COSTA RICA — A woman is using her period blood to water her plants, in a gardening hack that she says gives back to the Earth — adding that her time of the month is “magical.”
Jessica Mckasson, 37, used to struggle with painful and heavy periods that meant she would have to take time off from work. She started looking into shamanism – a religious practice – and reconnected with her body after reading about the ancient traditions and the importance of the womb.
Now she aligns her body to her cycle, to follow the stages of menstruation, and no longer experiences any pain when menstruating. Mckasson practices an ancient tradition by collecting her menstrual blood each month and uses it to water her plants — saying it’s “good” for them.
“I used to experience the most painful, heavy periods. Now I have zero pain,” says Jessica, a menstrual cycle syncing coach, in an online video.
“I hear my own womb and I have experiences of ecstasy and magic. It can be magical. I collect my blood in my menstrual cup and empty it into a bottle and dilute it with water,” the 37-year-old explains.
“I go outside and express my gratitude for Mother Nature. It’s sacred and something celebrated. It’s truly the most beautiful gift,” Jessica adds.
Jessica says she used to “cry” herself to sleep before she improved her relationship with her body by looking into shamanism.
“It led me on a deep journey. Sharman’s believe a woman’s womb is the most important and powerful thing. Before, I had never understood what it means to be a woman,” Mckasson continues.
“I grew up never talking about periods and thinking it was a disadvantage. But women’s blood is a symbol of abundance and health. My body is creating something – creating life. It’s truly mind blowing.”
Jessica’s discovery “shifted” her relationship with her body, and she now aligns herself to the four phases of the menstrual cycle – menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. Menstruation is commonly known as a period. The follicular phase is from the first day of your period and lasts for 13 to 14 days. The ovulation phase is when a mature egg is released from an ovary. The luteal phase is when the lining of the uterus thickens in preparation for pregnancy.
“I know that in the luteal phase I’ll experience brain fog. Now I know what to expect,” Jessica says.
She now practices an ancient tradition of giving her blood back to the Earth.
“Women used to free bleed,” Jessica explains. “They would walk through the crops with the blood running down their legs into the earth. They saw what it did to the land.”
Now, Jessica does this in her own way as a “symbolic practice.” She collects her blood, dilutes it with water, and pours it into the plants.
“It has incredible properties. It’s good for the plants,” the menstrual cycle syncing coach notes.
Jessica says she also wants to stop the shame surrounding periods.
“It’s seen as gross and disgusting. It’s associated with so much shame. But it’s the same way that we get pregnant.”
Jessica now “honors” her body and believes she is now able to live a “vibrant life.” Since aligning her body with her cycle, she has “zero pain” from her periods.
“It’s like clockwork now. It’s four to five days and I have no back pain, cramps or anything. It ended the quest for love for my body.”
Scientists reveal why some women experience migraines during menstrual cycles
For those women who still go through a great deal of pain while having their period, a recent study may explain why.
Migraines are a particular problem for women around or during their period. Overall, they affect women at triple the rate of men. A team in Berlin found that women with migraines tend to have higher levels of the migraine-triggering neurotransmitter calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) during menstruation.
“Animal models suggest that fluctuations in female hormones, especially estrogen, lead to an increased release of CGRP, an inflammatory neurotransmitter, in the brain,” explains study lead Dr. Bianca Raffaelli of the Headache Center at the Department of Neurology with Experimental Neurology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin’s Mitte campus, in a media release.
“CGRP’s full name is calcitonin gene-related peptide. It is a naturally occurring substance in the body, and when a person has a migraine attack, increasing levels are released, significantly dilating – or widening – the blood vessels in the brain. This causes an inflammatory response that could be one of the reasons behind the severe headaches people experience with migraine.”
South West News Service writer Emma Dunn contributed to this report.