The Flower Blooms : Sexual & Reproductive Health Practices for Women

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                                                                                                                                                                                                         *Image by the talented Jem Magbanua

Safe sex in classical Chinese thought is sex that does not drain the body of needed energy and vitality, but increases it.

Chinese Medical history is long and traverses time, to places where cultural norms were quite different.

The Eastern wisdom traditions of both Dao & Tantra say sexual energy is a possible pathway for awakening consciousness, divine enlightenment and healing.

That is what imbibes the language that they use to describe the body.

For example:

The Sanskrit word for the female organs is Yoni. Yoni means ‘sacred space.’  The Chinese equivalent is ; The Lotus Flower or Jade Gate.

There was a time when Jade was the most precious stone in China, names including Jade,  indicated the most precious of all treasures.  The blooming of the lotus flower in buddhism signifies enlightenment.

Lets contrast that with the terminology in use presently in the West. The pundenal nerve innervates the genitalia and pelvic floor and the term pudendal comes from Latin pudenda, meaning external genitals, derived from pudendum, meaning “parts to be ashamed of”.

That should give you a quick snapshot of the difference in cultural values regarding sexuality and the female body.

It’s my opinion that there has been strong, recent (last 100 years)  cultural influences that have shaped our view, treatment, behaviour and expectations of the female body. We also inherit a history of inherent sexism in the way anatomy and physiology has been investigated and presented. I believe this has lead to a distinct lack of natural curiosity and open, intelligent, informative communication around these potent organs and glands and how to keep them healthy and vital.

In more ancient times in the East, the sexual dynamics of both female and male bodies were thoroughly explored and researched. They saw arousal and the hormonal cascades it released and the circulation it cultivated as a potent force of generating vitality. They also understood that it needed practice, technique and correct environmental conditions to fully harness the potential power as a healing dynamic.

They researched and came to understand circulation, fluid movement, breath dynamics, ability to harness desire into broader sensory experience of ‘orgasmic energy’, focusing the mind and taming the ego all yielded significant holistic health outcomes.

They developed specific technologies for both women and men.

This article, focuses on female practices.  These practices can all stand alone or can incorporated into your existing yoga, qi gong, meditation or self-pleasure practice.  Before I outline the practices lets just take a closer look at the anatomy of what we are talking about.

 How the Chinese from the Tang dynasty described the female anatomy:                                                                                

Vagina: The Jade Gate or The Lotus Flower

Vulva: The golden valley

Clitoris: Precious Pearl or Bright Pearl on the Jade Steps

Cervix: Inner Gate

Uterus: Jade Palace or The Cinnabar Field

Saliva: Sweet Wine Spring

Colostrum: White Snow

Vaginal Secretions: Moonflower

From a Chinese Med perspective, organs aren’t just the organs anyway.

They are networks, connected by channel pathways.

The two main sexual/reproductive channels in classical Chinese thought and therapeutic practice are: the Ren (Sea of Yin/Nourishing Vessel) and the Chong ( Sea of Blood/Most primordial channel connected to Source Qi aka one of the first embryological fascia folds.)

These channels include connective tissue pathways, organs, glands, tissues, blood circulation, nerve pathways and connect the pelvic floor, clitoris and clitoral body, vaginal canal, cervix, womb, ovaries, adrenal glands, thymus, emotional heart, throat, vocal chords, thyroid, pineal gland & brain.

Here is a simplified illustration of what the Ren channel looks like:

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There are lots of neural innervation to the female sexual and reproductive organs, and a  lot more research is surfacing about these unique tissues and glands, what they are connected to and what they have the potential for.  A new area of research is the Vagina-Brain connection.

This is a pic of the Vagus nerve, the curious nerve, the ‘Wandering’ nerve it gets a lot of attention when it comes to the Gut-Brain connection amongst other wonders, but it wanders further, enervating the cervix.  This looks a lot more meridian-ish.

 

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I’d also suggest that you search to view recent images of the pelvic nerve & pudendal nerve , pelvic floor musculature, MRI scans of the clitoris and the vascular supply to the cervix and you can start to see more closely the functional relationship of the pathways of Ren & Chong.

If the basic premise of Chinese medicine is;  that if circulation is impeded then disharmony leading to disease develops.

So, what happens when we have shame, judgement, ignorance,  fear, trauma or lack of activity in an area of the body?

