Podclass Show Notes and Links
Episode 7 rounds out the last phase of the cycle, the Pause Phase. This phase happens from days 22-28 (for a 28 day cycle) and marks the transition point from one cycle to the next. This portion of the cycle is where the most amount of women have issues, everything from hormonal acne, migraines, cravings, bloating, and mood swings. In supporting a smooth transition from one cycle ending to a new one beginning, it paves the way for rapid health improvements.
This last phase of the cycle is even more strongly focused on proper mobilization, metabolism, and elimination of hormones…and this involves a healthy detoxification system in the body. As this process begins working more smoothly, it sets the stage for each following cycle.
Zestyginger.com to learn more about the 4 Phase Cycle Approach.
Zestyginger.com/cycle to get our FREE Wild Feminine Cycle Guide to get started with everything you need to know about living in sync with your cycles.
Zestyginger.com/healthyhormones to join our 3 month Healthy Hormones Group Program. This program includes functional lab work with a complete hormone and neurotransmitter panel, with a personalized protocol created for each participant based on their results.
Transcript for This Podcast
Hi there. It’s Alex here. Thank you so much for stopping by again. We are on the last phase that we are going to talk about in this way for now. And so far what we’ve covered in these classes has been some introduction to the cycle, why syncing with your cycle is even important, who it can help, what kind of mindset stuff we’re going to talk about. And then we’ve really just gotten into the individual phases.
So this first time around with the phases what I wanted to do is just describe to you what is happening physiologically, because when you understand why we look at the phases in the way that we do, you can then build your life around that understanding without having to check every little thing with what we say. Right? We want to give you just the tools you need to understand what we are talking about at a larger level and then go from there.
So we are finishing up this part with we’re going to talk about the last phase, which is the Pause Phase. And then we’re gunna actually start from the beginning again and get into the actual, more detailed, what our movement goals for each phase are, what rituals we recommend, the mental work that you’ll do – some journalling stuff – and we’ll kind of take it from there. So far in with these physiology classes what I’ve done is given you some homework. Hopefully you are staying with that and figuring out what works best for you.
For each of these I’ve been doing a little overview of the four phases, just to give you a little reminder. First phase is the Release Phase, that’s the start of your period. It’s where we let go of what we don’t/no longer need and we consciously choose what we want to bring into our lives. Then phase two is the Rise Phase, that’s when all of our hormones begin to rise very very quickly. It’s a powerful action oriented time where we begin to bring these new things into our lives and make them a part of our reality. Then the Plateau Phase is all about beginning to find a balance with these new things and beginning to maintain, and continue, and take the next steps forward – also very action oriented but in a different sort of way. And then the Pause Phase is the last phase, and that’s the one we’re going to talk about today.
The Pause Phase physiologically is kind of where we come back full circle. So just like how we started the very first phase, the Release Phase, with a time of rest, introspection, and planning, we are going to slowly begin to wind down to there. So the previous two phases, the Rise and the Plateau, have all been very very action oriented and there’s been a lot going on within the body that makes it so. And it gives us all of the hormones, all of the energy, all of the drive to begin to do these things that are new and bring them into our lives. The Pause Phase is going to be a time where the body is also starting to quiet down and it’s like the late winter-early fall sort of period, sorry, late fall-early winter into the winter months where everything begins to rest and renew. The Pause Phase is when, if there has not been a fertilized egg and you don’t have a baby, then that dominant follicle that was picked all the way in the very beginning of the cycle, then if the baby is fertilized, that follicle continues to secrete progesterone, and that helps the baby stay implanted. And then after a while the placenta is going to take over making all of those hormones, but otherwise, it’s still our ovaries that are in charge of doing that. If there hasn’t been fertilization, no baby, we want to begin to close down the cycle so then we can then pick up all over again for the next one. And so there’s a natural sort of in the ovaries all of those eggs that got matured and began to grow and that dominant follicle eventual came to be, then it’s basically the inverse process where the ovaries resorb all of those materials, those eggs unfortunately die, which is always sad for all of us with infertility because you’re like, “nooooo! Those were my good eggs.” But they begin to die off and there is a period of quiet.
