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Regulating Your Cycle

Updated: Jun 4, 2021

What is considered a normal cycle?

Ideally, a normal menstrual cycle is 28-30 days, 3-5 days of bleeding, no clotting, no digestive or sleep disturbances, no pain, emotions not affected. 

Yup. Really.  

We know that a symptom free cycle is pretty unusual. So what is behind issues like PMS, painful and heavy periods?



Like many cycle irregularities, PMS symptoms can be connected to the Liver organ system. In Chinese Medicine the Liver is responsible for storing and moving blood and keeping everything moving freely and easily in our bodies. This phase of the cycle between ovulation and menstruation involves an increased supply of Qi and blood. Unwanted PMS symptoms can present when the Liver becomes stagnant and impedes easy movement of energy.

Excess emotions, irritability, acne, headaches, breast tenderness, bloating, food cravings, and insomnia are signs of Liver Qi stagnation.

When there is ongoing Liver Qi stagnation it can cause blood to become stagnant and there will be severe cramps with blood clots. 

Conversely, if the Liver system is healthy a woman can feel more decisive, assertive, and creative during this phase of the cycle.

The Kidney organ system is also an important aspect of gynecology in Chinese Medicine and is connected to the idea of hormones. PMS symptoms of low back ache, fatigue, loose bowels, and feeling cold show that Kidney function needs a boost.


Heavy and painful periods

Issues with menstruation can signify different underlying patterns in Chinese Medicine. Looking at details such as color of blood, when the pain happens, and it's level of intensity can help identify the patterns that may be at play. There are many possible causes and can be due to either excess or deficient conditions in your body. Below are a few common patterns.

Heavy periods

Heavy flow or prolonged period, spotting, pale red blood, fatigue, dull headache, and muscle aching before/during/after menstruation are due to deficiency (usually in the Spleen or Kidney organ systems). Treatments focus on boosting and supporting your body.

Profuse bright red bleeding that start early or a prolonged cycle with irritability, headaches, constipation signifies too much heat in the body. Heat can build in the body because of lack of movement from prolonged stagnation, diet (alcohol, spicy food), and strong emotions.

Painful Periods 

Pain that is sharp, stabbing and worse prior to menstruation, and better when period starts and clots are passed, and feelings of restlessness result from blood stasis causing sluggish circulation. Acupuncture and herbal formulas can help invigorate blood flow.

Dull pain, worse toward the end the cycle, better with pressure, fatigue after menstruation, and scanty flow shows a deficiency condition usually of blood, which is considered nourishing and moistening to the body, including the uterus.


How acupuncture can help

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to support women through the growth, development, reproductive, and aging process. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine offer a non-invasive approach to women's health issues

Acupuncture benefits:

Restore balances

Reduces inflammation

Relieves pain

Increases circulation

Regulates hormones

How many treatments will it take?

For the best results it can take 3 months of acupuncture treatments to regulate the cycle, but effects are often felt after initial treatments. It is best to start with with weekly visits that can then be tapered to twice a month

Heal your body naturally!

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