WTF is Lunaception?

If you have never heard of Lunaception, it is the idea that women are most fertile when their cycles align with the moon cycle. Now most women have cycles that are about a month long (28-31 days), so there is a certain amount of intuitive sense to our cycles finding a rhythm within the lunar cycle. After all, our word “month” shares the same root word as “moon” for a reason. But is this really the “best” way to cycle? Is it even worth attempting?

Now I will admit that I have never tried to do the full “Lunaception” method, but I stumbled across it in a web search after noticing that I tended to ovulate around the full moon and menstruate around the new moon. I wanted to see if I was the only one with this pattern. I wasn’t! In fact it’s one of the reasons Rosh Chodesh (the new moon) celebration in Judaism has strong ties to feminity in Judaism. Other new age minded people have begun to create Red Tent ceremonies on the new moon.

redtent

That level of ceremony might be beyond my crunchy-hippie threshold, but I still think it is fascinating. From a scientific stand point it makes sense. Our pineal gland is light sensitive and is the primary player in regulating our daily circadian rhythms. Though it has not been well-researched it is not unreasonable to think that the pineal gland might also help regulate our monthly cycles.

In my personal experience, I can tell that when I am most well my body naturally falls back into this pattern of full moon ovulation and new moon menstruation. For instance, over a year ago when I lost my dad my sleep cycles were jacked. Right afterwards I added insult to injury by flying half-way around the world to India for a service trip. Anxiety plus grief plus jet lag led to months of poor sleep, and even to symptoms of depression (more on that another time). My period also fell out of the lunar pattern during this time. Some months were longer, some shorter than my usual 29 days. I even thought it might be perimenopause! Yet, over the past several months I have been to therapy, and invested in self-care and good sleep hygiene (more on this too), my depression and anxiety have abated. At the same time my cycles have also slowly returned themselves to a regular 29 days with ovulation at the full moon and menstruation at the new moon. I take this as yet another positive sign of my improved health and continued recovery from one of the worst years of my life.

Have you ever tracked your period with the moon cycles? Have you ever done the full lunaception method? What has been your experience? Leave your comments and questions below!

First Attempt at Fasting

If you read my last post you know that I am trying to incorporate fasting into my lifestyle. Since I tend to have a lower appetite during my period, just naturally, I thought that would be a good time to try fasting. It also is a time of hormone reset, both estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest levels at the start of menses.

I discovered intuitively what others have also researched and found true, that appetite drops during menses and peaks during the luteal phase (between ovulation and menses). So it makes sense to me to harness the power of your bodies natural hormone signalling to guide intuitive eating.

To that end I decided to try a fast a couple weeks ago when I was on my period. Unfortunately it happened to fall at a time when I was visiting family so I was not able to do the full 24+ hour fast I had planned. My plan had been to just water fast for at least 24 hours, or until I felt well and truly hungry, whichever was longer. But with visiting family I had to break my fast after only 18 hours of fasting. Still, it was amazingly easy to just not eat during that time. Normally I would have tried to eat something, overriding my body’s natural cues, because I’ve been told for so long that you have to eat or it’ll tank your metabolism, etc.

Though my fast was not as long as I might have liked, it was a proof of concept for me as to the ease of fasting during menses as a woman. So in a couple weeks when it rolls around again I will again attempt a 24+ hour fast while on my period.

Have any of you, male or female, incorporated fasting into your healthy lifestyle? If so, how? Have you found that timing your fasts in any particular way makes them easier?

Share your fasting stories and questions in the comments!