Traditional Five Element Acupuncture For Period Problems
The World Health Organization reports that acupuncture is an effective treatment for primary dysmenorrhoea, and acupuncture has been shown to have a therapeutic effect for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (WHO, 2003).
Many women are conditioned to believe that their period is ‘the curse’, something bad. It may be that you have suffered with menstrual problems for many years, so understandably you are fed up with it. Your period is a normal physiological process, a sign of your internal health, vitality and fertility. You may not be interested in conceiving yet; indeed you may be making considerable effort not to fall pregnant at the moment. But it is important to get in tune with your cycles and take steps to keep them healthy. This in turn will help enhance your emotional and physical health now and your fertility in the future.
Your menstrual cycle can affect your mood, your attitude and behaviour, eating habits, your physical appearance and how you cope with life generally.
Conversely, stress, grief, a poor diet, ill health and frequent travel in different time zones can affect your periods. To optimise your quality of life and your fertility (when you are ready) it is important to understand your cycle.
WHAT IS A ‘NORMAL’ PERIOD?
The average menstrual cycle is around 28 days long. Anything between 27 and 32 days is considered ‘normal for you’ if your cycles have consistently been this length since puberty. The ‘normal’ period lasts between 5 – 7 days, starting and finishing quite cleanly, but may include minor spotting at the beginning or end of the bleed. The first day of your bleed is called Day 1. A ‘normal’ bleed would be neither heavy nor light, with loss of 60ml of blood (measured by approximately 4 towel changes a day using standard ultra pads). Blood should be fresh (not stale) with no clotting. There should be no significant pain or mental, emotional or physical symptoms. Some mild breast tenderness, lower abdominal fluid retention and gentle abdominal achiness are normal. Back ache or severe pain is not normal. Your period will occur 14 days after ovulation, which will be mid cycle (Day 14) if you have a 28 day cycle, but later (Day 18) if you have a 32 day cycle.
Most girls start their periods around age 12, though this can vary from age 8 -16. A woman’s periods continue until the menopause, which usually occurs when a woman reaches her late 40s to mid-50s (average age 52).
The reproductive organs inside a woman’s body consist of:
- two ovaries – where eggs are stored, developed and released
- the womb (uterus) – where a fertilised egg implants and a pregnancy develops
- fallopian tubes – the two narrow tubes that connect the ovaries to the womb
- the cervix – the lower part of the womb that connects to the vagina
- the vagina –a muscular tube leading from the cervix to outside of the body
During each menstrual cycle, hormone levels (oestrogen) rise, resulting in an egg developing and being released by one of the ovaries (ovulation). Your womb lining thickens in anticipation of a possible pregnancy. The egg moves down the fallopian tube and if it meets a sperm and is fertilised, pregnancy can occur. The egg lives for only about 24 hours. If it isn’t fertilised, the lining of your womb comes away and leaves your body through the vagina mixed with blood. This is a period or ‘the menstrual flow’. Your fertile time is around the time you ovulate, approximately 12 to 14 days before the start of your next period. Abdominal pain or twinges experienced around the time of ovulation may be a sign of ovulation but are not considered normal. You can’t get pregnant if you don’t ovulate. Some hormonal methods of contraception, work by preventing ovulation. A woman’s body is designed to cleanse every mounth, stopping ovulation hinders the natural process.
So take control of your hormonal health, giving yourself what you deserve, an easier life, in harmony with your hormones not working against them. Traditional five element acupuncture works with nature, your body, mind and spirit, therefore getting you in your flow, for your hormonal health, fertility and menopause: – beginning with teenage to pregnancy through motherhood landing at wise woman.