Menstruation is an innate part of the female cycle. It is beautiful, natural and for most women, monthly. It is an essential part of a healthy cycle that must be destigmatised. How can we love our blood? By learning not only about what it is, but also about how we can use it and our ability to control it, both women and men can start to readdress our attitude towards this part of our bodies and our lives.
In ancient tantric traditions, the menstruation was celebrated as precious vital energy, to be preserved and reused if possible. This blood is the fertile soil upon which a baby grows. It is only when the egg is left unfertilised that the woman’s body allows this blood to be released. It is with this mindset that tantric tradition considers menstrual blood a fluid full of life force and, like with sperm, discourages its waste. Women are encouraged to give their blood back to the earth directly and in some practices the men drink the blood.
Due to the cultural taboos around menstruation, a number of practices have arisen which are detrimental and damaging to female health. Most specifically, we seem committed to ignoring the natural cycles of our body, continuing our everyday lives, our exercise routines, our pace regardless of how our body feels. The use of over-the-counter painkillers or even prescription drugs to kill pain and numb ourselves away from our body should be questioned rather than accepted as commonplace.
How can we look after ourselves better? When we listen to our bodies and respect the need to take rest. We can review the cravings we have before and during menstruation.
There are however some great alternatives if you are willing to try something a little different. Namely, the mooncup or menstrual cup. Here’s why it is so great: