Updated: Nov 26, 2021
Menstrual Cycle Awareness (MCA) is a non-clinical practice that enables a deep understanding of each day, in each phase, of an individual cycle. It is the process of menstrual cycle charting, coupled with a new and relatable common language to describe the experience.
Simple daily practice: which day am I?
MCA is a self-help technique much like mindfulness, in that it enables you to look more objectively at what you are experiencing depending on the day of your cycle. For example, after practicing MCA, you may decide to not exercise near menstruation and not feel bad about it, or decide to intentionally let your hair down in the middle of your cycle. MCA aids the ability for you to enjoy deep rest and be at your most productive, it can help with diet, exercise and relaxation, reduce the pressures you may feel, help you to become more confident, and be more accepting of who you are.
Menstrual Cycle Awareness (MCA) was pioneered by my teachers, Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlizer, founders of the Red School. Alexandra Pope perfectly describes the menstrual cycle as "your unique and in-built number one self-care tool".
More than menstrual cycle charting
There are plenty of online apps and tools, as well as good old paper calendars and journals to help us track our menstrual cycles so we know when menstruation is due and record cyclical symptoms.
Menstrual Cycle Awareness goes further than this, it is a process that, as well as helping to chart the cycle, enables you to sync your cycle with your everyday life and even bring the energy (and power) of your cycle to your situation. Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlizer speak about these processes in more details in their book Wild Power.
Alleviation of menstrual suffering
I have adapted the teaching of MCA so that it is tailor-made for those I work with and focuses on mental health wellbeing and alleviating menstrual suffering. My menstrual health on social prescription courses encourage peer-support, listening partnerships, regular check-ins and the setting of realistic goals aligned with your motivations.
MCA can be practised alongside medication, including antidepressants, mood stabilisers and hormonal contraception.
Debilitating menstrual symptoms are not normal, always seek professional medical care.
"Menstrual Cycle Awareness is the exciting new revolution in women's health and wellbeing. A foundational practice for awakening essential self care, reducing stress and easing or healing menstrual health problems.
We are thrilled to see Menstrual Cycle Awareness taught and prescribed in the NHS Social Prescription programme created by Kate Shepherd Cohen.
An innovation for our times - offering a natural, cost effective solution for mental, emotional and physical health - that will empower all menstruators."
Alexandra Pope & Sjanie Hugo Wurlizer, creators of Menstrual Cycle Awareness and founders of the Red School.