Sex hormones are Yin (if you don’t understand what I’m talking about, check the post #1 later: Duality ). There’re hell a lot of sex hormones, but we’ll talk about 2 of them:
Estrogen = Ginger Rogers
Progesterone = Fred Astaire
Some sex hormones are more yin than others. Well, estrogen (Ginger) is more yin than progesterone (Fred). Traditional Chinese Medicine is calling ‘Ginger’ – YIN WITHIN YIN. It provides nourishment, beauty and lubrication. ‘Fred’ or progesterone – more YANG WITHIN YIN. As we also know, Fred is leading the dance of YIN, providing balance to ‘Ginger’.
Estrogen: Yin within Yin
It is ultimately juicy hormone. Every single tissue in the body has been found to contain estrogen, because every tissue needs nourishment. In general, estrogen is naturally synthesized in the body (either ovaries or the adrenal glands).
Fact: it is possible for an overweight woman to have more estrogen than a thin woman (because it is found in fat tissues) OPS! Doesn’t mean you are allowed to eat a cake today! NO. Only chocolate – 85%
With all the sources of estrogen production it is hard to imagine that we could ever have a shortage of estrogen. But we can!
Too little estrogen = dry skin, hot flashes, night sweats
Too much estrogen = gain of weight, feel lethargic, get depressed, lose the libido, develop fibrocystic or tender breasts, retain water, increased chance of cancer
So what our bodies need is THE RIGHT QUANTITY of yin.
Progesterone: Yang within Yin
Just as Ginger follows Fred’s lead in the dance, estrogen follows progesterone’s lead. Example: the body can make estrogen from progesterone, but it CAN NOT make progesterone from estrogen. So keep Fred safe or you are screwed.
Effects of progesterone on the body:
– it balances the effect of estrogen (balancing force).
– it protect and support: helps burn fat for energy, is a natural diuretic, normalises blood clotting, prevents cancer, bone destiny.
– progesterone begins to decline at about the age 35 in women.
– it can create more cortisol in your body.
To recap: to have ‘estrogen dominance’ is more common and more troublesome. Progesterone keeps the estrogen in check-and-balance so it does not become dominant. Progesterone can create more cortisol in the body.
Stress Hormones are Yang
Adrenaline and Cortisol ( + DHEA: hormone that balances cortisol) = 2 main players for yang.
Cortisol = Fred Flinstone
DHEA = his wife Wilma
Adrenaline = Mr Nobody
Whenever adrenaline increases – cortisol levels rise! (so if Fred suddenly see Mr Nobody touching Wilma – he becomes mad). Adrenaline provides a short-term stress response and decreases quickly. Cortisol increases and stay active longer (yeah, so even if Mr Nobody GONE, our Fred is still MAD). So the more often we have adrenaline surges (stressed) – the more cortisol is released. In general, YOUR SURVIVAL is due to the successful working of cortisol in your body (Thanks, Fred!) If high stress becomes a way of life – cortisol becomes a permanent guest in your body, and excess of guests in the house is always a big problem lol
Cortisol: Yang Within Yang
It controls the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, protein, plays important role in infection-fighting, blood sugar balance, immune response, thinking. It is also loud, overexcitable and hard to get ride of (just like Fred Flinstone). Even if you feel peaceful after stress – you are still drenched in stress hormones.
!!! Because there’s NO WAY to instantly turn off the yang stress reaction that had been turned on during long time.
In excess: risk of depression, osteoporosis, weight loss or gain, problems in the cardiovascular system, high blood pressure, accelerated aging.
The crunch comes when we don’t have enough of stress hormones available to satisfy the huge demand of them. And often the way to get more is to sacrifice our sex hormones (Good bye, Fred Astaire!) by transforming them into stress hormones (Hello, Fred Flinstone!).
Want to support healthy-quality yang? Breathe fresh air, be outside in the nature and engage in exercises that focus on smooth movements (I know if exercise doesn’t include fast movement of profuse sweating, many of us feel as we are cheating). But thats not true!
Understand How Yin and Yang Hormones Interact
1. The body works the way a hospital does: emergencies get priority. The body enjoys the nourishment of yin, but priority goes to yang. Because we have to survive a hungry lion, a fifteen – foot wind or an argument with a child.
Sex-hormones are nice but stress hormones are essential!
This is how our body’s natural intelligence views things.
It prioritizes stress hormones!
2. We know that progesterone (Fred Astaire) can be used to make cortisol when needed. But stress hormones can not return the favour (Fred Flinstone just doesn’t give a fk!). So when we are under chronic or extreme stress – all resources are located to support YANG and produce cortisol. Not surprising our organs burn out after a while (especially endocrine organs, thyroid and pancreas)… they have limitations. And burn out means => our body can’t produce enough of sex or stress hormones.
It is OUT of Balance!
3. Our hormonal activity reflects the level of satisfaction we have with the choices we’ve made and the lives we are living. They are inextricably linked (so don’t say ‘thats all the life’, because it’s you!) Stop living life you don’t like. It’s not like if you are suffering now so you can enjoy life later. ‘Later’ is too late. Take care about your body now and stop the causes of stagnation for your QI (chi) or Prana-life force.
Stop and smell the roses! 😉
From the book of ‘Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life’ Dr Claudia Welch
Next post – Book Review and the plan for the week check here: Weekly Brainteaser