The Menstrual Cycle Part 1: Introduction to the Menstrual Cycle
A brief introduction to the organs and substances involved in the menstrual cycle in relation to Chinese Medicine.
This blog series will aim to help empower and educate you about what your body goes through every month during your menstrual cycle.
It will give you a better understanding from a Chinese Medicine perspective, as well as a Western Medicine view.
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, a women’s life cycle is 7 years, which means that your body should be ready for your first period by the age of about 14.
The period occurs when our body has matured to a level high enough that our blood and other important substances are abundant throughout our body and meridians so it overflows into our first menstrual flow.
So our menstrual cycle should last 28 days, but 25-35 days is considered normal. Bleeding should last for 3-5 days. The blood should flow easily without blood clots and not be too heavy or too light. This whole menstrual experience should be pain free, even though many of us think that experiencing pain is is normal.
There are a lot of factors which can influence our body and even more so, our menstrual cycle. Things like stress, poor diet, environmental factors and lack of exercise can alter how your body functions.
Chinese Medicine takes into consideration all of these factors to really try and get a clear idea of how your body is being affected and how these changes can affect the menstrual cycle.
So here is a brief introduction to the organs and substances in Chinese Medicine theory which all impact on the menstrual cycle so you can get a better understanding of what goes on in your body.
All of these things mentioned below will be discussed in more depth throughout the series of this blog.
Kidneys Are the sources of our energy and in particular our Jing, which is our reproductive essence and is very important in relation to reproduction and conception.
Heart Is related to the function of our mind and brain to control hormones, such as the hypothalamus-pituitary axis, to regulate hormones responsible for menstruation. Also very important in the circulation of blood around the body.
Uterus Is where our endometrial lining is build up throughout our cycle and is then broken down during menstruation.
Spleen Is able to transform our food and water from our digestive systems and convert it into Qi and Blood for our bodies to use.
Liver Is capable to freely move our Qi and Blood through our bodies and meridians.
IMPORTANT SUBSTANCES AND ELEMENTS
Jing Is our reproductive essence, the amount and quality of Jing we are born with has a very close connection with our ability to reproduce and our longevity.
Yin Is cooling and nourishing and has an important role in building the lining of the uterus and its secretions (including menstrual blood)
Yang Is energetic and warming and is very important during ovulation to promote the movement of the egg from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes
Blood Is vital in fertility because of its nourishing nature on the endometrium
Shen Is our ‘spirit’ and is in charge of our mental and brain functions and is important in the aspect of the hypothalamus-pituitary axis to regulate the menstrual cycle
Qi Is our energy, which moves through our bodies via meridians, it eases communication between the organs and is important for the movement of the egg during ovulation.
We hope this blog has introduced you to some basic terminology related to the menstrual cycle from a Chinese Medicine perspective.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series where there will be a discussion on the hormones involved in the cycle and what happens to the body at each phase of the menstrual cycle!
Email us if you have any questions or want some more information!