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The Seven Year Cycle

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

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?

Love from Andrea


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.

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.

Also based in Letchworth Garden City, this was a fabulous find on a daytime nap drive. The physical store has an incredible array of foods. I didn't know when to stop.


42 to 48 years old

I love face mapping. It is very interesting to observe what your face, which you wear every day to everyone, is really telling us.


49 to 55 years old

I will shortly be writing a post on the menopause. But it is undeniable that 'second spring' is a far more joyous way to describe this time of a peron's life.

From an acupuncturists perspective, whilst this is a natural decline unfortunately the signs and symptoms of this time are not normal.

Symptoms such as:

  • Night sweats

  • Hot flushes

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Insomnia

  • Mood changes

  • Poor memory

  • Headaches

can make this a really difficult period of someone's life.

But acupuncture might be able to help relieve these signs and symptoms.

"And compared with those who had not been given acupuncture, they were significantly less troubled by hot flushes–a difference that was already apparent after 3 weeks of ‘treatment’.
Statistically significant differences also emerged between the two groups in the severity/frequency of day and night sweats, general sweating, sleep disturbances, emotional and physical symptoms, and skin and hair problems".

56 years

Re-birth and another time to celebrate.

"what we do not realise just yet is that on the other side is all the peace and bliss we could ever want"

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