The TCM View of Menopause
The word “menopause” isn’t even in the traditional Chinese medical vocabulary. Actually, TCM calls the various symptoms that some women experience when their cycle ends simply “menstrual cycle ending symptoms.” So you may be surprised to learn that menopause is essentially a Western concept.
Read an excerpt from the book:
“TCM sees menopause as a deep energy shift that extends beyond physical changes. It’s a natural and normal part of a woman’s life, yet it has the power to affect her mind, emotions and spirit. Menopause is an energy gateway—a unique chance for a woman to prepare her body, mind and spirit for a healthy, long life. It’s a time when she can heal, strengthen herself, and balance and harmonize her energies. Menopause creates the opportunity for a transformation, a new beginning, as a woman becomes free to discover, pursue or complete her life’s mission and touch her spirit—and the spirits of those around her—in a profound and meaningful way.”
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Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life. From the beginning to the end of this life-cycle, if a woman is healthy, her menstruation will be regular and free of any problems. If a woman is in poor health and her internal energy, or Qi, is not balanced or is deficient, her body can express its condition through many types of menstrual symptoms: premenstrual syndrome (PMS), irregular periods, painful periods, breast tenderness, headaches, cramping, fever during cramps, to name just a few.
Women who have these menstrual symptoms regularly most likely will have menopausal symptoms when they reach the age when their cycle begins to end or stops altogether. The reason is simple: their bodies are out of balance and their energy has declined. The good news is women can learn to rebalance their bodies and increase their energy.
What you can do:
- Make positive lifestyle changes that rebalance your body from the inside out
- Cut down on your stress levels
- Practice Qigong
- Avoid cold foods and drinks
- Include seafood and fresh leafy vegetables in your diet
- Find a local acupuncturist and work with him or her to build and balance your energy
- Take herbal supplements to build your Liver and Kidney Qi
- Take time each day to relax and enjoy yourself
As we age our Qi naturally declines. This means we have less energy to “spend” doing our normal daily routine. If no adjustment is made for this energy “gap,” the body and its organs will be affected. Kidney energy deficiency is one root cause of menopausal issues. Kidney energy powers the many functions of the body.
Another organ that is important is the Liver. It’s the number one organ in terms of women’s health. The Liver meridian runs through the reproductive area, so when Liver Qi is stagnant or weak this area will be impacted. The Liver also regulates the smooth flow of blood and emotions. It’s easy to see the connection between the Liver’s role in promoting regular blood flow and menstrual health, but most women are unaware of this organ’s function when it comes to regulating emotions.
“Everyone is born with a self-healing ability. Women, in particular, have a unique ability to heal because of their menstrual cycle and their special organs: the ovaries and the uterus. These organs give women the capacity to create wellness so their body can function in a healthy way—at any age.”