Periods can tell us so much about your body! What? Yeah, they really can!
And psst, they can be comfortable too.
So, like a detective, we can figure out what part of you needs extra support. Each aspect of your cycle tells us a story. I can hear about a woman’s cycle and know what to adjust using acupuncture and herbs in one conversation. I feel so excited knowing that there is the potential for each patient to feel better soon. So, exciting!
You see, I am the practitioner who wants to guide you to learn what symptoms your body is telling you. It is telling you what your body needs supporting to heal. I am just an interpreter if you will, and you the patient, give me all the amazing clues to figure out the patterns of you.
It is a partnership to work with patients and as you learn to listen to yourself, the balance of your happier self emerges and then it’s easier to keep in balance. Then, as you get to know yourself you can get treatments, extra rest or adjust your diet to keep yourself on track.
These questions are what I ask my patients and you can ask yourself too. Together we can improve your cycle at home. Really. It’s not hard and I am here to guide you to a happier period.
Because, as a long-time sufferer of bad - I mean really bad cycles - I know how much feeling okay during your period can change just about everything in your day. Not to mention if you are trying to conceive (TTC), you will want to regulate your cycle in order to have proper timing, know when you are ovulating and when to look for cervical mucus changes.
The length from day 1 of the first cycle to day 1 of the next. This is calculated by the first full day of bleeding-not the spotting many of us get. We will discuss spotting soon which is important as well. The length should be 27 to 28 days ideally though in western medicine there is a wider range of normal.
We also like for there to be a period of bleeding without starts and stops. This is important as spotting indicates that the spleen in TCM is not strong enough to hold the blood in the vessels at the appropriate time. Thus, allowing it to leak out and cause spotting. This can occur before, during or after the period but also around ovulation. Some women even have spotting after intercourse due to a high concentration of capillaries in the cervix.
By this I mean is it clotty? Stringy or have mucus? Or new, fresh blood? This tells us about the uterus and it's ability to release the full endometrial lining in previous cycles. We can tell if a woman has stagnation-the TCM version of “being stuck or not moving” so if it’s clotty or old looking we know to use points to move the blood or help regulate the muscles of the uterus to reduce pain and also make the contractions more efficient.
Are you experiencing changes in digestion-constipation/diarrhea, more bloating, gas or swelling of hands/feet, swollen or painful breasts, breakouts, headaches, changes in mood/sleep/temperature? If you have tension physical or otherwise we need to support the liver and spleen.
What about discomfort or pain? When do you experience it and is it abdominal, low back, both? A sensation of pain? Sharp or stabbing, dull achy or dragging down sensation. How often and is it constant or just for a certain part of the period. This indicates blood and energy not moving smoothly and we can address this best with movement, like yoga, walking or possibly heat may help.
We ask a lot about mood, energy and sleep too because this tells us about your hormones and how smoothly your body transitions from one phase to the next. This lets us know how your kidneys-or endocrine system is doing and if you need more support for yin or yang for example.
All of this gives us a full picture of your constitution or the foundation of your body.
After asking a thousand and one questions, we will feel your pulses on both wrists (more on that later) and look at the tongue (shape, color, size, coating, etc). Sith all these parts of the puzzle of you, we will figure out which system in your body needs attention.
Many of you may have read other blogs and know that there are 5 elements in TCM and they like nature work synergistically to support fertility and that working on supporting one area of the body inevitably will help all areas of the body. What I mean is, that if we can figure out the imbalances and support your cycle to regulate the timing, the hormones from one phase to the next, reduce pain and optimize endometrial lining shedding, development for the next cycle this will allow improved development of a fertilized egg and implantation.
It doesn’t mean that having a slightly irregular cycle means you cannot conceive but the chances increase if we can get you to the best possible period for you.
I have created a quiz to help you see what type of period you have and of course, this comes with a download to support you in working at home to improve your cycle.
Ps. Don’t miss my Facebook live coming up where I will answer period questions, give dietary suggestions and share success stories! Exclusively in my Healing Bellies for Babies Facebook group!
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