Blog

A Happy Reading on Happy Bleeding

Welcome to Shark Week Chicas! You know how we’re always blabbing about destigmatizing periods? Wondering when that is gonna happen? This week, we’re getting dirty. Let’s talk about blood blood bloodit’s time for BATTLE. (A content warning for those of you that might find this topic uncomfortable. But we encourage you to read on for delightfully juicy content!)

Cassidy: To My Menstruating Missus,

I bled through my jeans last night. It took me by complete surprise, which is generally the case, but this time was different. The “oh shit” feeling of abruptly getting your period—especially in a public space—is a very distinct one. Almost similar to peeing your pants, in the sense that your panties are suddenly soaked and you feel like there is a bright spotlight on your ass calling attention to the fact that you had the AUDACITY to menstruate. Except you couldn’t hold it in if you tried, and the aftermath is significantly harder to clean. It’s usually an excruciatingly embarrassing and uncomfortable experience.

Last night, I genuinely thought I had peed my pants. I kid you not. And when I realized I had, instead, stained my new lacy number from Target with the corpse of my intrauterine lining, I honestly was kinda excited. I haven’t bled, like really bled, in two years—ever since I got a hormonal IUD shoved up into my uterus. I’d almost forgotten what it was like. Like hey, it’s been a while. It feels like greeting an old friend, I told my roommate. And then I went out dancing.

Contemporary birth control has completely transformed the period experience. Along with many other *modern* menstruators, I was pretty stoked about being able to cut my period out of my life. Before Chica, my period was not what you would call a great time. And I couldn’t help but hate it. In sharp contrast to most people who hate their periods, however, I was blessed with a mother who raised me to regard bleeding as sacred and a source of power rather than shame. She even held a surprise “Red Tent” party when I first got my period. The influential femmes in my life showed up at our house, wearing red and ready to welcome me into some weird hippie thing called “sacred womanhood.”

Did you know that Hallie from Lunar Wild had the same experience? We spent the majority of our phone call last week reflecting on the power of a period-positive parent holding space for your first encounter with what the hell is this in my pants and why does it suck so much? In retrospect, I can acknowledge what a privilege that was. At the time, I was just so totally embarrassed and wanted to be left to detest my uterus in peace.

Yesterday was the first time I can remember truly loving my period, in all its messiness. Considering I am half of the executive crew for this company, one would think that this would have happened sooner. But I apparently needed to have a good long break to realize that I missed bleeding every month. It was as cathartic as a good cry.

Our mission as a brand and a company is to help people everywhere “love their period.” I’ve had some people confess to me that they think that is a stretch. Look forward to eating chocolate, sure. Get stoked on less pain and suffering, sure. Love the period itself? Maybe not. But I think loving your period is a process, a conscious and intentional one that is as difficult as learning to properly accept yourself. To listen to and take care of and honor your body is a radical form of self love. And how incredible it is to approach your period without fear. You are powerful, baby. You are a warrior, coated in blood, paying homage to your power to renew.

I know we’re synced because our “Eat Chica” reminders pop up at the same time on our calendar. How is your #chicaweek going?

A toast to wearing our new Thinx together,

Cass

Elise: To the winner of Sexiest Pant Stain,

As you know, I was want to be reckless in high school and enjoyed experimenting, and one day I decided to stop taking ibuprofen during my period. That’s not an easy habit to stop. I used to get really aggravating back pain and it made it difficult to sit in class during my period. I had to grit my teeth and acknowledge that my period was really happening. Instead of hiding my back pain, I chose to completely listen to how my body feels while transitioning into a new cycle. My favorite part of my period is spending time with my own tenderness, a reminder to touch myself softly. When I stopped taking over-the-counter painkillers, my period pain did not go away completely, but it did improve, which I celebrated. However, the experiment did not last forever, as high school was an environment where I didn’t need to focus as much. I transitioned back into taking ibuprofen once college and work made it so that I told myself I didn’t have time to move slower.

Chica has been an opportunity to return to paying close attention to my natural rhythm. My mom never held a first bleeding party (she was out of town for both of her daughter’s firsts), but she did push me to think critically about the effects of hormonal birth control. Because of my mom, I learned of other ways to control contraception without using hormones, and I’ve never lost touch with my monthly rhythm. However, it still feels like an old friend is returning to say hello. Plus, now that I have cute reusable products to wear (like my Cute Fruit Undies that let me bleed on Pence’s face) I have virtually no dread of not being prepared.

I love hearing that you were a little punk and happy to find a red stain. I once spotted on my white tennis skirt and unabashedly twirled around in it. What can I say, we had just started Chica, and I was on a high of loving my period. I still am. Paying attention to our own rhythms is not just about bleeding, but also everything that happens in between, which more often than not causes us to question whether or not we are peeing our pants. We can inspect our own fluids and learn to tell whether we are ovulating, etc. After all, our menstrual cycle is an ever-repeating 28-days, and our bodies are nice enough to show us exactly where we are – if we want to pay attention.

