a girl age 7. The Kidney energy becomes abundant, her baby teeth are replaced by permanent ones, and the hair grows.
女子七岁。 肾气盛，齿更发长； (7岁)
2 x 7, The dew of Heaven arrives (menstruation), the Ren channel begins to flow, the Chong channel is flourishing, the periods come regularly, and she can conceive.
3 x 7, Kidney Essence peaks, the wisdom teeth come out, and growth is at its utmost.
4 x 7, Tendons and bones become strong, the hair grows longest, and the body is strong and flourishing.
5 x 7, The Yang-ming channels begin to weaken, the complexion starts to wither, and the hair begins to fall.
6 x 7, The three Yang channels are weak, the face darkens, and the hair begins to turn gray.
7 x 7 , The Ren channel is empty, the Chong channel depleted, the dew of Heaven dries up, the Earth Passage (uterus) is not open, so weakness and infertility set in.
What This Means in Practical Terms
The Jing Cycles serve as a guide for how we can care for ourselves to extend our vitality. They describe a general trend. Some individuals are born with a strong constitution and can get away with misbehaving longer, while others must always exercise caution with their health. The natural peak of vitality for most women is between the ages of 21-35. Before age 21 the body is vulnerable because it has not reached full maturity. Protective measures should be taken, particularly in early childhood, to strengthen digestion and immunity. After age 35, surplus vitality begins to wane, the sex hormones begin to drop, and rejuvenative measures should be employed.
The care of girls prior to age 7 is the same as for boys under age 8 that I describe in 7 Times a Woman. Into adulthood, the diet and lifestyle recommendations are similar to men, and vary more based on individual imbalances (disease pattern differentiation). Where maintaining vitality diverges from men is in the area of procreation.
Longterm Vitality Means Conserving Jing
We pass on the best of ourselves to our offspring through the genetic material via the egg and sperm. The egg and sperm can be viewed as a physical manifestation of our Jing. Our bodies do not differentiate between when we actually want to produce a child or not, so there will be some Jing loss for every menstruation (or gestation) and ejaculation. For this reason women must take extra care of themselves during menses and during the first month postpartum, to recuperate the loss. Men must learn to limit ejaculation based on their levels of vitality. Both men and women need to practice rejuvenation and boost their hormone levels during menopause and andropause, when sex hormones decline.
Young women should learn how to read their periods and practice Menstrual Recovery. This will balance imbalances before they progress to disease. Women must further practice Postpartum Recovery during the first month postpartum to fully recover their bodies and strengthen their baby’s vitality in the process. Women should begin taking tonic herbs and practicing rejuvenation at age 35. During perimenopause women should balance any symptoms that arise. By correcting imbalances along the way, women can improve their health in the next phase of their life.
For a synopsis of menstrual, postpartum, and menopausal care please see article The 3 Golden Opportunities. For details on care during the 7 year cycles, how to read your menstruation, and menstrual, postpartum, and menopausal care, please see the book 7 Times a Woman.