The way that we look at the Pause week is that everything about your physiology, if you’re not going to continue to be preg- go on to be pregnant, is all about integrating everything that you learned from the previous cycles into the setting of your real life. And so this is what we mean when we talk about we don’t want binary on or off things. It’s not, “your really great with your autoimmune protocol,” or, “your eating ho-hos in the closet secretly.” There should be a time where you have taken all of that new information that you learned and you understand where you’re coming from, and the Pause Phase is really this integration phase where you pick what is going to stay, and what ultimately may not have worked and you’re going to let that go. And so it’s like a cleaning up, integrating, settling in, picking what works for you, beginning to explore. Like if you are doing an elimination diet, doing some reintroduction, seeing how you do with certain foods, seeing how you do with certain – doing air quotes here – “cheat foods” and we don’t so much believe in the cheat foods, because we don’t believe in a prescribed diet, so you can in a perfect world eat whatever the heck you want, but you know within your experience what do you want to include consciously, and what don’t you. You don’t want to be at the mercy of, “oh I got upset,” “oh it’s PMS time,” and “oh I inhaled this sleeve of oreos.” That’s not what we mean by “cheat meal.” What we talk about is consciously choosing something to include in your life because it makes you feel good, and any sort of physical/emotional/mental level. And when you approach it that way, it’s a lot less of like something that you messed up, and more just like a continuation of your life that you’re living, and that you enjoy. And so for that reason, this is, while it seems again we are all as a society very action oriented, so we love doing the elimination diets, we love doing the protocols, we like seeing results when we detox, we’re like, “let’s detox hard! That’s how I know it’s working.”
But the thing is that the body does not do well with that. For example, when we detox too fast and we’re just dumping all of these partially inactivated compounds into our blood stream, it’s really stressful for the body, even if we’re like, “yeah, let’s push it.” It’s just, when you have detox symptoms, it’s a sign that your body is not keeping up with the detoxification process, otherwise you wouldn’t have the symptoms. It’s not like a “harder is better” here. It takes a little bit of a mental shift to come back around to seeing this as a very, just as crucial of a time as those two action oriented phases, because this is how you will begin to live a more authentic life that lets you be happy doing the things that make you happy and not suffering because you’re inadvertently like shooting yourself in the foot out of habit, or out of emotions, or out of will power, or disbelief in yourself. Whatever is, we want it to be a more thoughtful, more developed, more powerful way to live. So please don’t underestimate this week or phase because it can be just as powerful as the other ones. And again we need to realize that everything in nature has these ebbs and flows and when it’s time to rest, it’s a great way to just catch your breath and begin to re approach the next cycle. Because here’s the thing, the next cycle is coming. Whether you make the best of it or not, this is going to continue so it really serves you to take the time to do this slower work that might feel like, “well gosh, I wish I was doing more. I wish I was busy more.” But really what we’re looking for is impact, right? Impact is what we are after.
So that is the Pause Phase from the physiological aspect. And of course like we said in previous classes, the third and fourth phase are all about detoxing and helping to metabolize hormones. Now this is true even if you have low hormones. Which sometimes surprises people. Because they think, “I don’t even have enough so why would I want to be really good at breaking them down.” Well here’s the thing: everything about our hormonal system and our endocrine system depends on messaging between all the different players that play this game. When we are really bad at one area of this, it impacts the entire system. And so despite the fact that you may have low hormones or high hormones, there is actually a lot of other compounds that your liver is working on at the same time that impact it. Let’s take a hormone mimicking substance like something that’s found in body lotions or something. When you expose yourself to that compound, your liver also metabolizes that as well as your other hormones that you’ve made. But when the liver is overloaded with hormone mimicking substances like we’re exposed to in our environment, then it begins to not keep up with it. And what you get is that the liver essentially backs up, and there’s partially inactivated, and an activated hormones that get spilled back into the bloodstream. And then those compounds look kind of close enough to hormones that they will go sit and act at the level of the organ that the hormone is supposed to act on, such as the ovaries. But the thing is they aren’t hormones. They just kind of look enough like it that the cells get a little bit confused, and they let them in. And then what you have is a simultaneous experience where the symptoms that you have looks like you have excess hormones, but your body is really getting the message like, “hey look at all this other stuff coming in, don’t make our own.” And so then you also have a deficiency. And it’s a very miserable place to be, I’ve totally been there. For that reason, whether you have high or low hormones, unfortunately the environment we are exposed to makes it so that we/it is our responsibility as women who want to be healthy to stay on top and help our detoxification organs work well. The liver is just one of those, but the kidneys and the colon, and the lymphatics, and the skin all play a tandem roll in that. And it’s a system, just like the gut, that’s very heavily related to the endocrine system. The function of your liver will determine everything from how your period goes to your blood sugar regulation, your weight loss success, your mood, your sleep. I mean all of these organs, whether or not we think about them or not, just like we think about our period – our period shows up so we have to think about it- but our liver is just as important of a player in that experience as any of the other things that we think about more often. And so for that reason this ends up being a really great time to focus on that detoxification as you’re winding down. There’s lots of really nourishing ways to work on detoxification, and we’ll talk about it. Things that actively make you feel good, even though they’re not in the same way like a candy bar feels good. But you’ll notice after you do these a lot of times you kind of get a little endorphin rush from doing these things because this is what your body is asking for. Again our whole motto here is working with the body and not against it. You’ll see that as you do that, you’ll be rewarded because the body responds favorably.