#mychicaweek is going just swimmingly. Will you still be eating your Chica when you get home on Thursday? I want to cheers you!

Love,

Elise

Image: Bertil Nilsson

Poria

Fungus & Root

Scierotium Poriae Cocos / Fu Ling / 茯苓 Scierotium Pararadicis Poriae Cocos / Fu Shen / 茯神

Poria calms the heart and soothes nerves, helping with anxiety and insomnia. Additionally, Poria drains dampness, an excess of moisture that the body collects in the wrong places and makes us feel heavy and fatigued (hello moodiness).

Chinese Salvia

Root

Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae / Dan Shen / 丹參

Salvia root nourishes the blood and heart, and calms the spirit. Salvia works with Schisandra and Zizyphus in Chica Chill to help relieve insomnia.

Rehmannia

Root

Radix Rehmanniae Preparata / Sheng Di Huang / 熟地黄

Rehmannia root is your Yin nourisher, supporting calm and cold in your system. With its additional ability to help cool blood, increase fluids, and clear heart fire; Rehmannia is a star herb for soothing and preventing heat flashes.

Polygala / Thin-Leaf Milkwort

Root

Radix Polygalae Tenuifoliae / Yuan Zhi / 元志

Polygala root nourishes the Heart, and helps soothe nerves and restlessness.

Schisandra / Chinese Magnolia

Berry

Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis / Wu Wei Zi / 五味子

Schisandra berry is famous for featuring all five flavors of Traditional Chinese Medicine: bitter, sweet, salty, sour, hot. This means that Schisandra is completely energetically balanced, promoting overall health and vitality. Schisandra helps relieve night sweats, insomnia, and hormonal imbalances. Schisandra is also rich in antioxidants that are thought to protect from free radicals and other toxins in the environment that may cause cellular damage. 

Platycodon / Balloon Flower

Root

Radix Platycodi / Jie Geng / 桔梗

Platycodon root is a neutral balancing herb, meaning it is not especially Yin or Yang. Platycodon is nourishing for the lungs, which in TCM, is the organ that supports Qi and fluid flow throughout the body.

Scrophularia / Figwort

Root

Radix Scrophulariae / Xuan Shen / 玄參

Scrophularia root nourishes Yin, drains fire, and cools the blood. Scrophularia is particularly soothing for irritability.

Ophiopogon / Dwarf Lilyturf

Tuber

Tuber Ophiopogonis Japonici / Mai Men Dong / 麦门冬

Ophiopogon tuber works with Asparagus to nourish Yin and clear heat throughout the system. These plants also provide moisture and relieve restlessness.

Stemona

Root

Radix Stemonae / Bai Bu / 百部

Stemona root is a balancing herb in the Chica Chill formula. Stemona is nourishing for the lungs, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is the organ that supports Qi and fluid flow throughout the body.

Licorice

Root

Radix Glycyrrhizae / Gan Cao / 甘草

Licorice acts as a unifier, balancing the formula and amplifying the properties of the other herbs.

Zizyphus / Sour Jujube

Seed

Semen Zizyphi Spinosae / Suan Zao Ren / 酸枣仁

Zizyphus seed nourishes the heart and calms the spirit. Zizyphus helps relieve insomnia, irritability, and anxiety.

Ginseng

Root

Radix Ginseng / Ren Shen / 人参

Ginseng root, one of the most famous herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is known for its ability to strengthen Qi and support life vitality. Ginseng nourishes the Heart and calms the spirit, helping reduce anxiety and insomnia.

Acorus / Grassleaf Sweetflag

Rhizome

Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii / Shi Chang Pu / 石菖蒲

Acorus helps relieve internal heat and is a favorite herb for reducing frequent insomnia.

Eucommia / Chinese Rubber Tree

Bark

Cortex Eucommiae Ulmoidis / Du Zhong / 杜仲

Eucommia bark balances the Chica Chill formula by offering Yang properties. Eucommia is also nourishing for the heart, and has been featured in research in Western medicine for its ability to help lower blood pressure.

Angelica / Dong Quai

Root

Radix Angelicae Sinensis / Dong Quai / 当归

Angelica root is sometimes described as the “female ginseng,” due to its fame for supporting a healthy and regular menstrual cycle. Angelica root strengthens blood and energizes circulation. In Chica Chill, Angelica root balances the herbal formula with its Yang properties.

Biota / Arborvitae

Seed

Semen Platycladi / Bai Zi Ren / 柏子仁

Biota seed benefits memory and promotes restful sleep by nourishing the heart and calming the spirit.

Chinese Asparagus

Tuber

Tuber Asparagi Cochinensis / Tian Men Dong / 天门冬

Asparagus root works with Ophiopogon to nourish Yin and clear heat throughout the system. These plants also provide moisture and relieve restlessness.