Cycle Syncing Guide Part 2: Your Follicular Phase - Decode Your Menstrual Cycle and Enhance Your Fertility with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine


Welcome to Part 2 of our 4 part series: Decode Your Menstrual Cycle and Enhance Your Fertility with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. This series has everything you need to understand your menstrual cycle and its phases, and how to support your body through it all. Be sure to check out Part 1: Menstrual Phase, Part 3: Ovulation Phase, and Part 4: Luteal Phase of the series for the ultimate guide to your cycle!

Let’s get into it!

What You Need to Know

The follicular phase, known as “inner spring”, is the time in between menstruation and ovulation - days 5 - 13. This phase is the longest of all phases, and for good reason. The body is allocating a lot of time, energy, resources and nutrients to developing a healthy egg and viable uterine lining. The hormonal system is also quite busy. FSH & LH rise to stimulate growth of the egg, and estrogen is rising to nourish and thicken the uterine lining. In order for the rest of the cycle to happen in a timely manner, the body must have the environment and resources it needs to sufficiently make all these things happen; which is where cycle syncing comes in handy! You can be confident that you are providing your body with exactly what it needs during this time to optimize your follicular phase. The whole idea behind ‘cycle syncing’ is to identify the naturally occurring ebbs and flows with our hormonal system, and learn to work WITH it. Our hormonal system affects everything in our body from energy levels, digestion, immune system, to mitochondrial functions, etc. It's important to know where to support the body based on where hormones are at.

Energy levels are moderate during this time. Your energy will slowly start rising from menstruation (at its lowest) until it will reach its peak energy time at ovulation. Exercise should match your energy levels so opting for moderate intensity movement will serve you best - things such as light cardio, light strength training, cycling, pilates, and yoga are great choices.

The follicular phase is generally a pretty pleasant time of being - menstruation is done and energy levels & vitality are on the rise. We feel more extroverted, confident and maybe creative. Because our body is constantly communicating with us, any symptoms coming up during this time would indicate some type of dysregulation: symptoms like back aches, headaches, breast tenderness, bloating, irritability, anxiety, sleep disturbances, or energy not rising as it should (fatigue) are things to look out for.

How to Support Your Body

Acupuncture is a great way to treat the root imbalances associated with follicular phase irregularities by identifying which organ systems need support and guiding them into functioning efficiently and optimally. Acupuncture can:

  1. Reduce pain and discomfort for any post menstrual pain, depletion, sleep disturbances, or mood imbalances

  2. Support egg and uterine lining quality by optimizing mitochondrial activity, blood flow, and nutrient utilization

  3. Regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis (HPO) which strengthens the communication between ovaries and brain to address any hormonal imbalances.

As far a nutrition - still focusing on blood replenishing foods can ensure that we are building back up the blood that was lost, supporting proper hormone processing, and energy support.

  • Blood replenishing foods: dark leafy greens, red meat, beets, eggs, goji berries, fish

  • Supporting the liver and proper processing of estrogen and other hormones: high fiber foods like berries, beans and seeds, cruciferous veggies

  • Supporting energy: fruits, whole grains, sweet potatoes, legumes

Some herbs you can incorporate during this time (as a tea or infusion) can include nettle (liver supporting, high in iron) and schisandra (nourishes reproduction, reduces cortisol, supports rising energy levels). Adaptogens, such as holy basil, are great during this time as well by helping to lower stress, support adrenals, optimize thyroid function, while also  supporting energy. 

Interested in getting to the bottom of your cyclical symptoms? Want to stop dreading your period? Want to learn how to use acupressure for period relief? Looking for no-BS strategies to balance hormones? Check out our on demand masterclass: How to Understand & Align With Your Menstrual Cycle

If you’re local to the Milwaukee area and you want 1-1 support, schedule a complimentary consultation at our clinic in Franklin and meet with one of our expert acupuncturists!

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