Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle are considered as the phases of Yin and Yang in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). These phases are modern theory, based on the integration of ancient concepts of Yin and Yang, which also correlate to the Follicular and Luteal phases of the cycle.
These hormonal fluctuations and anomalies may contribute to reproductive disorders such as infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome, irregular menses, and pre-menstrual syndrome. Each phase is for a duration of seven days, based on a 28-day cycle. A typical menstrual cycle ranges between 28 to 32 days. Cycles of 20 to 25 days is considered a Short Cycle, and a Long Cycle is one occurring over 35 days. First half of the cycle is the Follicular phase corresponding to day 1 to 14. The Luteal phase extends from day 14 to the first day of menstrual bleeding.
Phase 1: Start of menses – called the ‘blood phase’. The acupuncture treatment for this phase is the regulate qi and blood.
Phase 2: Treatment during the Yin phase of the cycle is to nourish blood and keep the yin hormones in balance. Estrogen and Progesterone are yin hormones.
Phase 3: Days 12 -14 are ovulatory days, when you are most fertile. It’s the beginning of the Yang phase of the cycle.
Phase 4: The last phase of the cycle in the final part of the Yang and the Qi phase. The Yang hormones- DHEA are Cortisol are most prevalent in this phase.
Acupuncture treatments before and during the phases of the menstrual cycle keep hormones in balance, reduce menstrual cramping, and alleviate premenstrual symptoms.