Healing Hormones with the Moon Cycle


Healing Hormones with the Moon Cycle

Getty/Rudzhan Nagiev

While the female body has a deep connection with the cycles of the moon, anyone can work with the cycles of the moon for healing. Learn how.

Hormones affect everything from menstruation to digestion, immunity to skin health, and even weight loss or gain. Stress can have a major impact on our hormones, and we live in a culture that is highly stressful and doesn’t offer a lot of time for rest and recovery.

Some stress is normal and healthy, of course. But when stress is constant or we experience ongoing stress related to a past experience, that stress can become toxic. We can address stress with counseling, lifestyle changes, and other support (like a 40-day nervous system protocol). It’s also possible to support hormone health by working with the moon cycle.

Anyone in any body can do this hormone protocol, but people who menstruate may especially benefit from it. During the menstruating years of one’s life, our hormones move through a monthly cycle. Male-bodied people have a 24-hour hormone cycle that is about the same every day, whereas female-bodied people will have very different experiences at different parts of their approximately 28-day cycle.

In general, this practice means attending to the different energies of the moon. Working with the flow of a monthly cycle rather than a daily one can help your hormonal balance to improve as you allow yourself to be more or less productive at different times in the month rather than being plagued by the guilt of not getting enough done in a single day. Taking mindful space and time to rest and reflect throughout a month may give your body a chance to release stress, rest, and cycle back towards health and wellness.

Try these practices for a few moon cycles and see how your body responds.

New Moon

The energy of the new moon begins the day before the true new moon and lasts until the day after. Traditionally, this time of month is associated with many of the qualities of menstruation, including the need for deep rest and rejuvenation, and is connected to the energy of deep winter.

The new moon is a time to dream, feel, and absorb. Many of us need more time alone, or time with people who really understand us and who we feel safe with. It’s not a great time for a party with a bunch of strangers.

If you can, nap or sleep for an extra hour or so on the new moon. If you want to move, choose gentle or restorative styles of yoga, or maybe a walk outside. Don’t push yourself during this time.

Focus on eating warm, cooked foods that are high in protein and fiber. Nutrition is very important at this time, so don’t go hungry.

Try seed cycling: Flaxseed and pumpkin seeds have nutrients that especially support the first half of the body’s monthly cycle, so consider adding a tablespoon of each (ground) into your diet daily. Even if you don’t menstruate, the fiber and nutrients in these seeds are highly beneficial. You may need to work up to eating a full two tablespoons if you don’t normally consume a lot of fiber. If you menstruate regularly, start incorporating the flax and pumpkin seeds on day 1 of your cycle.

Set intentions during the new moon, thinking about what you want to accomplish throughout the next month.

Waxing Moon

As the moon waxes, your energy likely will as well. The energy of the waxing moon begins around day 3-5 of the moon cycle and lasts until the day before the full moon. Traditionally, this parallels the follicular phase of a menstrual cycle. The waxing moon also parallels the energy of springtime.

This is a creative, extroverted, relatively high-energy time of month. Write, create, make art, and get your ideas out there into the world. Socialize, go to parties, and take (appropriate) risks.

This is a good time of the month for more vigorous movement. You’ll be able to learn and try new things and may be motivated to push yourself in alignment with your movement goals, if you have them.

Listen to your body when it comes to food. You may find you are more able to digest a range of things and want to try cooking and eating new foods around this time.

Focus on pleasure and doing what you enjoy. This is good advice to follow all month long, but you may find yourself more aligned with the pursuit of pleasure right now.

Start taking action on the intentions you set during the new moon.

Full Moon

The energy of the full moon is present the day before, the day of, and the day after the true full moon. At this time, the collective energy is at its fullest and most intense, but rather than ramping up your activity, you actually need to pause, rest, and reflect. The full moon reflects the ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle. Its parallel season is high summer.

You may feel your creative energy grind to a halt around the full moon. Now is a good time to look back at what you’ve been creating and simply observe. Think of this as the peak of a mountain hike: Pause to enjoy the view and catch your breath.

You may find you need more sleep or rest on the full moon. Alternately, you may need to work out big feelings with big movements. This could change cycle to cycle, so pay attention to what works best for you, but if you can fit in a nap or extra sleep, please do.

Continue to focus on pleasure during the full moon. This is a great time for a special date with yourself or your lover, a moment to enjoy looking back on what the last cycle has been like for you.

If you are seed cycling, switch the flax and pumpkin seeds out for ground sesame and sunflower seeds (do this on day 14 of your cycle if you menstruate regularly). Add a tablespoon of each into your diet daily until the new moon (or day 1 of your cycle).

At the full moon, we reflect on our intentions and prune back what’s not working. It’s a powerful time for letting go.

Waning Moon

The waning moon lasts from the second day after the full moon to two days before the new moon. This is a time of processing, integrating, and organizing. If you were writing during the waxing moon, you’re editing during the waning moon. Your energy will likely continue to wane closer to the new moon, so you may find you’re getting more done in the first half of the waning moon cycle than the second half. Allow for that. The waning moon reflects the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Its correlated season is autumn.

Now is the time to finish those boring tasks you didn’t want to do during the other phases of the cycle! Write the emails, plan dates, refine your offerings, fill out forms, and organize your closets.

Your energy during this time may be similar to what it was during the waxing moon, but a little more introverted, a little quieter. You may need more rest, especially closer to the new moon. You can exercise normally, but you might want to work on refining a yoga pose you learned earlier in the month rather than try out new poses. Maintain your pace and strength rather than trying to push to new levels.

Pleasure is important to focus on during this phase of the cycle, but it might not feel as natural to reach for it. Make time for gentle, quiet pleasures, like watching shows you like, snuggling with people you care about, and reading books you love.

At this point in the cycle, you will likely see the fruits of your actions in alignment with your intentions. Keep working on your goals, but if you feel your energy drain out a little bit, that’s to be expected.

By the time the new moon rolls around again, it will be time to re-enter that lovely dark space where you can consider your intentions and how you may want to adjust them.

Explore a guide to menstruating with the moon.


Yoga and mindfulness can be tools to living a richer, more meaningful life. Explore with Julie...
Read More

Continue your journey

Healing Hormones with the Moon Cycle

Enjoying this content?

Get this article and many more delivered straight to your inbox weekly.