Alright, so what’s your homework this week with all this stuff is all going to be about detoxing. If you haven’t ever tried this we highly recommend a contrast shower. Now, it’s funny because my grandma used to make us do contrast showers back when we lived in Russia, except for instead of like a shower she would just pour buckets of alternating hot and cold water on us, and then make us run around our homestead. Definitely don’t recommend doing that. But I continue – my grandma knew all this stuff and how to make Kombucha and everything way before I learned all about this stuff when it got popular. But contrast showers are basically when you take a regular hot shower and then at the end you finish with several rounds of alternating hot and cold water. Now I know for a lot of people at first you’re like, “there is no way in the world I am blasting myself with cold water first thing in the morning.” But what basically it does is it helps your lymphatics and your skin mobilize compounds that have been basically the trash that’s been taken out by the cells and it pick all that trash up and works on getting it out of the body. The thing with the lymphatic system that unlike blood vessels, lymphatic vessels don’t have their own muscles. So in order to have that trash taking out system, the lymphatics actually do the job, our muscles and the movement of our skin and our interaction of our skin with our environment is responsible for stimulating that flow. Physically it gets it out of there. When you alternate hot and cold water for about 10-20 seconds on each setting – you’ll learn quickly that you get used to it really quick and you can work your way up – you’re actually helping mobilize that lymph and get it to take out the trash from all of all over your body and out where it’s supposed to, where that trash is supposed to be. Contrast shower is a great way. You can do three rounds of alternating, so just real quick at the end. You’ll notice once you get out of the shower, you get this really warm flush because all of your blood vessels dilate. It does such a great job of moving all your blood, it really gets everything going and you/that function of the blood vessels and the lymph working on getting things where they need to go, it just gives that action a boost. So contrast showers are great, if you haven’t tried it.
The other thing that is popular that does the similar job is dry skin brushing. I actually combine the two. So I dry skin brush before and I still end with a contrast shower. But you can do either one or both, whatever you want. Dry skin brushing is basically, you have to get you know a brush – although some people just will use a regular hair brush, which is fine – you’re basically just gently massaging the skin from your fingers and toes all the way up towards your heart in order to get that same lymphatic movement going. Now with all of this lymph stuff, it’s important to understand that when the lymphatics collect all that trash, where it gets emptied is actually not outside of the body but all the lymphatic system dumps into the left side of the heart. And then from there all of that is carried to the kidneys and the gut to leave the body. That’s why if you’re doing the stuff that helps your lymphatic system, it’s also really important to stay really well hydrated so that your kidneys can have help flushing out all of that stuff that you picked up. And also you want to make sure that you’re not constipated. You know all the tools. We actually have multiple posts on our blog about constipation, so if you have that as an issue, make sure you go check those out. That’s zestyginger.com/blog. And you can read on your own, but just make sure that as you do this you are staying regular because what we don’t want is to get all that stuff into your bloodstream and then do nothing to help it come out. So those are two kind of caveats for that.
And then the last piece of homework, if you want to try it, is a ginger compress. So just like last week we did the cilantro liver compress, this is just you grate some ginger – and you can make it as strong or as weak as you want, but this you’ll have to play with because it really depends on your skin sensitivity – but you want to grate some ginger, make tea out of it, so steep it, cover it with something, and then once it cools you’ll put a washcloth in there, wring it out, and place it over your lower abdomen. So you’re putting it over where you’re ovaries and uterus are to get some nice blood flow to those areas before your period starts, and then also to your back. It can be really great for those women who get backaches and like lower abdominal pain as their period is starting. And it’s a great way to get blood flow those areas and kind of spiff up the nutrients that those organs are getting. And so it really helps everything work a lot more smoothly.
So that is it for this week. I’m really excited to start the next series of podclasses we have coming up because they are going to be heavily heavily heavily action oriented. You’re going to be doing some rituals that are all about, you know, having you feel good. We’re going to be talking about movement goals, cause everyone always wants to know how should I move through all of this? How does exercise fit into all of this? And then a lot of mental mindset work as well because that plays such an important role in all of this. So, stay tuned for that. I’m so excited to have you following along. And definitely come hang out with us over on instagram. That’s @zesty_ginger. That’s usually where we hang out. And we’ve got an amazing little tribe over there. So come join us, we’d love to have you. Alright, bye.