Does this island sound familiar? I found this illustration rather amusing but yet it is something that is not funny either. Countless of women that I know of, both friends and clients that I have treated can relate to Menstrual Island.
In Chinese medicine, Menstrual Island is a sign that our body is not functioning the way it should and there are some elements of stagnation and imbalance in the system. Where there is pain, there is stagnation; where there is acne, there is heat in the Stomach and imbalance of the hormones and where there is bloating there is rebellious of the Stomach Qi. There is also one experience that almost every women (or men) have encountered is premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Irritability, moods swings, tearful, headaches, breast tenderness, misery and depression point towards what we call Liver Qi stagnation in Chinese medicine.
The Liver governs every aspect of Qi. It tells it where to move, which direction to go and stores the ethereal soul. I like to think of the Liver as the General Manager of the body. It manages each organs in terms of their function and movement. When the General manager gets too stressed out, the rest of the system will begin to feel overwhelmed and does whatever it wants without any direction or aim. Therefore, to avoid the Liver getting all worked-up, and to ensure minimal trips to Menstrual Island try to avoid:
- A sedentary lifestyle - find ways to move eg. walk to work, take the stairs, do some form of exercise for 30 minutes
- Constant stress from working, family life, studying and etc - try to aim for a balance lifestyle by doing some meditation or yoga, time-out for some 'me' time, time management to overcome stress
- Poor diet consisting of spicy, fatty, processed, deep fried foods & take-aways - incorporate a daily dose of fresh vegetables and fruit into your diet, cut down on sugar (a little dark chocolate is ok if you need something sweet), prepare your own meals so you know what goes into it, and aim for simple meals with high nutrition and flavours
However, if symptoms persist or are getting out of control, Chinese medicine is great at sorting it out, even my gynecologist recommends and acknowledged that Chinese medicine has better outcomes than western medicine can do to help relief these symptoms. So stop putting up with the misery, cramps, crankiness and bloating every month. Give your body and yourself some kindness and relief from it today.
Image used with permission from Gemma Correl