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Nov 23

6 Self-Care Tips for PMS

6 Self-Care Tips for PMS

Most women know about PMS as over 90% of women experience one symptom of PMS and over 50% of women experience more than one symptom. Symptoms can include:

  • mood changes such as irritability, aggression, tension, lower self-esteem, depression
  • fluid retention such as bloating of the stomach, swelling of the feet and ankles, breast swelling and soreness
  • pain such as abdominal cramps, back pain and headaches
  • food cravings, binge eating
  • nausea

In Western Medicine, this collection of signs and symptoms is considered a normal part of a woman’s reproductive life. However, in Chinese Medicine, it is your body expressing disharmony within itself.

The Liver organ system in Chinese Medicine controls the free flow of Qi (energy) in the body. Emotions are also a form of energy and when they are not expressed appropriately or at all, the free flow of energy starts to get blocked, creating Liver Qi Stagnation. This can cause emotions which are associated with the Liver anger, frustration, resentment and annoyance, which are emotions which can cause the Liver Qi Stagnation, so a cycle is created.

To break this cycle, here is some self-care you can apply:

  1. Avoid coffee, alcohol, hot and spicy foods, rich and fatty foods, and large amounts of red meat before and during your period.
  2. Acupressure “Nei Guan (Inner Gate)”, located three finger-breadths from your wrist crease, this point moves Liver Qi, calms the mind and reduces nausea.PC6 Neiguan Acupuncture Point LocationPC6 Neiguan Acupuncture Point
  3. Practice gentle and mindful exercise such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Yoga. It cultivates your body through physical movement as well as develop mental awareness.
  4. Regular meditation cultivates mindfulness and gives you the ability to deal with your emotions in a healthy way. You can just “watch” your anger and by doing this, it removes the “charge” of the anger and your conscious and unconscious reactions to it.
  5. Write in a journal to help you stay in touch with your emotions.
  6. Avoid excessive work and maintain a balanced and regular schedule for eating, sleeping, working, exercising and resting so no undue stress is placed upon your physical, mental and emotional self.

As you can tell, the main culprit in causing PMS (and in fact most diseases) are emotions. If we can learn to be aware of them, recognise them and allow them to flow through us and out of us constructively, we can reduce the disharmony that is created and causes illness.

Dec 10

Summer Lifestyle Advice from a Chinese Sage

Unfortunately, the Chinese sage is not I, but is the famous Yellow Emperor (Huang Di), an emperor who reigned in the middle of the third millenium BCE and wrote one of the most important classics of Taoism, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing), which gives a holistic picture of human life.

Chinese Medicine Summer

Regarding living in summer (scroll down for summary):
“In the three months of summer, there is an abundance of sunshine and rain. The heavenly energy descends, and the earthly energy rises. When these energies merge, there is intercourse between heaven and earth. As a result, plants mature and animals, flowers and fruit appear abundantly.

One may retire somewhat later at this time of year, while still arising early. One should refrain from anger and stay physically active, to prevent the pores from closing and the qi from stagnating. One should not overindulge in sex, although one can indulge a bit more than in other seasons. Emotionally, it is important to be happy and easygoing and not hold grudges, so that the energy can flow freely and communicate between the external and the internal. In this way, illness may be averted in the fall. The season of fire and heart also encompasses late summer, which corresponds to the Earth element. Problems in the summer will cause injury to the heart and will manifest in autumn.”

In essence, to live accordance with nature in summer:

  • you can sleep later than usual whilst still waking early
  • avoid getting angry or hold grudges, and be happy and easygoing
  • stay physically active
  • you can have a bit more sex than usual, but be sure not to overindulge and deplete yourself

It’s not that summer-like in Melbourne just yet but keep some of these lifestyle tips in mind so illnesses and problems aren’t generated and passed through to autumn!