According to the “Huang Di Nei Jing”, a woman’s life is comprised of seven year cycles. At the age of Seven a girls Qi begins to rise, by fourteen it should be strong and have the strength to support the change to womanhood and the onset of menstruation. The Qi and Blood need to be in an optimal state, prior to the regular and ongoing loss of blood commencing.
The ancients called menstruation, Tian Gui or heavenly water, as they believed that the blood produced during menses, was different to that which circulated within the body. The Nei Jing states that Heavenly indicates the descending of true Qi of Heaven, and Gui indicates the water, like heavenly clouds generating water. Menstrual Discharge is not just a monthly discharge of unused material, it is the essence and vital energy that is needed for life.
Blood is a major component of menstrual flow; it first begins to flow when the contributing factors come into alignment around the age of fourteen.
We must have accumulated enough blood to spill out from the uterus and the kidney energies must be strong.
Qi and Blood must be balanced, and flowing smoothly through the organs.
The conception Vessel (Ren Mai-Sea of all Yin) must be flowing strongly, and the penetrating vessel (Chong Mai-Sea of all Blood) must be abundant with blood.
In the west the symptoms we associate within the onset of menses are referred to as PMS, this is a rather negative connotation, that allows these symptoms to be neatly packaged and almost disregarded in some senses. This means that in the west this important time in our feminine cycle, can be seen as a nuisance and a time of distress.
In Chinese medicine the syndrome known as PMS in the west is most often a patterning involving stagnation of liver Qi. This means the vital flow of energy through the liver has become stuck and cannot circulate properly. This is significant because the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body. Since our emotions are the manifestations of Qi, the liver also regulates the emotions. The liver is also responsible for the regulation of blood flow and Qi movements within the uterus, and is said to govern the menstrual cycle. Consequently, any emotional disturbance around this time, such as irritability or feeling depressed around the time of Heavenly Water can be a sign of liver qi stagnation.
Therefore, taking time to relax during menses, and not taking on too much work be it physical or mental are important. Take ten minutes to sit and meditate each day, to encourage emotional stability.
If you have painful periods you may find that massaging the lower abdomen with castor oil helps, if you find that heat relieves the pain try making up a heating pillow.
Mix 30 grams of dried ground cloves, cinnamon, ginger and Ai Ye (dried mugwort) and put the mixture in a small cotton pillow, roughly 7x7 inches. Warm the pillow in a microwave or a cast iron frying pan for a minute or two, do not allow it to get too hot so that it burns your skin. Place the pad over the abdominal area, you can also use this pad for backache.
Acupressure: Yong Quan- Kidney One
On the sole of the foot, between the second and third toes, approximately one third of the distance between the base of the second toe and the heel, there is a depression below the ball of the foot. This depression is the acupuncture point Yong quan, and is sometimes referred to as “Bubbling Spring.” Massage this point with strong pressure directed inwards and towards the big toe. Sight discomfort or mild pain when you do this indicates a blockage. Apply pressure for one minute.
Grandma’s 5-minute self-massage routine
These eight simple massage technique of Chinese Medicine stimulate acupuncture points and channels which are associated with your internal organs. Not only do massage help to relieve external problems, but it can also assist with your internal organ and emotional balance.
Rub your hands
Rub your hands with palms together, slowly and firmly for ten times. Then interlock your fingers together and squeeze three times firmly.
This massage improves heart circulation, benefits facial complexion and prevents numbness in the fingers.
Rub your forehead
Bend your two index fingers so that they are a hook, with medium pressure rub from the middle of your forehead slowly outwards to the temples. You can also rub your eyebrows. Repeat five times.
This massage clears the head, reduces stress and anxiety, improves sleeping and prevents wrinkles.
Squeeze your ears
Squeeze your ear between your thumb and index finger with medium pressure, from the top of the ear to the bottom of the ear lobe. Repeat 5 times. Please remove any earrings before massaging the ears.
This massage strengthens the kidneys and lower back, improves liver function, reduces tinnitus and maintains good hearing.
Rub your stomach
Place your entire right palm on the abdomen and cover with your left hand. Firmly and slowly rub clockwise 5 times them anticlockwise 5 times.
This massage improves digestion, assists with bowel movements, clears toxins and fatty deposits from the intestines and stomach. It can also assist with weight loss.
Rub the soles of your feet with four fingers
Use 4 fingers to firmly rub the soles of your feet from the heels to the toes. Repeat 10 times.
This massage soothes sore and tired feet, legs and lower back. It can strengthen the kidneys, assist in preventing dementia, aids in sleeping and increases immunity.
Rub the sides of your ribs
Place both hands palm down over your ribs. Rub slowly and firmly in a circular motion 10 times.
This massage can improve liver function and assist with reducing and preventing fatty liver. Helps with bloating, regulates bowl motion and reduces stress and anxiety.
Rub your lower back with your fists
Use your fists and knuckles to massage over your lower back area including the hips. Repeat 10 times.
This massage helps with lower back pain, improve circulation to the lower back and legs. It can also help reduces bed wetting in children. And increase sexual drive.
Rub your scalp with your finger tips
Use all 5 finger tips to massage over your scalp. Massage all over the head, avoiding the facial area with medium pressure for 1 minute.
This massage assists with releasing tension and pressure in the head. It helps to clear the mind and raise energy to the head, maintain healthy hair growth and prevents hypertension and risk of stroke.
Massage can help assist your health in many ways, while you are massaging please pay attention to the following:
Stand comfortably (some techniques may be done sitting)
Find a comfortable environment avoid extremes of temperature or windy conditions.
Don’t perform massage straight after eating or when very hungry.
Give your self 30 minute break and have a cup of warm water to drink after massaging.
Please don’t try to massage if you’re sick or very exhausted, post-surgery or during pregnancy.
If in doubt, please check with an experienced practitioner prior o commencing any self-massage.
If you can perform just a couple of the massages per week, you will experience long term benefits throughout your life.