For me I have long been a misogynist. As a woman this almost seems like a bit of a "hate crime". But I have female friends, I have relatives and other female associates that I have no problems with. It's the "gender in general" that irks me. But the truth is not that I really hate women, I hate some of the negative things they engender. The backstabbing, flakiness, oneupmanship and various other conniving and manipulative qualities some use. This is not to say that men don't do the same things at times, and everyone has their "asshole" moments. But as a woman I am intimately familiar with many of the inner workings of the female mind. It honestly sickens me to a good point as well, how could they?! While I tend to shy away from the strictly "traditional" thoughts on the feminine, I do not deny that they for many generations and in originality have been true. The relation of the feminine to nurturing, the elements of water & earth (which nurture and help things grow), and the emotional are true to form in many cases. While men can nurture, when they do it's often not in the same fashion of expression as the feminine. And not every woman is "feminine" in these way. Some are much more detached and model it seems after the traditional masculine forms more than the feminine.
But for the sense of being basic, we'll stick with "traditional" gender models.
This hatred I have long had, and really can't think of when I might have developed it but certain sometime during adolescence. While I won't say that the seeds weren't planted by poor female modeling by my mother, the effects weren't set to bear until later. Needless to say, around such time I also developed some very bad menstrual issues. At the time I was not aware of any connection and knew virtually nothing about holistic health or viewing things in that way. But now it seems "so clear" the issues with the feminine and my physical issues with what biologically makes me female.
For me my menstrual issues came in the form of intense pain at the beginning of each cycle of bleeding. So intense that I had to miss school and work and would write on the floor. I would scream and cry in pain and as it progressed through the year it became steadily worse. I had even gotten to the point where I'd tried to knock myself unconscious just so I wouldn't feel the pain anymore. I often commented that that was one of the one times where you didn't want to see me because I looked so bad. And there was nothing I could do - no amount of over the counter medications would touch the pain and even a narcotic would merely take a small amount of the edge of and make me not care, but if I started moving around too much the pain would come in full force and it'd be just as bad as if I'd taken nothing.
While some things seemed to lessen it, it was more it not being exacerbated as much than it being lessened. While many women crave chocolate (due to it having a chemical in it which is molecularly similar to something which supposedly helps to relax the muscles) for me it causes cramping and thusly the pain to be worse, to the nth degree. Even the smallest amount of it - like a chocolate chip - will worsen the symptoms and the more I have the week prior the worse off I would be. Even though I would often crave it and not clue into why at the time. I also noticed that if I had a lot of dairy it would also worsen the symptoms a bit too. So I learned to try and remember to avoid those things in excess the week before. I wasn't always successful as I would often not even think about what I was doing at the time, but when I did remember it helped. I also tried a supplement for a time called Maca Root - which helped some but again when I remembered to take it and I had to build it up a few days before and with an irregular menstruation it could be hard to tell exactly when it would happen.
However, despite the minimal relief these things seemed to afford me it wasn't enough and it didn't take even half of the issue away. So for years I dreaded the time, tried to remember to avoid certain foods and just take it easy (it's also proven that certain exercises done right before menstruation can cause pain to be worse) and bear it.
Then one day, after I'd come to start working with and studying holistic healing I came across some literature speaking about the relation of certain emotions to the body and illnesses. One example was the Chinese thought of the relation of fear & the kidneys. (And incidentally that year I had been dealing with a lot of fear and had some very recurrent kidney problems...) Continuing with this research I related to the uterus, and general female organs. I gave it thought and realized that my hatred and issues with women were being transferred to my own body and the "female" parts of myself. Also to note all of my life most of my "issues" seem to focus on the left side (versus the right) which is also related to the feminine. The revelation was amazing to me at the time. Despite being a very emotional person it had never occurred to me to connect my emotional state with how I physically felt, even though I knew there to be a connection on some level.
As I worked to come to terms with the issues, to realize my problem with women, acknowledge and sit with it and realize just what it was (that it wasn't really women but some of the negative stigmas I associated with the gender) I found a significant relief in my symptoms. While they are not fully gone, I have really not worked as closely and deeply with releasing these feelings towards women. But the relief is immense compared to everything else I have tried to date.
So while not every woman may have their menstrual issues, whatever they may be, due to the relation of how they deal with and feel about women, it's definitely interesting food for thought. Another connection I've made is with anger and heartburn. I often describe anger as "an acid that eats away at whatever it touches" to clients. And from my severe issues with heartburn I realize that it is lack of compassion due to extreme inwardly turned anger (eg, I don't express my anger so it gets internalized), at myself and others, that is one of the causes of it. Yes spicey foods, and for me too much sugar will also cause it, as will eating and then lying down. But to have it without doing these things, without even have eaten there had to be something else and there it was.
So when you're feeling ill, in pain, etc I urge you to "sit with" that feeling. Looking at it beyond the physical, what thoughts or feelings does it make you think of? What would you relate it to? Shame? Anger? Hate? Sorrow? Betrayal? Think of where you might be harboring that feeling and see if it relates to the body area or a chakra related to the body area in question. How long have you been feeling this? Does it correlate to how long you've had the physical issue? Does it seem to exacerbate it a problem that while it may have other causes, definitely is sometimes worse than other times...? Really sit with and meditate with it and you might be well surprised at what you discover about yourself.
You are the healer, you are the power, You can do it!