The Menstrual Cycle Part 3:
Emotions and their role on common Menstrual disorders
In Part 3 of this blog series, we will talk about a few commonly seen disorders of the menstrual cycle, which can be helped by Chinese Medicine, and the affect that emotions can have of these conditions.
You will learn that during a typical consultation with a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, a range of questions are asked about the menstrual cycle, which can include
the length of the cycle
how long the bleeding lasts
what colour is the blood
does the blood contain any clots
is there discharge throughout the blood or during the cycle
do you notice any ovulation symptoms, such as ovary pain or cervical mucous
do you suffer from PMS symptoms, such as moodiness, irritability, breast tenderness, abdominal or lower back pain
Different characteristic of a women's period can tell us a lot about what is going on internally throughout the body.
The commonly seen menstrual disorders we will discuss today can easily be affected by emotional upset, emotions can have a direct affect on our organs which can cause an imbalance throughout our body.
Stress and anger are common emotions that we all feel throughout our life. From a Chinese Medicine view, the Liver is easily affected by stress and anger and this can then disrupt the function of the Liver so Qi movement is impeded throughout the body. The Liver has a close relationship to the Spleen which functions to produce blood, so when the Liver is affected and Qi is blocked, it can affect the flow and production of blood.
Anxiety related emotions are closely related to the Heart. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the Heart controls the blood. When the Heart is not functioning at its best, disorders of blood can occur. As previously mentioned, the Spleen makes blood so the Heart and Spleen work together to create and circulate blood, so disharmonies between these organs and substances can lead to menstrual disorders.
Irregular Menstruation Is usually defined by menstruation that occurs more frequently than every 21 days or menstruation that occurs every 35 days or more. Irregular menstruation can commonly involve the Liver and Spleen because Qi and Blood flow is being obstructed which can make the period inconsistent. TCM using acupuncture and herbal medicine help with the smooth flow of Qi and Blood to encourage a period to come.
Dysmenorrhoea Is usually defined by pain in the abdomen or lower back before or during menstruation. Dysmenorrhoea is often very painful and can commonly be caused by stagnation of Qi and Blood, as well as a deficiency of these substances. Either the Qi and Blood is obstructing the uterus and a sharp, stabbing pain can occur, or a dull pain can be a symptom as the Qi and Blood may not be nourishing the uterus. Treatment using acupuncture and herbs aims to reduce the pain by moving Qi and Blood or nourishing Qi and Blood.
Amenorrhoea Is usually defined by the absence of a period for more than 3 months. Amenorrhoea can commonly be due to Blood deficiency which can involve the Heart, Liver and Spleen. If there is not enough blood circulating around the body, the body will use what is has to function as well as it can, such as using the blood for mental activity, digestion, muscular function and other bodily functions. If our body does not have enough blood left over, a period may be unlikely to occur because we need to conserve our blood for everyday uses. Acupuncture and herbal medicine will aim to boost blood, qi and yin in order to help the body produce a period.
Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) Is usually defined by physical or emotional symptoms, which occur before menstruation, these can include, breast tenderness, bloating, fatigue, excessive emotions, pain, hunger. PMS can commonly be exacerbated by emotional upset so the Liver is often affected which can lead to a disharmony between the Liver and Spleen so quite often, Qi and Blood are stagnated as well as there being a deficiency in Qi and Blood. TCM can help reduce these symptoms by harmonising the Liver and Spleen and nourishing Qi and Blood.
I hope you now have a bit more of an understanding of some commonly seen Menstrual disorders can be affected by emotions such as stress, anger and worry. Traditional Chinese Medicine can help restore the imbalances in the body that allow these conditions to occur,
Please email for any questions or for more information!
*Please remember that this is only a very brief introduction to some common menstrual disorders and the view from Chinese Medicine, there are a lot of other factors and medical conditions that can lead to these disorders. Seek a health care professional if required