Thursday, October 27, 2005

Menstrual brain changes


This BBC article basically talks about how research shows that activity in the frontal brain in areas where emotions are controlled increases in women during PMS. It's suggested that because of surging hormones, the brain attempts to increase emotional control, and women who experience PMS-driven irritability and outbursts of anger lose this control by not having enough activity in this frontal brain area.

Rudolf Steiner and his anthroposophical medicine might have some pretty cool things to say about why some women would experience not enough frontal brain activity to control the increased emotions and some would have enough. Basically, he talks about how the body has two poles--an upper, cephalad, pole, and a lower digestive-metabolic pole. The relationship between these two poles is regulated by a rhythmic system. When there's stress in the system, and particularly in the reproductive organs or digestive area (lower pole), what happens is that food coming into the body isn't adequately stripped of its foreign matter, a necessary step occuring at the cephalad pole that prepares the food for infusion at the metabolic-digestive end with a vibration that the body will find digestible. So the result is that energy from the cephalad pole will be pulled down to finish the job, and the result can be migraines or other difficulties in the head--hence the connection between migraines and reproductive-system problems.

We could also draw the conclusion that the same thing happens in the case of PMS--stress in the reproductive system draws energy down and the cephalad pole doesn't have enough juice to control the emotions.

I've read somewhere, I think probably in Christiane Northrup's writings, that the emotions that come up during PMS are honest releases of stuff that's repressed--so even if one seems crazed, that's stuff that needed to come out and can be taken as communication to the mind by the body. I am thinking that this emotional repression, which occurs in the second chakra (located below the navel, this energy center controls emotion) is the stress that causes this whole cycle to begin--bringing the cephalad energy down and creating loss of control so there is SOME way for the body to release the pent-up emotion. Oh, body wisdom, it's so lovely!

The answer, of course, is to express emotion! Go punch a pillow today! 

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