In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the "Three Golden Opportunities" are events marking the loss of a vital substance known as Jing or Essence. You can read more about Jing in my article about the 7 Year Cycles of Women. Essentially, there are opportunities to amend the loss of vital substance in order to recover, reduce injury and replenish our reserves. If we fail to restore the loss, we age much quicker and become more vulnerable to disease and injury.
The “Three Golden Opportunities” for women are:
- Monthly Menstrual Cycles
- Postpartum Sitting Moon
The Loss of Jing Each Month
Every month, during our bleed, we lose Jing. Menstrual blood as well as our eggs are reflections of our vital essence. Sperm is one reflection of Jing in males. Childbearing and Postpartum marks our greatest Jing loss. Much energy goes into the transfer of an egg at conception, our Qi (energy) is taxed to support the fetus through pregnancy and we lose Qi & blood during delivery and breastfeeding.
Postpartum & "Sitting Moon"
There is a tremendous amount of effort to conceive, bear, birth and nourish our young. Every traditional culture recognizes this and has its own version on the best practices for new mothers to recover from such taxation. In China, it’s called Sitting Moon or Golden Month zuò yuè zi .
In Korea, it’s called Saamchilil which means Three-Seven-Days (totaling 3 weeks). My mother-in-law calls it Quarentena. Ayurvedic Medicine says 42 days for 42 years, meaning that postpartum care has far reaching health benefits for our entire lifetime. They all share similar themes of warmth, nourishment and rest to ensure full recovery.
Peri-Menopause and the 5th Cycle of Life
Peri-menopause which starts at our 5th Cycle of life (around age 35), marks the slow decline of our hormones (Qi & blood). We start to see early signs of aging. To aid in sustaining life, our bodies accommodate the loss of hormone production by pulling at our reserves - namely, our kidneys/adrenals. This process can be a difficult transition for some. It can manifest as sleep disturbances, hot flashes, menstrual irregularities, decreased libido, vaginal discomforts, severe mood swings and much more.
Equipped with this knowledge, we can approach our rhythms and natural life cycles proactively. Much care can be put into taking care of ourselves during our monthly bleed, we can make a plan for deep nourishment during our postpartum period and shift our lifestyle as we near our 5th cycle into more reservation vs. depletion. If you seek guidance, take a look at our offerings and maybe book a coaching consult.
For a beautiful and supportive approach to your postpartum care, I’d encourage you to read my friend Kimberly Ann Johnson’s book, The Fourth Trimester. My other dear friend Kestrel Gates authored a workbook, Build Your Nest, that guides you into planning your sacred postpartum time.
Art by Laura Berger.