How Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) look at Menstruation and what you can do to maintain its regularity in Orange County
Traditional Chinese Medicine uses the natural world as a metaphor for the human body:
The meridians and the blood vessels are like rivers, Qi(energy) and blood flows in it are like the water in the river; muscles are earth, and hairs are grass. Just like there’s four seasons and tidal, human body changes in regular cycles too.
The Menstrual Cycle
Also see: how menstrual cycle works in western medicine
In the view of Traditional Chinese Medicine, menstrual cycle changes like the tidal and the moon.
When the energy comes to low tide, it is saddle, and everything are in a stage of peace and growth. This is the stage when FSH is dominating, and follicle is slowly growing mature.
When the energy comes to a high tide, it is plump, and ready for the birth of a new life.
This is the stage when LH is dominant. The body temperature, energy, and sexual desire rises and becomes more sensitive. Even one’s sense of smell will become better. But because of the overflow of energy, the mood and other body conditions will be easily influenced.
If there’s no pregnancy, menstrual bleeding will release the overflow of the energy, like the overflow of water in the river. This is the stage when corpus luteum atrophies, and cramps happen in this period for a lot of people. The Uterine needs to make sure everything that’s not needed is gone, when this process doesn’t run smoothly, it might squeeze very hard and could cause a cramp and pain.
Two common things that often causes menstruation problem in an Orange County Acupuncturist’s view
“Temperature of food” is an extremely important factor that causes menstruation problems. If the menstrual bleeding is like the releasing of overflowing water, then cold food and cold weather will freeze the water, making it harder to flow.
It is very important and effective that the idea of “girls shouldn’t drink and eat cold things during their period” is implanted in traditional Chines culture. Even though it is very hard to really follow when ice cream and cold drinks are made so attractive these days, most Chinese female still believe in this idea by their own experiences. People born and raised in the U.S. tend to have more resistant to cold things, so sometimes they may not be aware of the internal damage the cold causes. Unfortunately, even some Chinese who grew up in U.S. do not know about the damage, so if they have stronger resistant against cold, it could lead to more negligence.
The “temperature” of food includes the actual temperature and the classification in Traditional Chinese Medicine of whether food is cold or hot.
If something is colder than the body temperature, it is considered cold. If one’s body condition is stronger, then lower temperature might not be a problem. If one’s weaker, then it could easily influence body condition. The idea is similar to cold weather. A cold weather could simply make people catch a cold on the outside, and cold foods influence body from inside.
Uncooked vegetables are usually cold, including salad and some of the fruits. Seafood are usually cold too even after it’s cooked, but it can improve body’s energy, so its influence to the body is temporary. It is able to balance this “cold” up by eating “hot” food. This is implanted into traditional Chinese dishes too, we usually cook vegetables and seafood with ginger and garlic – it is for the taste, but also for the balance of cold and hot.
Cold weather does influence to the body too. Just like cold caught on the stomach cause diarrhea, it can cause cramps as well.
Emotions can influence menstrual cycles too, especially during bad moods. Bad moods freezes up the flow of energy, like cold weather can freeze water. It doesn’t only cause cramps during menstruation, it could also cause hormones to be unbalanced. In clinical practices, this is actually one of the most common reasons that start menstruation problems.
What can I do to avoid Menstruation problems in Orange County?
The easiest way to avoid menstruation problems is to try to avoid eating and drinking things in low temperature, and drink ginger soup regularly. Simply boil a piece of ginger about 2-3 fingers size with a small pot of water, then add some cane sugar or brown sugar for addded taste. Drink it 1-3 times a week.
Rose buds can also help those people who’s cramps have gotten worse with bad moods. The easiest way is to drink the rose buds as tea. But it is considered “dry” in Traditional Chinese Medicine terms, so make sure to also add some cane sugar or brown sugar in it, or just cook the rose bud with other foods to avoid the side effect.
– – ORANGE ACUPUNCTURE, WINSTON WANG