Many women think it's normal to experience menstrual symptoms like bloating, painful periods, breast tenderness, mood changes, and fatigue.
While menstrual symptoms are common, they are not normal – and they respond well to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
TCM considers a normal menstrual cycle to be between 26 and 32 days, but without any of the above symptoms. There should also be no clots or spotting.
In general, women who eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and are emotionally balanced are less likely to have menstrual issues.
Here are some general tips to maintaining a healthy menstrual cycle:
- Avoid things which may disrupt hormonal balance e.g. physical and emotional stress, excessive exercise, soy products, hormone-based contraceptives, non-organic meat and dairy.
- Do more gentle exercises during menstruation, and avoid lifting. More vigorous exercise is appropriate before menstruation, when mood changes, bloating and breast tenderness may occur due to the liver energy stagnating.
- Avoid sexual intercourse during menstruation. In TCM, this causes Qi and blood stagnation, and contributes to period pain and endometriosis.
- Use pads instead of tampons as tampons disrupt blood flow.
- Avoid consuming cold food and drinks, and exposure to the cold e.g. swimming or sitting on cold surfaces during menstruation. In TCM, the cold weakens the spleen, an organ which influences the menstrual cycle, and obstructs the flow of Qi.
Apart from being distressing, menstrual disorders are often associated with fertility problems.
Both are functional disorders caused by an imbalance in the system, often associated with lifestyle factors e.g. physical and emotional stress, unhealthy eating, and so on.
They are usually not associated with any pathological changes to organ systems in the body. TCM is directed towards restoring balance to the body.
For this reason, both menstrual disorders and fertility problems respond very well to acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy.
This article is for educational purposes only. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any conditions. If you are seeking medical advice, please consult a licensed medical practitioner.
Jinny Koh is an experienced acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, and specialises in women's health. For more information or to book a session, contact Jinny on 0405 699 382 or firstname.lastname@example.org