Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and the Menstrual CycleIt is said in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that a women’s menstrual cycle is the bell weather of her health. A normal cycle is indicative of metabolic and hormonal balance. The average menstrual cycle is between 24 – 30 days in its entirety, with 4-7 of those days for menstruation.

In this article, abnormal menstrual cycles are defined by short, long, or irregular phases of the menstrual cycle. The four phases of the menstrual cycle are the menses, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. Simply and briefly described, they are: the shedding of the endometrial lining, development of the endometrium and egg follicle, release of the egg, and the creation of the luteal body. When any of these  phases are out of balance, the menstrual cycle will be negatively effected.

Shortened, longer, and painful menses, inadequate or excessive endometrial growth, lack of follicle growth, non-development of the egg, and a undeveloped luteal body are some of the results of an imbalanced menstrual cycle. These changes can create uncomfortable symptoms such: as menstrual cramps and low back pain, headaches, edema, and dysphoria. These symptoms naturally affect overall health, fertility, sexual desire, physical comfort, sense of wellbeing, and quality of life.

The good news is that TCM has some very effective treatments for abnormal menstrual cycles. Typically, a practitioner will use acupuncture, Chinese herbs, supplements, diet, and adjunctive therapies (cupping and moxabustion) to create balance. These techniques gently get the cycles back on track without having to rely on potentially dangerous hormonal treatments and their unwanted side effects. Treatment is usually administered for 3 – 6 months, depending on chronicity and severity. After desired results are obtained, treatment might be recommended on a periodic basis to maintain balance, but this will vary according type of problem and need.

I have used TCM to help a great deal of women achieve balance with their menstrual cycles, so if you or a loved one is suffering, please contact me!