The cycle of life is one of the many cycles that guides Chinese Medicine in its observation, assessment and treatment of patients. A seed is planted, sprouts from its seed coat into a tender shoot, and grows vigorously into a young plant. If there are adequate resources and good care, this plant produces flowers and fruits, sets its seed, dries and returns to the earth and starts the cycle again. Similarly, human life takes its form, is nurtured through pregnancy, birth, the stages of infancy to childhood to puberty, menarche, adulthood, potentially reproducing, and then if well tended to, enjoys a healthy, long life well into the wise years of elder hood.
The key to each of these life stages evolving smoothly in the human form is very basic according to Chinese Medicine, and is rooted in the balance of yin and yang. The concept of yin and yang, the relationship between them, and their presence in the body, emotions, and spirit form the foundation of Chinese medical theory, diagnosis, and treatment strategies. For example, Yin represents the substances, matter, blood, moon, the shady side of the mountain, rest, water, our internal organs. Yin is gathered for example through the replenishment of sleeping deeply and getting enough rest. Yang represents the light and warmth of the sun, activity, motivation, movement, energy, fire, the functions of internal organs. Yang is nourished for example through consuming a warm, hearty, energizing bowl of soup, or taking a brisk walk. As practitioners of Chinese medicine, we can help to balance yin and yang of the body using acupuncture channels and points, massage, herbs, dietary suggestions, meditation, and exercise. This holistic approach to nurturing and maintaining optimal health of the mind and body allows patients to arrive at and to thrive amidst the challenges that can arise in each stage of life, including puberty, menarche, and menopause.
The lens of yin and yang allows us as Chinese Medicine practitioners to seek the root cause of hormone imbalances.
Perhaps These Imbalances Show Up During Puberty:
debilitating PMS symptoms
hormonal headaches or migraines
Some Imbalances That Show Up During Menopause:
In addition to receiving acupuncture or taking herbal remedies, often we will ask about ones’ sleep, work, exercise and eating habits.
Each of these lifestyle factors can be assessed and recommendations can be made for patients to adjust at a reasonable pace that allows them to experience fewer extremes and to reclaim their energy.