[The menstrual cycle is] like the moon, it waxes and wanes, and like the tide it comes regularly.

The rise and fall of yin and yang in the body is cyclical and constant like the tides. This ebb and flow of yin and yang is responsible for the menstrual period, with different physiological processes taking place at different points in the cycle. This is even acknowledged in Western history, with the term “period” in reference to menstruation appearing as early as 1822, and meaning an “interval of time” or a “repeated cycle of events.”

Menstruation lends key insight to the overall health of the body and it is fortunate that our body gives us signals and feedback every month. Irregularities can direct us to where in the cycle and/or where in the body there is imbalance.

What is Normal?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, a women’s menstrual cycle should last around 28 days but more importantly, it should be on a fixed cycle. It should last 4-5 days, the blood should be liquid, red—not pink or brownish—and without clots. A woman should not have discomforts other than a little lower abdominal distention and a feeling of heaviness in that part of the body which corresponds to the fullness of blood and fluids accumulating in the abdomen. So, tender breasts, headaches, cramps and other Western normalized pain and discomfort is actually an indication of imbalance that can be righted. You don’t need to suffer in the slightest!

Whether you are experiencing mild discomfort around your period or more complex issues like hormonal fluctuations, entering perimenopause/menopause, or you are trying to conceive, we can offer compassionate help with real results. Perimenopause and menopause are discussed separately in greater detail here.  Please feel free to call The Nest for a free 10 minute consultation if you would like to ask questions about your particular situation and how we could help you. 773.526.0798


A Compendium of Chinese Medical Menstrual Diseases by Bob Flaws

Acupuncture and women’s health: an overview of the role of acupuncture and its clinical management in women’s reproductive health