman, particularly if the period is accompanied with bouts of gloominess or depression and specific dizziness.

From Perelandra, both ETS and Reproductive combinations may be helpful for period complaints. I have seen ETS be extremely and dramatically helpful for dizziness, light-headedness and fainting spells as part of the menstruation picture- particularly in young teenagers. The Reproductive balancing combination may help as a longer term solution to regulate and moderate cycles.

Bach Flower essences can also be helpful with the emotional component of menstruation and is useful at various times through the cycle. Beech can be useful for pre-menstrual irritation and agitation. Mustard can relieve the feeling of depression for no reason that some women experience, and Crab Apple is indicated if you are feeling unclean or disgusted with your body image. Crab Apple may also be helpful if pimples or bloating precede or accompany menstruation. Rescue Remedy is also indicated for acute pain and dizziness.

I still like the idea of the moon lodge, but if that's not practical and can't be arranged, there are alternatives. Above all I think it's important to listen to our bodies and be gentle with ourselves.

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