You Can Eliminate PMS and Other Menstrual Problems
Recreating Menstruation - The Deer Exercise - Contributed by Lisa Bodley
For some women, monthly menstruation is a time that comes and goes without much thought and without issue. Then there are the women who have endometriosis, a condition that provides a monthly torture. Most women fall somewhere in the mid spectrum, mild to severe discomfort and a range of odd symptoms, but because they only last a few days it is easy to take a few pain killers, curl up with a box of chocolates and a hot water bottle and wait it out. It is also easy to make light of, it but inherent in each cycle is the opportunity to develop a deep awareness of and connection with your body that will have you appreciate the immense power and beauty that is in each one of you.
“…inherent in each cycle is the opportunity to develop a deep awareness of and connection with your body that will have you appreciate the immense power and beauty that is in each one of you.“
Although far more accepted and acknowledged than ever before, we have yet to see a “cure” for the combination of symptoms known as Pre-Menstrual Tension (or P.M.T.), as well as the pain that often accompanies the onset of bleeding, excessive bleeding that is a serious concern, the energy that is lost through menstruation and the more serious complications such as endometriosis. Until now, we have been offered ways of “coping” with these on-going difficulties, which is the medical equivalent of putting a band-aid on a broken arm. No more. What I have found, and am now sharing with you, is a way of totally eradicating ALL your menstrual symptoms. It is called The Deer Exercise, a simple, non-strenuous exercise that can be done by any woman of any age.
I found the Deer Exercise 17 years ago, and it has brought me so much more than relief; it has shown me through the strength of self healing that I can put my mind to and achieve anything. From the time of my first period, I suffered PMS symptoms such as bloating, vagueness, feelings of being disconnected with my body, sore breasts, memory loss, debilitating pain that would put me in bed for at least a day, and eight days of very heavy bleeding. This was all accompanied by fatigue and the inevitable mood swings that turned my life and my relationships upside down.
With the help of The Deer Exercise, I took something that caused me monthly misery and turned it into a source of power and energy. Parts of the exercise and energy control took me through two home births with a trust in my body that I would never have thought possible.
History of The Deer Exercise:
The Exercise was discovered by the Taoists many thousands of years ago, and to fully understand it and the approach it takes to the well-being of the body, it would be useful to know a little about the principles of Taoism, and the way Taoists view energy and the different ways that it is used within the body.
Energy, in its different forms, is what has the body function. Just as your car requires energy to run (which it gets from the battery and the petrol tank) so your body also consumes energy, which it must have if it is to do all the things that you ask of it. When someone has a lot of energy, we think of them as being “alive”, and the more energy they have, the more “alive” we think they are. An example of this is the expression “full of life”, which we use to refer to people who have a lot of energy (or more than us, anyway).
The words “life” and “energy”, then, are easily interchangeable. It is this Life-Force energy (known as Chi in Taoism) that we are working with and replenishing in The Deer Exercise.
How The Deer Exercise Works - AN Overview:
The main reason The Deer Exercise is so effective in eradicating period problems is that it balances the endocrine (or glandular) system of the body. This system forms one of the body’s two main control systems (the other being the nervous system) which, between them, coordinate most of its functioning (including the reproductive cycle). How well they are working is vital to your physical, mental and emotional well-being. The endocrine system communicates with every cell in the body via hormones, which are produced by the glands and transported in the blood stream. This can be likened to an intricate feedback system whereby all the prevailing circumstances are fed into each other and all influence the outcome. Within this system, hormones carry messages and trigger responses from one part of the body to another. They can act quickly when necessary (as adrenalin does in times of danger) or more slowly to operate the body’s ongoing functions (such as a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle). Essentially, they form a moment-by-moment regulator that maintains the body’s internal environment.
The system is made up of seven glands. While they all perform individual functions, they do so in a way that connects their various activities. These glands are responsible for maintaining many aspects of our physiology, including our appearance, the moods we experience, how sexual we are at any one time, our level of creativity as well as our drives and motivations. With so much involved, it is not difficult to see why The Deer Exercise is so important and why it has such far-reaching effects. For it is not just our physiological functioning that is affected by our glandular secretions, but our emotional and mental capabilities as well. And while the endocrine system may not be as critical to the existence of life as the heart and brain, it is extremely important to the QUALITY of our life.
