Menstrual issues is one of my favorite topics! For most women, the menstrual cycle has a big impact on our daily lives. Once in a while I'll see a woman who is not affected by her menstrual cycle at all, but this is very rare. The way it affects women can be irritability, cramps, fatigue, food cravings, emotional outbursts, migraine headaches, insomnia, etc.
In Chinese medicine, a healthy menstrual cycle is vital to women's health, fertility, and healthy menopause. I ask every female patient about their menstrual cycle or history of it even if that is not why they see me because it gives a lot of information about their overall health. The menstrual cycle should ideally correspond to the moon cycle - 28 days from the start of one cycle to the next. A healthy cycle is regular, no to little pain, and no blood clotting.
Many women take birth control pills to regulate their periods. If the woman has been on the pill before, she sometimes faces some problems when she stops. It can be irregular cycle, painful periods, excessive bleeding, etc. Usually it takes 2-3 cycles to get yourself back to the normal cycle. It is a great time to get acupuncture treatment when you're getting off the pill to help you ease back to your normal cycle.
What you can do to ease the menstrual problems...
Even if you crave them, it is better to stay away from sugar, refined carbohydrates, and dairy. During the period, take care of yourself. If you can, schedule less activity and rest more. It is important that you avoid cold & raw food during this time. Cold congeals things. While you're menstruating, we want the blood to flow smoothly, not congeal. A lot of time, women feel better with heat during this time because heat helps the smooth flow of blood. So, please avoid ice cream, ice cold water, raw vegetables, and cold food.
Of course, a healthy diet and regular exercise can always help. Exercise is especially important for those who experience irritability and breast tenderness. From a Chinese medicine point of view, irritability and breast tenderness are caused by stagnation. Exercises are a wonderful, natural way to release some of the stagnation.
Acupuncture and herbal formula work beautifully with the natural cycle of women. They nourish the body after the period, promote an ovulation, get the body ready for the period, and help the smooth blood flow during the period
Licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and a mom of two wonderful boys who taught me a lot about unconditional love