Lifestyle Considerations and Self-Help for Irregular Menstruation

By Chad Dupuis
Tagged in Lifestyle and Basics

Lifestyle factors play an important role in a persons health and modifications are commonly recommended by acupuncturists. In the case of irregular menstruation, Chinese Medicine considers exercise to be of great importance. As menstrual irregularities are often linked to a stagnation of Liver Qi, movement and the circulation of energy within the body will help to resolve this stagnation. With the energy of the body flowing more smoothly, the corresponding symptoms related to Qi stagnation should improve. Simple exercises such as walking and riding a bicycle are often helpful, as well as Chinese exercises such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong.

From a TCM dietary therapy perspective, foods which nourish the Spleen, or earth element, and help to build Blood should be encouraged. To nourish the Spleen, the majority of meals should be cooked (limit raw foods, such as salads) and include naturally warming and sweet foods such as millet, carrots, spinach and squash.

Menstruation is also strongly related to the functioning of the Liver and its control over the smooth circulation of Blood and energy within the body. One should avoid foods which cause and/or contribute to Liver Qi Stagnation such as fried foods, excessive meat intake and alcohol. Instead one should concentrate on more wholesome foods, especially those which are beneficial to the Liver from a Chinese Medicine viewpoint. These include such foods as cabbage, apples, cucumbers and watercress along with foods which clear Qi stagnation such as light amounts of onions, black pepper and ginger.

According to Five Element theory, the Liver is related to the emotions of anger and frustration and the Spleen is related to worry and pensiveness. It may be helpful, then, to look at how you express these emotions, including repressing them and/or having difficulty in controlling their expression.

Lifestyle Considerations and Self-Help for Irregular Menstruation

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Authored by: Chad Dupuis on 14 August 2006

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