I hope last week's musings on the Yin phase, which included when to start having sex, was helpful and supportive. This week we are going to explore the Qi Phase or ovulation.
Because we tend to live in a high-stress life (and this is certainly a high stress time), our Qi can be either depleted or "stuck," which can impact ovulation.
Especially if you've been diagnosed with anovulation, PCOS or unexplained Infertility, understanding and healing this phase of your cycle is incredibly important.
The Qi phase occurs in the few days around ovulation, so after the Yin Phase and before the Yang, Phase, or approximately Days 12-15 of your cycle.
By the time you reach this phase, your follicles are nice and juicy and one will have grown to be the plumpest of all and become the one you ovulate.
Here, we need a burst of energy for that ripe and juicy follicle to be burst forth from your ovary, and to have the energy to travel along the length of the fallopian tube and burrow into your uterine wall.
Tenacity/ Penetration/ Drive/ Determination/ Decision Making
The Qi Phase is associated with the element of WOOD and the Spring Season, to the Liver and the color Green. It is about tenacity, determination, drive and penetration.
Think about the roots of a tree or plant, growing below the soil, getting what they need to grow and thrive. It doesn't matter if there's a sidewalk in the way... they're going to bust through it!
Qi is purposeful.
What Can Impede Ovulation From Occurring?
There are typically two main issues that may prevent ovulation from happening "on time" or at all, and these are Qi Stagnation and Qi Deficiency.
Basically, either you have enough energy to move the Qi and to ovulate, but that energy is blocked or stuck. Or your energy is depleted and your body isn't strong enough to have that burst of energy that is needed for ovulation to occur.
When this phase is an issue either ovulation doesn't occur or it occurs late, it's important to figure out which is the issue. (Early ovulation tends to be more of a Yin Phase issue, possibly having too much heat during the Yin Phase, causing early ripening of the follicle -- see Yin phase tips)
If you tend to have mid-cycle cramping or irritability, the issue is probably stagnation. If you have PCOS, it's likely that dampness is what's causing the stagnation. Deficiency can lead to stagnation, so this is where it gets tricky!
QI PHASE TIPS
If you're using my teas, the Fertile Moon Tea will best support this cycle phase. The Tea and products for this time gently tonify/ boost the Qi while also moving the Qi, so that they support either issue.
If stagnation is the issue, activities that support and also move your energy are great for this time.
Brisk Forest walks, slightly rigorous yoga, womb massage, leafy green are great as they are rich in nutrients but also support moving your Liver Qi.
Detoxifying herbs like milk thistle and dandelion & leafy greens like arugula and watercress will support a gentle detoxification of your Liver.
A cup of celery juice each AM is an awesome way to support your Liver.
Dairy is really hard for fertility and ovulation. Especially if ovulation is an issue, you have cysts or PCOS, dairy has got to go. You can replace it with alternative Mylk products like almond or rice milks.
Womb massage is one of the best ways to keep your Qi flowing, and especially around ovulation, it's great to get things moving.
Healthy Liver energy is also related to a clear expression of feelings. If your feelings and emotions get stuck, it's to be expected that your energy will get stuck as well.
It's important to practice expression of feelings without guilt or shame or blowing up in anger only when you're at the end of your rope. Owning and honoring your feelings and setting clear and intentional boundaries based on those feelings is essential.
When there's not clear-cut expression of emotion, an almost fog-like energy can hover in our field. Instead of clear flow of Qi, our energy gets stuck, and has to move through a kind of psychic pea soup. Cysts can develop if this goes on for too long, and this is a huge hindrance to ovulation.
This is a good time to practice expression of your feelings, without needing to justify them. Perhaps practice saying NO, as a complete sentence. Perhaps practice asking for what you want. Perhaps tell someone how you feel. See if you can express anger from a calm, embodied place.