The Seven Year Cycle

In Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, women age in seven-year cycles.

The caveat to this blog post is that these descriptions are not as relevant in the Western society in the 21st century. However, it is still interesting and pertinent:

  • Creating meaningful habits to help women's minds and bodies.

  • Learning about ourselves and cultivating our own selves.

  • Rejoicing in the transitions of our lives, which are frequently disparaged such as menarche, menstruation and menopause.

For further details, I can highly recommend The Seven Year Cycle by Dr Lia Andrews.

I hope you enjoy this brief introduction to the Seven Year Cycle. Feel free to send me any questions or comment below.

I'd love if you wanted to share any suggestions for reputable food outlets within your own area?

Lots of love

Your fave (Letchworth) acupuncturist

Andrea x

0-6 years old

During these years the child will pass through all five elements and will exhibit the emotions related to those elements:

Newborn: Metal

A newborn baby will require constant attention and have all their needs met to thrive and be happy.

0 to 12 month: Water

During this phase, a child can display fear and nightmares may start.

1 to 5 years old: Wood

As the child enters the Wood phase tantrums may develop and boundaries are tested

5 years old: Fire

Will play and co-operate with friends

7 years old: Earth

In the Earth phase, the child will become more responsible, stable and organised

In children under seven years old, the Spleen will not be fully developed which means weak immunity and poor digestion.

Low immune defense

  • Avoid wind exposure (wear that scarf)

  • Get ample sleep

  • Protect the spleen (see below)

Help weak digestion

Eat foods which will be beneficial for digestion:

  • Yam / sweet potato

  • Butternut squash

  • Potatoes

  • Peas

  • Carrots

  • Green beans

  • Oats

  • Rice

  • Chicken

7 to 13 years old

During these years it is important to build a strong foundation for the years to come.


Work with your Yang energy which is strongest as the sun rises and before midday.

This means all physical activity, larger meals, bigger mental tasks should be done during this time.


During the Yin phase of the day, which is from midday to midnight, this is the time to rest and renew ourselves.

This means eating small and simple meals and relaxation.

14 to 20 years old

I have written lots about menstruation. But I love this idea of celebrating menarche.

Reframing what we consider to be a rite of passage.

I thought this film below, from @girlflu, did this just beautifully.

21 to 27 years old

A time to learn about yourself. Sexually, physically and mentally.

What a wonderful phase.

28 to 34 years old

Of course, pregnancy is not considered to only fall between these years.

I enjoyed (but also couldn't imagine it happening) the idea of 'sitting a month' after childbirth. This is not to disparage what were (and are) important ideas for postpartum recovery. Unfortunately, in the UK at least, new mothers are rarely given these opportunities to truly recover.

My experience is not the same as everyone's but this is an example of how I failed at all these things:

  • I watched two series of Peaky Blinders whilst I was strapped to a chair breastfeeding

  • I did manage to not wash my hair very often. Showering, in general, went out of the window. Or indeed any other self-care

  • I stayed warm. I had two Winter babies. And whilst I spent many hours outdoors trying to get them to nap, I was very warm having them strapped to me.

  • I cried more tears in those first few months than I did in 35 years previously

  • Staying indoors - see above. My babies liked to only sleep whilst being walked outside.

35 to 41 years old

I started studying Chinese Medicine at 37 years old. It felt like finally knowing my true self.

Some suggestions for finding these foods, which are good quality.


Based in Letchworth Garden City, this is an excellent wholesaler with a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan foods.

Bamboo Turtle

Based in Letchworth Garden City, and recently Biggleswade, they sel foods using zero waste. So take your containers and stock up on rices, pastas, nuts, seeds and household cleaners.