The 7-Year Cycles of Women
In Chinese medicine our lives go through predictable periodical cycles, each one bringing about great change in our bodies and lives. These cycles are connected to our ‘Jing’ or ‘Essence.’
So, what is Jing?
‘Jing’ or ‘Essence’ is described as our creative power inherited from our parents at the time of conception. Think of it as the genetic blueprint, our DNA, that shapes our very existence. It resides within our Kidney-adrenals and acts as our reserves of energy. The quality and quantity of Jing is pivotal to our overall health as it supports growth, development and our reproductive abilities. Jing cycles in years of seven for women and in years of 8 for men.
With each cycle we have opportunities to potentially enhance our vitality or wreak havoc on our constitutions. For women, there are ‘Three Golden Opportunities’ where we can change our health. These are regulating Menstruation, recovering from Childbirth and balancing the transition to Menopause. How we understand, experience and embody each opportunity not only reflects our reproductive health but also our overall vitality and how gracefully we age.
Birth To 6
These are the years of development based on our inherited ‘Jing’ or ‘Essence’. Just like preparing the soil for the plant to grow, these years provide the fertile ground for us to grow.
Cycle 1: Age 7-13
Her kidneys are strengthening, teeth change and hair grows longer and stronger.
This is the time for establishing roots and asserting independence. It’s that balance of wanting to be nurtured, learning healthy boundaries and start learning health practices.
Cycle 2: Age 14-20
Menstruation appears as the Ren meridian (the sea of Yin) flows and the Chong meridian (the sea of blood) becomes prosperous.
Menstruation begins and will come regularly as blood and body fluids become abundant (technically conception can happen). In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the age of menarche is one important factor to help make diagnosis. This phase is characterised by emotions and connection. It’s an important time to for young women to receive proper education on their cycle and build a healthy relationship with each phase.
Cycle 3: Age 21-27
Her kidney energy is balanced, her adult teeth completely developed and her body grows to full height.
The height of physical vitality. These are the years to cultivate a spiritual practice such as qigong, yoga and meditation. It’s the time to form relationships, feeling secure in oneself, exploring sexuality and supporting hormonal health.
Cycle 4: Age 28-34
Her vital energy and blood are substantial, her four limbs are strong and the body is at optimal condition.
Full maturity. These are the years of peak vitality. This is a time where energy starts pivoting toward what is most important, our true passions and calling can emerge. They are also the child rearing years and maintaining bodily strength is important.
Cycle 5: 35-41
Her peak condition declines gradually. Her energy in Yangming meridian declines. Her face starts wither and her hair begins to thin.
These are the years of rejuvenation, reflection and refinement. The early preparation for menopause begins, assessing what’s working and not working, building in lifestyle practices that enrich the body’s vital substances of qi (energy) and blood.
Cycle 6: Age 42-48
Her three yang channels, taiyang, yangming and shaoyang begin to decline. Her complexion wanes and her hair turns white.
Continuing to prepare for menopause and detoxification. This is a time to gather and harvest the wisdom from life experience and sharing it with others. Starting to slow down and conserve energy, let go of what no longer serves. Tending to any old wounds and trauma can support a more graceful transition to menopause. It’s also important to develop a movement routine that keeps the body strong and flexible.
Cycle 7: Age 49-55
The Ren meridian (Conception Vessel) and Chong meridian vital energy declines, her menstruation dried up, her physique turns old and feeble; She can no longer to conceive.
The time of the Crone or Wisdom Keeper. Energy begins to be directed elsewhere and it’s a great time immerse more deeply in the cycles of nature and spiritual practices. In embracing the cycle of birth and death nourishment, longevity exercises are of high importance to help fuel the body and keep it humming along optimally.
Cycle 8 and Beyond
The rebirth or Second Spring. This is seen as a time when a woman enters her peak spiritual development where each year brings forth new wisdom, understanding and self-acceptance to her life; body, mind and soul. In traditional cultures all over the world the elders are always held in the highest esteem, as they are the ones with the most knowledge and insight to share. We cannot resist aging as much as we try so why not embrace it?
The cycles of life are different for everyone. They can vary depending our constitution, how we live our lives, how we manage stress, how we nourish our bodies and how we act and react to our environment. Whatever ailments are present, these factors are reflected in our state of health. We can’t change what we were born with, but we do have the power to influence our lives and the aging process by the choices we make everyday around areas that directly influence our essence such as sleep, food, exercise, sex, work, etc.
The 7-year life cycle provides a framework for understanding the various phases and developmental milestones in our life. Each stage presents unique challenges, opportunities, and transitions. By recognising and embracing the changes that accompany each phase, we can navigate their life journeys with self-awareness, resilience, and a focus on our overall well-being. Each phase is a special time that needs to be welcomed, celebrated and cherished.
What cycle are you in? Do you need guidance in understanding and integrating the best practices for your cycle? Get in touch to learn more or book an initial consultation here.