Long ago, TCM realized that menstruation was not simply just womb bleeding, but a surface phenomenon resulting from the physiological fluctuations inside the body. Menstruation occurs about every 28 days in women. TCM believes changes within body during the menstrual cyclic are mainly related to kidney function and the circulations of blood and qi (vital energy). They dominate the production of tian gui and the activities in the extra meridians leading to the menstrual cycle attaining a natural rhythm.
After menstruation, the basic body temperature lowers, and estrogen and progesterone levels drop. TCM believes this is because the Thoroughfare Vessel has evacuated its blood. The kidney must enrich its essence gradually so as to produce tian gui and let the blood flow back to the meridian. Therefore, TCM usually emphasizes nourishing the kidney yin in the proliferation period.
During ovulation, a mature ovum (egg) is released from the ovary. At this time, the kidney will transform its essence into promotional energy to ensure that the ovum reaches the fallopian tube and meets with the sperm. TCM regards it as a transitional period where the kidney yin transforms into kidney yang.
In the secretion period, active blood supply ensures further ripening of the released follicle inside the ovary and facilitates a fertilized egg's implantation in the thickened lining of the uterus. TCM views this as the gearing of both the kidney yin and kidney yang; the tian gui remains at the highest level; the Conception Vessel and Thoroughfare Vessel are properly consolidated. All of these are prepared for conception. The liver is involved actively in redistributing the blood and qi (vital energy). It is in this phase that women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may experience their symptoms.
Later, when the ovum is not fertilized, tian gui is used up quickly. There is inadequate kidney yin to transform to kidney yang, so the uterine lining and blood are shed.
TCM physicians identify these changes and incorporate special skills for particular segments of the four-phase period surrounding menstruation. When each phase occurs smoothly, the body is in its best condition and does not experience menstrual problems.
General guidelines in regulating the periods 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 the 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 the yang and unblocking meridians to activate the local blood flow and remove any stasis.
| Secretion (17th to 28th day):
|This period ensures the further ripening of the released follicle inside the ovary and the thickened lining of the uterus. TCM usually focuses on warming the yang and fortifying the kidneys to nourish the Conception and Thoroughfare Vessels. When there is PMS, methods of dredging the liver, regulating qi (vital energy), facilitating body fluid movements and calming the spirit are enhanced.
| Menstruation (1st 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.
All herbal remedies are customized according to individual conditions, and hundreds of herbs are available in the technique. It is applicable to all kinds of menstrual problems, particularly for women who suffer from functional uterine bleeding, menstrual pain, endometriosis and functional infertility. Unlike conventional drug therapies, herbal therapies have little adverse effects and show no inhibited effect on ovary functioning after long-term use. In addition, there is also overall improvement in general health.
** You should consult your physician if you are under hormone therapy or undergoing artificial insemination to avoid interference with herbal medicines.
|A prescription for regulating period.