Updated: Apr 15, 2018
Long ago, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) realized that menstruation was not simply just the womb bleeding, but a surface phenomenon resulting from the physiological fluctuations inside the body.
Menstruation occurs about every 28 days in women. TCM believes that cyclic changes inside the body are mainly related to the kidney functions and blood and qi (vital energy) supplies. They regulate the production of tian-gui and the activities of the extra meridians, and lead to a natural rhythm of the menstruation cycle.
TCM physicians have identified those changes and incorporate specialty skills in identifying particular segments of the four-phase period surrounding menstruation. When the phases happen normally, the body is in its best condition to produce high quality eggs and allow an embryo to implant easily.
General guidelines for each phase are:
Proliferation (6th to 10th day): This period ensures the growth of the uterine membrane and development of the ovum (egg). TCM usually focuses on fortifying the liver and kidneys, invigorating the spleen and stomach in order to replenish blood and kidney essence and activate their circulation.
Ovulation (11th to 16th day): This period is when typically the ovum is released from the ovary. TCM usually focuses on fortifying the liver and kidneys to ensure appropriate nutrient supply, warming yang and unblocking meridians to activate the local blood flow and remove any stasis.
Secretion (17th to 25th day): This period ensures the further ripening of the released follicle inside the ovary and facilitates a fertilized egg's implantation in the thickened lining of the uterus. TCM usually focuses on warming the yang and fortifying the kidneys to nourish the Conception and Thoroughfare Vessels.
Menstruation (25th to 5th day): This period usually does not need special management; however, when there are symptoms like non-smooth flow and painful menstruation, TCM will focus on harmonizing the blood and promoting qi (vital energy) movement.
The above techniques are used when treating ovarian or uterine problems. Herbal therapies generally have less adverse effects than conventional drug therapies and show no inhibited effect on ovary functioning for long-term use. Overall improvement on body health is attained too.
These and other Traditional Chinese practices all form part of TCM, each adding a little to the history and methodology of Acupuncture and Herbs.
Eca Brady is a fully licensed physician of Chinese Medicine BSc(Ac) MBAcC PGDip(CHM), practicing Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs from Harley Street, London. Make an appointment for an acupuncture treatment and we can discuss how we can help you, to read more about Eca click here