Don’t Accept Menstrual Blues as Normal
Many women accept menstruation as a monthly affliction shrouded in discomfort. Yet they might respond that their cycle is “normal” and proceed to list all of their “normal” symptoms, like breast distention, bloating, cramps, PMS, headache, fatigue or that she’s fine once she’s had six Motrin and so on. Though this may be normal for her, this is not normal.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a normal menstrual cycle should be between 25 and 35 days long, with moderate bleeding of bright red blood, and is painless and without irritability. In other words, the timing should be predictable, pain-free and with no other symptoms.
To regulate irregular or painful periods, most doctors prescribe a contraceptive pill. These pills work by tricking the body into thinking it’s pregnant, therefore preventing ovulation. Unfortunately, this method of treatment masks the symptoms and doesn’t address the root cause of painful and irregular periods. As a result, when a woman stops taking the contraceptive, the symptoms will most likely return.
Fortunately, there are more options for treatment. With more than 2,500 years of clinical use and refinement, TCM has developed particularly effective methods for treating irregular menstrual cycles, as well as numerous other gynecological disorders, which include acupuncture, Chinese herbs, diet and exercise.
TCM views the body as a complete and unique system. When this system is out of balance, all kinds of disorders are allowed to occur. Correcting any imbalance will correct the related symptoms. In this way, the root of the problem is addressed and the patient’s symptoms may completely resolve.
When treatment begins, a patient can expect to receive acupuncture on a weekly basis to establish and reinforce a new baseline. Once the “new and better normal” is achieved, treatments will be administered as a part of maintenance. Chinese herbs, typically a large part of treatment, are particularly nice because they can be customized for each individual. This makes them extremely effective and free of side effects. They can also be compounded not to have any interactions with contraceptives.
Often, imbalances that cause menstrual irregularities and gynecological issues are heavily influenced by stress, overwork, anger, frustration, anxiety, poor diet and lack of sufficient exercise. Because of this, stress-reducing activities like daily exercise and meditation are key components to having easy periods, as is proper diet, all personalized.
These issues don’t have to be a monthly bane. Using TCM as a method of healing the root cause, life can be much better.
Jamie Szybala, LAc, practices acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the owner of WellnessFirst!, located at 3861 N. First Ave. Contact her at 520-955-4243, 520-209-1755 or ThriveFamilyAcupuncture.com.