Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle: Insights from Traditional Chinese Medicine

Having a menstrual cycle can be a confusing thing. From an early age we were taught to hide our tampons when walking to the bathroom, and most health classes didn’t do an adequate job of explaining the profound experience of menstruating. So many of us walk around not knowing when or how menstruation occurs Tuning into your unique menstrual cycle can offer valuable information about what’s going on with your body and help us in the clinic to support you. Some examples of questions we’ll ask to get clearer on what’s happening for you are; How often do you have a period? Do you know when you ovulate? Do symptoms come up for you at specific times in your cycle? What’s the quality and color of your menstrual blood?

The menstrual cycle is an incredibly intricate symphony of hormonal shifts in the body that leads to the events of ovulation and menstruation.Simply speaking, the cycle is broken down into the estrogen dominant follicular phase and the progesterone dominant luteal phase, with ovulation occurring at the middle. The whole cycle is typically around 28 days. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we see the follicular phase as the Yin time, and the luteal phase as the Yang time. In simplified terms, during the first half of the cycle we’re focusing on nourishing Qi and Blood to prepare for the event of ovulation, and during the second half we’re supporting smooth movement of the Liver to prepare for the event of menstruation.

When the menstrual cycle gets out of balance, disorders like PMS (premenstrual syndrome), PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), endometriosis, painful periods, and fibroids can arise. By supporting your body through acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, your body is more likely to ovulate and menstruate regularly and is less likely to suffer from common ailments. Here at the clinic, we offer treatments tailored to your specific symptoms. One of the ways acupuncture and herbal medicine work to regular menstrual cycles is by supporting the hormones and organ systems associated with the specific phases of your cycle. Depending on what particular issues you’re experiencing, we create a unique treatment plan for you.

Give us a call to chat about how we can support your menstrual cycle!


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