How do bare feet affect your fertility and menstrual cycle?

We've all heard of the phrase, "COLD HANDS, WARM HEART" ... but have you ever heard, "COLD FEET.... COLD UTERUS?"

It's still winter here in Maine so wood stoves are burning and tea kettles are steaming.  We are not so lucky to have radiant heating in our floors, though, and winter floors are cold!  So we have a socks or slippers rule even though it takes some nagging for my daughters who love to be barefoot year round!  Did you know that there is an interesting effect of cold, bare feet on the health of your uterus and reproductive organs?

I remember being fascinated when sitting in my maya abdominal massage class and learning that walking around on cold floors barefoot can actually affect my uterus!   It's an issue of optimal circulation.  How many women do you know have chronically ice cold feet or hands in the winter?  Women generally run much colder than men as we have much stronger yin (inner, deep) reserves while men by nature have stronger yang (outer, active) tendencies.   So much of our LifeForce, Prana or Chi is needed to circulate and nourish our vital energy center in our pelvis and womb that the body prioritizes flow to our deepest core before warming our most outer extremities.  Our menstrual cycles ebb and flow with yin and yang energy too.  The luteal phase (post-ovulation to menstruation) is the yang phase and generally warming phase, higher body temperature while the follicular phase (post menstruation to ovulation) is considered more of a yin or building and nourishing phase.  When circulation of blood, lymph and chi are disrupted or deficient then these inner tides and rhythms can also be adversely affected.  

Poor circulation to your womb may be exhibited by the following symptoms:

  • cold hands & feet
  • Under-active thyroid
  • Low basal body temperatures
  • short luteal phase
  • pre-menstrual spotting
  • delayed ovulation
  • ovarian cysts
  • menstrual cramps
  • frequent, diluted urination
  • sluggish digestion

Basically, the energetic of cold contricts the uterus and impedes blood flow.  This is particularly true regarding return venous flow from the legs back to the abdomen which is cold feet during the coldest season can affect.   So put your slippers on already!  Other ways of warming and supporting circulation include herbal teas (in particular, raspberry leaf tea as uterine tonic, ginger or cinnamon teas), legs up the wall pose (viparita karani) and nourishing soups.