As a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner specializing in Women’s Health, lots of the girls that come to my clinic have menstrual imbalances leading to painful periods, pre-menstrual syndrome, lack of periods, irregular cycles, uterine cysts and fibroids.
For many menstrual problems, there are particular preventative measures to be taken in order to enjoy a smoother interval. I need to say that regular acupuncture treatments and a customized herbal formulation can have amazing results. Women begin to have pain-free periods with minimal symptoms that are senile. With assistance, women no longer dread their bicycles and really experience them effortlessly.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine we urge certain lifestyle changes to be made specifically around the menses. My strategy is to see this as a time to honor our own bodies. Menses is a reminder of this gorgeous capacity to reproduce.
What to do
First things first, you will need to keep track of your cycle. Note the day that your menstrual cycle begins on a calendar. Day One of your menses is regarded as the first day which bleeding starts. By keeping track of your cycle, you can be connected to your body and your natural hormonal changes. You can discover the number of days between cycles, when ovulation is expected, and when to get ready for the coming cycle.
Generally, fourteen days before your menstrual cycle is when ovulation occurs. Some women experience some lower abdominal cramping, fatigue, or psychological sensitivity throughout this time. Keeping track of your bicycle will permit you to understand what to expect.
From childbirth until bleeding begins is deemed pre-menstrual time. Some girls being to undergo pre-menstrual symptoms starting with childbirth, others have symptoms from one to ten times before their menses. Others don’t have any pre-menstrual symptoms in any way. Pre-menstrual symptoms may include breast tenderness, bloating, mild cramping, headaches/migraines, fatigue, food cravings, low libido, insomnia, emotional fluctuations including anger, anxiety, irritability, depression, sadness, and weepiness.
All these symptoms are thought of as influenced by the Liver organ in Chinese Medicine. With acupuncture, herbs, diet, and lifestyle changes, we concentrate on “smoothing” the Liver to have a smoother menstrual experience.
Tune into your body
Menses shouldn’t be viewed as a time for “business as usual.” Rather, it’s a chance to tune into your body. This is a time to slow down and be gentle with yourself. For some, this may mean devoting regular appointments and responsibilities to be able to do less. Generally speaking, you do need more time for rest, which will mean adjusting your schedule whenever possible. Take some time to pamper yourself by taking hot baths and getting more sleep. Schedule a massage the week before your period. This is especially valuable for people who get menstrual headaches and muscular tightness before menses.
Menstruation is a reminder of our capacity to produce life. Honor this by becoming more creative at this time of the month. Journal, draw, paint, write, sing, dance, and tackle other creative endeavors for pleasure and joy.
Avoid eating cold food
In Traditional Chinese Medicine we constantly warn against chilly. Cold contracts muscles and slows down circulation. During menses, we need the body to possess appropriate warmth to be able to promote circulation. This means that you ought to avoid overexposure to cold and moist environments. Keep properly bundled up with warm clothes in cold weather. Also avoid eating cold foods such as anything with ice – ice cold beverages, ice cream, ice cold popsicles, and frozen fruit juices.
In addition, we consider raw vegetables to be chilly, so eat steamed vegetables rather than salads. Dairy products, such as yogurt, cottage cheese and kefir, shouldn’t be eaten straight from the refrigerator, but rather once they’ve warmed up to room temperature (approximately 1/2 hour from the fridge). This is a general recommendation in Chinese Medicine, however it’s strongly suggested to avoid cold foods before and during your period.
This is a excellent time for soups and hot teas. For people who experience menstrual cramps, a hot water bottle can be used nightly for a week before menses starts to help warm the uterus and protect against blood stagnation. The hot water bottle will provide soothing relief for cramps also.
Avoid heavy physical activity
In addition, we wish to avoid heavy physical activity before and during the the period. Moderate exercise is often beneficial to alleviate premenstrual symptoms, but intense amounts of physical activity will deplete the body and make hormone imbalances.
Before and during your menses do more stretching, yoga, tai chi, and other relaxing, gentle movements. Also to incorporate in daily life, but particularly important before and during menses are breathing exercises.
Take slow breaths deep into the lower abdomen, relax your shoulders and neck, and calm your mind. For those who have ideas that come up, just let them softly go. You may listen to relaxing music, you can replicate a positive intention, or simply follow your breath as you breathe in and out. Practice this for 10-20 minutes each day. Even just five of those breaths in the middle of the day will generate a substantial healing effect.
In terms of dietary recommendations, avoid alcohol, coffee, and processed flours and processed sugars. Eat whole unprocessed foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruit, eggs, legumes, nuts, organic whole-fat dairy, and meat from animals on pasture (grass-fed).
Make sure the animal products are out of hormone-free sources. Most meat and dairy contain artificial hormones which were fed to the animals to improve production. Not only is this inhumane to the animals, then you’ll consume these artificial hormones thus interrupting your own natural hormones.
I also don’t recommend soy because of the estrogenic quality that will disrupt your hormone balance. Fermented soy in tiny quantities is generally not problematic- like miso, tempeh, and soy sauce. Other foods like edamame, soy milk, tofu, as well as some other artificial meat replacement should be rigorously avoided.
Eat regular meals at regular times, and eat snacks if necessary. Keeping blood glucose stable will help regulate hormones. Eating good quality nutritious snacks and meals can help keep blood sugar stable. Eating enough protein , nuts, eggs, cheese, dairy foods and legumes will help. Minimizing processed sugar and processed flour products will also help reduce spikes in your energy level. Healthy fats are extremely important for hormonal balance.
Avoid fried foods and foods containing partially hydrogenated fats (also know as trans fats). Fermented cod liver oil, fish oil, flax oil, hemp seed oil, walnuts, fatty fish (sardines, wild salmon, mackerel), egg yolk from pastured chickens, and grass fed beef (with the fat) provide healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Gamma-Linoleic acid, a kind of omega 6, may often be very beneficial to balance hormones.
I recommend 1,000 mg daily (500mg 2 x per day or 1000 mg each day) of Evening Primrose Oil taken 2 weeks prior to menses is expected to help balance hormones. With Evening Primrose oil, women often experience a drop in premenstrual symptoms such as breast tenderness, mood swings, headaches, and cramping.
B vitamins are extremely helpful. Foods rich in B vitamins consist of fermented foods, tuna, turkey, beef, brown rice, wheat, rye, lentils, peas, bananas, and cabbage.
Finally avoid plastics and chemicals generally. Plastics contain compounds that mimic estrogen in the body; hence inducing hormone imbalances. Generally speaking, chemicals will change the whole proper functioning of your body and will indirectly affect your hormone levels. Choose natural and organic cleaning products, body care products, and minimize your exposure to chemical substances. Choose glass or stainless steel water bottles and food storage containers.