At Haynes Acupuncture Gold Coast this is our look at the Mentrual cycle through the eyes of a Chinese Medicine practitioner.
Lifestyle & food suggestions in conjunction with your menstrual cycle according to Chinese Medicine.
PHASE 1: CYCLE DAYS 1-3/4 (MENSTRUATION):
- We want to focus on encouraging the flow of “qi” and blood to ensure the lining can be fully removed. Blood stagnation and internal cold can be seen with clotting and cramps, therefore warmth is essential.
- Foods: Increase spices such as ginger, cinnamon, chilli & ensure your foods are slow cooked or at the very least warm meals! Avoid ice/iced drinks, smoothies, salads, raw foods.
- Lifestyle: Your energy is focused inward, so slow down and rest. Gentle exercise only such as yoga, walking. Avoid swimming on days 1-3 as the cold water can add to ‘internal cold’ and increase your symptoms. Warm magnesium baths, hot water bottles are advised to assist with cramping and keeping your abdomen warm.
PHASE 2: FOLLICULAR PHASE (CYCLE DAYS 6 THROUGH PRE-OVULATION):
- Building Yin is the focus at this stage in your cycle.
- Foods: Protein-rich foods assist in building yin and blood. Beans (pre-soak to assist with digesting), wild fish, free-range eggs and organic meat are all good choices. Cooked leafy greens also assist in re-mineralising the body post bleed.
- Lifestyle: This is the best time for vigorous exercise and being creative!
PHASE 3: OVULATION:
- During this phase, your yin energy is at its peak (pre ovulation) and you move into yang dominance, post ovulation.
- Foods: It’s recommended to stick to lighter foods, such as fish, quinoa and salads, however try to combine salads with cooked foods as raw/cold foods are difficult to digest.
- Lifestyle: Partake in creative activities and talk through your thoughts and feelings as this is a good phase to verbalise this!
PHASE 4: LUTEAL PHASE (POST-OVULATION):
- Yang energy is now at its peak and this can been seen in a rise in your basal body temp. It is common to feel less social and more withdrawn in this phase.
- Foods: Warm foods are encouraged as it can support the yang energy. Additional protein is also recommended as well as cooked vegetables.
- Lifestyle: Slow down if you’re feeling irritable or emotional, our body often gives us these signs to do so. Yoga, massage and journaling are great through this phase. Try to avoid strenuous exercise.
- Lyttleton, J., 2004, Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine, Elsevier