By Susan Reznik (text) & Silja Elsener (illustration)
Our body is an extremely sophisticated and complex system. What happens in our body during our monthly cycle illustrates once again how fascinating this mechanism is.
The cyclic phases surrounding menstruation are mainly determined by the two hormones estrogen and progesterone. In the graphic below, it's almost like a roller coaster. If things are already so wildly haywire, it's no wonder that our cycle has a major impact on our everyday life. Depending on the cycle phase and hormone levels, our energy level, mood, well-being and emotions are shaped.
Men have cycles too. However, not a monthly one, but a daily one. This also has an impact on the mental and physical condition, but this is usually much less noticeable. This cycle is due to the rise and fall in testosterone levels over the course of 24 hours. The testosterone level is highest in the morning, which is also reflected in the “morning erection” after sleep. During the course of the day, the testosterone content slowly decreases again.
While the female menstrual cycle is reminiscent of a mountain landscape in Appenzell, the male hormonal landscape is more like that of the Netherlands. It is therefore absolutely normal and should not be ashamed that our energy stores, moods and emotional states can be very changeable within the cycle and that we can and should take them seriously. Unfortunately, our modern society has so far given us little space for cyclical life in our everyday lives. We can hardly cater to our physical and mental needs due to our menstrual cycle. Thus, most of us are cyclic beings, designed to function according to a linear system that is not our nature.
So how can we put more cycle back into this linearity? It is not easy to create this freedom for our needs in a hectic, performance-oriented world. However, the more we listen to our body and get to know our cycle phases better, the better we can assess what is really good for us and what our body and mind need right now. The better you take care of yourself throughout your cycle, the less you'll end up being bothered by PMS symptoms. Try it!