Day 21 - Autumn {Premenstrual phase}

Natalie Burtenshaw | 12 March, 2021

            Day 21 - Autumn {Premenstrual phase}

Join me #28daywelcomebackyourcycleawarenesschallenge

This 28 day challenge was born from a place of welcoming back the whole month of a woman's cycle. Often, it's just the time of menstruation that we give any consideration to our cycle. Our complete cycle is the inner compass to our bodies needs, and a guide to living a more balanced, meaningful connected life.

Day 21 - Autumn {Premenstrual phase}

Moon 1.0% - in Libra

Luteal Stage 

Oestrogen and Progesterone decrease

Creative phase

As my egg was not fertilised, levels of Oestrogen are decreasing. Progesterone peaks and drops very quickly. Without the high levels of hormones, my womb lining that has been built up starts to break down. This is the start of my next period and the beginning of my next menstrual cycle.

Progesterone stimulates the respiratory rate, meaning that in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, carbon dioxide levels drop by around 25 percent . Any extra stress can cause breathing to speed up even further when CO2 levels are already low, and this creates a range of symptoms that are commonly interpreted as premenstrual syndrome.

Even though I have just entered this phases, I can certainly feel the shift. My breath feels a little anxious and I am feeling a little overwhelmed.

Today I have missed my meditation and exercise routine, because I was in a fluster about an issue that came about (nothing too drastic) but I felt a little out of my depth about how to handle it.

 This is where I moved over to my Breathwork for the Premenstrual Phase (please see below)


Day 21 Rituals
  • HIIT class (Missed this class)
  • Pink Moon Tea
  • Cold Shower
  • Meditation (Missed this)
  • Breath Holds (Very important)


Inspired Action
Power Statement; I am feeling calm.
Body Statement;  I am in flow.
Grateful; I am grateful for the breathwork techniques and understanding of my bodies anatomy, to bring me back to balance.


Flow; N/A
Emotions; Feeling overwhelmed
Overall Energy; My energy levels are at about 60 percent.
Other Symptoms; Panic breath
BOLT Score; 12.1 
Temperature; 36.1
Slept; Woke a number of times
Dreamt; Yes



Breathwork for the Premenstrual Phase 

* Breath Holds

By holding the breath for short periods of time, the gas nitric oxide (NO) slightly pools inside the nasal cavity and the gas carbon dioxide (CO2) slightly increases in the blood. Upon resumption of breathing, breathe in so as to carry NO from the nasal cavity into the lungs. As you hold your breath, you may feel a light hunger for air. This signifies that the gas CO2 is increasing in your blood. Both gases play an important role in opening airways, improving blood circulation and allowing more oxygen to be delivered to the cells. This exercise is ideal for a warm up, to help reduce stress, asthma symptoms and breathing recovery following physical exercise



  • Sit on a chair and imagine a piece of string gently pulling you upwards towards the ceiling. 
  • Imagine and feel the space between your ribs widening. 


  • Take a normal breath in and out through the nose.
  • As you breathe out, pinch your nose with your fingers to hold the breath for 5 seconds. 5,4,3,2,1
  • Let go of your nose and breathe in and out through your nose for ten seconds. 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
  • Repeat

As you hold your breath nitric oxide pools inside the nasal cavity. Breathing in after 

the breath hold will carry nitric oxide into the lungs. There it will help open the airways and improve oxygen uptake in the blood.

You should not feel stressed while doing the exercise. If the air hunger is too much, 

then hold the breath for 3 seconds only.


    • Calming exercise in times of stress
    • Emergency exercise to help with asthma, panic attack & hyperventilation


    * Studies in rats have shown that withdrawal of the female hormone progesterone increased susceptibility to panic-related anxiety, indicating that the lower levels of progesterone during the days before the period may be a trigger.

    The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are directly related to hyperventilation. In a 2006 study it was found that women with PMS experience a much greater decline in blood carbon dioxide in the premenstrual phase than women who do not experience symptoms.

    As progesterone increases and blood CO2 decreases, symptoms appear. When the luteal phase ends, progesterone decreases, CO2 levels normalize, and symptoms disappear.


    *Copyright © 2017 Patrick McKeown


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