By doing The Deer Exercise you help your body heal itself and bring balance to your endocrine (or glandular) system. You don’t need any previous experience or an advanced knowledge of meditation. This Exercise simply makes use of your breath and your awareness, two things that are part of everyone’s life but which most people don’t use in this way. The Exercise also includes massaging and stimulating the glands to help you cultivate your own innate energy. When you learn to use your breath and awarenss in this manner, you will experience for yourself how powerful The Deer Exercise is and how easily it can be practiced.
Testimonials for The Deer Exercise:
There are many benefits that flow from doing The Deer Exercise that make it worth continuing with. In a survey conducted with over 30 women, the two most immediate benefits reported were a lessening of blood flow and a decrease in pain. By “immediate” they meant from the time they began the Exercise to their NEXT period, regardless of whether that was one week or four weeks. Dianne’s progress with the Exercise gives a good indication of what can be achieved:
“I first used The Deer Exercise around 2 years ago when I was having particularly painful periods, so debilitating in fact that I was vomiting and nearly fainting with the pain. I continued with the Exercise for 3 months, totally eliminating the nausea and reducing the pain quite significantly. Having achieved what I set out to do, I stopped the Exercise.
About 18 months later, having read of the extensive on-going benefits of The Deer Exercise, I decided to take it up again. I did so not only to gain those far reaching benefits, but also I was now ready to eliminate all the symptoms leading up to my period, not just the really devastating ones. I was experiencing painful and swollen breasts up to two weeks before menstruation, swelling of the abdomen, erratic cycle (between 21 and 28 days) premenstrual tension which showed up as irritability and depression coupled with several days of being totally uncoordinated, dropping things and other small and careless accidents which only happened in the few days before I began bleeding. I was also experiencing cramps (although not as painful as they had originally been) accompanied by backache and a heavy flow which lasted 6 days. These symptoms have been with me for most of my life, but not necessarily all at the same time. It is with the growing awareness of my body achieved through doing The Deer Exercise that I have been able to pin point these experiences as being related to the onset of menstruation.
This time I gained immediate benefit in the first month of doing The Deer Exercise. There was no “usual” lead-up of symptoms for several weeks. Instead, I found they were condensed to a matter of hours before I started menstruating! This was enough evidence for me to see that this was really working and I have continued with further on-going benefits. My cycle has been regulated to 28 days on the dot, I do not experience the clumsiness, and I no longer endure sore, swollen breasts or fluid retention in my abdomen. I am finding that, as time goes on, the “symptoms” are with me for shorter times, sometimes only half an hour before I realize I am menstruating. I have even experienced totally symptom-free cycles and, best of all, my period is now lasting only 2-3 days.”
The benefits of doing The Deer Exercise, then, are many. They extend far beyond handling your period problems because the Exercise will have a positive effect on your general health, your sexuality, your posture and, most importantly, your self-perception.
“I saw results in about 10 days which was the time of beginning The Deer Exercise to my next period. I had nowhere near the headaches I usually did and my P.M.T was reduced to about a quarter of what it normally would be. My moods were usually so bad at this time I really felt emotionally unbalanced, I began the Exercise in the hopes of getting some control back. Before the Exercise I would bleed for anything between 10-12 days which I have now reduced to 4-5 days after 2 periods. Generally my moods have changed. They are more even, I have more patience and I don’t get nearly as drained. I used to be really hyperactive and now I find that I can slow down. I have been in and out of hospital with my problems and had been told it was all psychological. I came to The Deer Exercise with no real expectations and have achieved far more than I ever planned. As an added bonus, people have been commenting on how good I look. I can see that my skin has improved with all the broken capillaries gone. I just want to say thank you and I think it would be great if a lot more people become involved.”
(Leanne is 33 and is a Floor Manager for a large retail food chain)
“I learned The Deer Exercise two weeks before I got married and I saw results straight away. I had a lot to do at this time and it really helped me stay focused. My skin cleared up so I felt great having a clear face for my wedding. I also lost some weight. I was feeling far more connected and much better about my body. I wanted to learn the Exercise because of cramps and heavy periods and I was able to reduce both of these. I am becoming more aware of my body and the changes that are happening.”
