Women's Health: The Monthly Cycle

From an Eastern medicine perspective, a woman’s menstrual cycle tells so much about what is going on in the body. Is your pain before, during or after your period? Each one tells me something different about you. Is the pain in the front, in the back, on the sides or all of the above? Again, each one provides a clue as to what is out of balance in your body. Often, emotional symptoms such as irritability, anger or weepiness occur before, during or after the cycle and wreak havoc in personal and professional relationships. Some women only have 2 weeks a month when they feel normal. Many women come to see me with menstrual complaints. Their flow is too heavy (menorrhagia), it’s painful (dysmenorrhea), the cycle is irregular and many more.

One patient came to me with a heavy flow she’d had for many years, for which surgery was recommended. After a couple of cycles with both acupuncture and herbal therapy, her cycles became more manageable and she lost much less blood. Losing less blood is a very good thing. You need that stuff! You will sleep better, your cold hands and feet will get warmer, you will feel more at peace….and did I mention that you will sleep better?!

Want to know what to avoid during your cycle according to Traditional Chinese Medicine? The Chinese don’t eat ice cream or drink cold drinks during their cycle, for example, because it tends to stagnate blood, which means more pain.

I absolutely love telling a patient that she does not have to live with a painful, heavy or irregular cycle. My best reward is seeing the patient’s happiness and satisfaction that comes after 4-5 acupuncture treatments, when symptoms are manageable and life is better. Don’t dread that time of month! Get it fixed.