The Importance of the Menstrual Cycle in Women’s Health
Women deserve to have comprehensive healthcare — including understanding how menstrual cycles affect their health. Unfortunately, modern medicine doesn’t emphasize the significance of menstrual cycles in women’s health. Women are consistently prescribed hormonal birth control to remedy hormone imbalances.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the menstrual cycle is the first thing practitioners consider when treating women. Here’s everything you need to know about the menstrual cycle and how it impacts women’s health:
What is a Menstrual Cycle?
There’s a common misconception that a woman goes through a menstrual cycle only when menstruating, but that’s not true. Menstrual cycles last approximately 28 to 35 days and contain four phases.
During puberty, women begin having menstrual cycles and continue having these cycles for approximately 40 years. These 40 years are deemed the “Reproductive Blossom Time” in Chinese culture. Women stop getting menstrual cycles after menopause. Take a moment to think about how the menstrual cycle continuously affects women’s bodies for a large portion of their life. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) realizes the menstrual cycle’s constant impact on the body and works to find naturopathic ways to remedy any discomfort that comes with it.
Phase One: Menstrual Flow
The cycle begins with menstrual flow. During this period (pun intended), women will experience bleeding for approximately six days or so. The body sheds the lining of the uterus to make room for new blood to regenerate.
Ancient Chinese medicine recognizes this phase as a time for transformation as the inner workings of the uterus work to regenerate. The spleen is directly related to transformation because it works to filter blood and remove any old or damaged red blood cells. You can nourish your body by avoiding sugary foods that may cause period pain or other unpleasant symptoms. It’s best to rest, do some light stretching, eat warm foods, and drink lots of water to aid your body in eliminating excess fluids during this time.
Phase Two: Preovulatory
The second phase of the cycle is called pre-ovulatory — this begins after the last day of your period and before ovulation. You’ll be in this phase of your cycle from approximately days 6-12. New blood is preparing the uterus for a potential pregnancy during this time!
In Ancient Chinese medicine, the pre-ovulatory phase is when the yin and blood recharge. Since this is the yin stage of your cycle, your body will benefit if you nourish it by participating in slow and intentional activities that bring you fulfillment.
Phase Three: Ovulation
During ovulation, kidney function increases and stimulates the ovaries. This phase takes place around days 13-17 of your menstrual cycle. The last phase was yin — whereas this is the yang phase! You’ll likely feel the most energy during this duration, so please embrace the newfound energy.
Phase Four: Premenstural
For the last phase consisting of days 18-28, you’ll notice that your yang energy will continue to grow, increasing your strength and vitality, and then will slowly start to subside. We recommend preparing for your upcoming menstrual flow while you still have adequate levels of energy. Prepping will look different for every woman — but it may include activities like nutritious meal prepping, continuing to exercise lightly, and drinking plenty of fluids. This is the phase where many women experience PMS and other unwanted symptoms. The most important thing to do during this time is to listen to your body! Your body will then begin in the menstrual phase all over again.
Ancient Chinese Medicine Techniques to Help Women’s Menstrual Cycles
Many clinics offer solutions for women experiencing menstrual cycle problems like IUDs, pills, and even surgeries to help alleviate the symptoms. Here’s the big issue: these ‘solutions’ are often linked with various unwanted side effects.
Traditional Chinese acupuncture treatments help alleviate the painful symptoms associated with women’s menstrual cycles — without all of those side effects!
Acupuncture is a holistic solution to helping regulate and maintain healthy menstrual cycles. The Chinese term 针灸 is used to describe using needles to stimulate blood flow and energy flow by placing them on acupoints that allow qi (the life force) to connect the body and organs to work in unison.
Acupuncture is used to better women’s health as it stimulates blood flow, circulation, energy levels, and the immune system. Acupuncture is also said to cultivate the balance of yin and yang within the body!
Menstrual Cycles Significantly Impact Women’s Health
Acupuncture benefits women’s health — and everyone’s overall health. We would love for you to experience traditional Chinese medicine practices that have successfully helped women’s bodies regulate menstrual cycles for thousands of years.
We are conveniently located in Central Florida.
To schedule an appointment or learn more contact us at email@example.com or 689-226-0156