(Penny is 28 and a Data Entry Processor)
“My story has a beginning but, as yet, no end. It is ongoing. My introduction to The Deer Exercise saw me very enthusiastic, although more than a bit skeptical. For 30 years my experience, each month, of menstruation had been painful and depressing. I’d tried most avenues to make my life and my experience of my physical self a little easier - the pill, tablets from the shelves of chemist shops, homoeopathic remedies, Chinese herbs, acupuncture and many courses run to facilitate more understanding of the metaphysical cause of my distress during those few days each month. I’ve traveled far and learnt much about myself as a woman, but still experienced painful periods and other symptoms of endometriosis. The Deer Exercise is working. For me it is a slow but definite process. I have healing to do and feel empowered to do it through this Exercise. Slowly, I have seen progress and I know that my progress will continue. I believe The Deer Exercise will be something that I will continue indefinitely. I have found it to be nurturing, healing and enjoyable. For me it is self-empowerment that is providing me with the strength to be a woman who can celebrate her physical womanness through less pain and more pleasure.”
(June, who is 45 with two teenage children,
runs her own business as a conflict resolution consultant)
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Ongoing Benefits of Practicing The Deer Exercise:
As you've probably gathered from reading these stories, there are many ways that you will benefit from doing The Deer Exercise apart from just eliminating your PMS problems. While these will be different for every woman who does it, over the years the most obvious ones have been:
- A general improvement in your health. I noticed this myself as I had previously used illness as a way to get "time out". Contracting a cold or viruses was a legitimate way of withdrawing from the world and looking after myself. Doing the exercise gives me the opportunity to check in with myself - I know where my energy is and I know when I need to be a bit more gentle on myself for a day or so. Now, I simply don't get sick as I have no need to.
- An acute awareness of the way your menstrual cycle operates . And in particular, the way your body responds to it. As Dianne says so beautifully, "I am much more in tune with my body, very aware of changes within. It tells me in very subtle ways when I am due. And although the "symptoms" (which indicated I was about to get my period) are no longer present, there is a knowing in its place."
- An increase in your sexual energy. You'll also become for more aware of it, as the exercise was originally developed to stimulate female sexuality.
- A firming of and, in some cases, an increase in the size of your breasts . As Megan commented, "Since the workshop I have been doing the exercise fairly regularly and my periods are not much of a hassle. I'm also proud to say that, within a few months, I have gone up a bra size. I looked in the mirror one day and thought, "Are these really my breasts?" (And if you have large breasts or are happy with yours the way they are, there is another way to do the exercise that won't enlarge them).
- A strengthening of the pelvic floor . This is particularly useful for those women who suffer from incontinence, which is often the result of age or pregnancy.
- A greater sense of self-determination. When you realize the influence you can have over what happens within your body, which starts to spread out to the other areas of your life.
- A more youthful appearance. As the energy that once drained monthly from your body is used by it to replenish itself, so the effects of aging are diminished (thus saving you a small fortune on anti-aging creams).
Regardless of the difficulties you encounter it is important to remember that, whatever your present condition, you have the power to do something about it. Persistence and determination count for everything. If you apply them to the healing of your body, you can achieve whatever you wish.
“Regardless of the difficulties you encounter it is important to remember that, whatever your present condition, you have the power to do something about it.”
I hope you choose to join me on this journey of discovery and healing. “Recreating Menstruation” is the title of my book that will take you on your own journey of discovery and connection with yourself and your incredible energy. Originally published 12 years ago in hard copy it has now made its way into e-book format after being out of print for some years. I can now look back and be grateful that I had such a difficult time because I may not have ever searched and I would have missed the whole amazing journey. In “Recreating Menstruation” I share with you my experiences and take you step by step through The Deer Exercise so you can begin your practice and begin to experience the benefits today.
If you are looking for an empowering and effective method to ELIMINATE your period problems (as opposed to learning how to cope with them) then The Deer Exercise is for you. If you use “Recreating Menstruation” as a guide, it will show you how you can draw on your ability to heal and rejuvenate yourself, while at the same time giving you a far deeper insight into the way your body works. I have no doubt you will enjoy the journey. It is one that is worth taking, both for yourself and for those with whom you share your life. If you do choose to do The Deer Exercise, then I wish you as much success with it as I have had.
Yours in support,
Author & Workshop Facilitator of “Recreating Menstruation”
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For more info, and to purchase your copy of “Recreating Menstruation” for only $15.95, go to www.recreatingmenstruation.com.