Daoist and Tantric solo practices:

  • Encourage the flight & fight response to switch off and growth /repair/rest and digest to switch on.
  • Increase circulation
  • Initiate relaxation
  • Encourage hormone and endorphin release
  • Increase self awareness
  • Cultivate a loving and accepting attitude to self and others.
  • Increase your capacity to feel pleasure
  • Align Mind, Breathe, Heart and Sexual Body

They also go from external to internal in nature.

* Here is where the I stress that this article is just a messenger, an introduction.*

To start working with these practices please seek support from the resources list at the end. Some techniques are explained more fully than others, so please take the terminology and conduct your own searches. There is a world of books, videos, courses and online resources if you’d like to more about any of this. I highly encourage you to get curious.

The Practices ( a mix of classical and also contemporary practices)

Meditation these are usually guided practices until you get established in the technique.

Feminine Qi Gong

inc breath, sound, movement or visualisation

Breast Massage:

There is so much benefit for this technique. It’s also such a lovely practice to do. Boobies rock. They are a powerful dynamic place for women and so intimately connected to your heart and endocrine system. Very  important to take care of and are one of the easier areas of the female body to cultivate a relationship with.  With regular massage you will start to notice how dynamic , intellegent and responsive breasts can be.

You can help flush the lymphatic system and your body can produce oxytocin this way. The upsurge in oxytocin helps us feel more connected, to our body,  to people and life. It cultivates the impulse to self nurture and self-love and also helps prevent breast cancer by assisting with early detection.

Check out this video if you need more direction

The Female Deer

Is a seated meditation practice in which one will sit cross-legged with a heel pressed gently against the clitoris, or if you can’t reach you can place a ball in between your foot and clitoris. You can, if you have the flexibility close of the opening of your vagina with your sole of your foot.

To start you gently encircle your boobs moving from the nipple outwards and then reverse out to in. You do this both ways about 36 times, take your time.

You alternate between focusing your attention of the feeling of your breasts in your hands and your hands on your breasts.

After the self massage you sit and observe the sensations occurring in your body or you can proceed to the micro-cosmic orbit. (Which in a nutshell is  visualising light or energy drawing up from your perineum/pelvic floor up your spine, over your skull and down the front line of your face, body and deep into your womb space/cervix and back to the perineum)

The Yin and Yang of the Pelvic Floor

Life long pelvic floor functional integrity so much depends upon the interplay of good pelvic tone &  the capacity to release pelvic tension.  Increasing awareness around its nature and role, you can include simple practices into your yoga , daily life, sexual practice or exercise to keep it happy and able to do its essential work.

Did you know the Kegel exercises were designed by a male for men with urinary incontinence?

In France, a minimum 10 sessions with a specialised pelvic floor therapist is offered to every woman, post-birth.

It’s such an integral part of our architecture,  contributing to core stability, low back support, holds the reproductive organs in place, is important for bladder and bowel function and connect to the genitalia.

For all things pelvic floor, including learning about the ‘pelvic parfait’ I highly recommend the amazing, practical and beautiful teachings of Nina Isabella aka Mamashanti

Jade Egg Practice

This is a self-love, awakening, honouring and devotional ritual to heal and nourish your sexual organs and glands. You utilise a crystal egg to massage your body, sexual organs and pelvic floor, externally and then can insert the egg inside the vagina. Internally its used to invigorate trigger points inside the vaginal canal and pelvic floor.  It is a potent tool for release of stored emotion within the tissue and for connecting your mind and heart to your sexual organs.

In advanced practice there is also muscle strengthening and releasing work you can do with the egg known as vaginal kung fu or vaginal weightlifting.

For more info & resources, look no further than Wild Sacred Feminine

Stimulating the Cervix

This is a deeper practice in which you create a safe sacred place to clear pain/trauma/numbness/emotions stored in the cervix, heart and sexual organs. You utilise a crystal or glass wand or fingers to gently stimulate the cervix. When you find an area of pain, tension or numbness, you soften and expand into the sensation.  This practice will also increase circulation, increase hormone delivery to the cervix and awaken its capacity for pleasure and ultimately DMT release.

To find out more about this potent practice and all things cervix , check out Awaken the Cervix

More resources to support your discovery and  re-education into the ecstatic and healing wonders of the female body are:

Olivia Bryant

Shae Elise Allen

Mamashanti

Wild Sacred Feminine / Sonja Shrada Devi

Tigress Yoga

Tantra is Love