On my journey to healing PMS and painful periods, I discovered a profound connection between my emotions and the menstrual disharmonies I experienced.
I wondered if I was different, if this was unique to me, but with study I soon realized…
Emotional stress is a major cause of menstrual problems
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), emotional stress – emotions experienced excessively or over an extended period of time – is identified as a major cause of disharmonies in menstruation, pregnancy, labor and menopause.
Because emotional stress disrupts the natural cycles of energy transformation and circulation within our body, it can cause our Qi and blood to stagnate or rebel – which may manifest as PMS/PMDD, irregular periods, amenorrhea (no period), delayed periods, heavy menstruation, or dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
Emotional stress is most detrimental during puberty
The impact of emotional stress during puberty is especially profound. Because a girl’s health is particularly vulnerable at this time, emotional problems will affect her body and mind deeply and with long-lasting effects.
In my own experience, depending on the issues, it can take many years of hard work to unwind and heal early emotional challenges. I sincerely hope that we can offer young girls today more understanding, support and guidance to help them have a smooth and joyful transition into adulthood.
Five important emotions to watch for
Specifically, there are five emotions that have a profound influence on women’s menstrual health:
Sadness and grief
It’s normal to feel sad and grieve for our losses. But when these emotions are held inside for a prolonged period of time and not allowed a normal release, they can lead to amenorrhea, scanty periods, heavy bleeding, or delayed cycles.
Worry knots the Qi of the lungs, heart and spleen. It causes our Qi to stagnate which may lead to delayed periods, painful periods, pre-menstrual tension, breast tenderness, and breast lumps.
Anger includes frustration, resentment, bearing grudges, irritation, hatred, etc. Anger causes liver Qi stagnation, which often manifests as irregular periods, PMS/PMDD symptoms, painful periods or heavy periods.
Fear refers to either a sudden fright or a chronic state of anxiety. It can cause blood to rebel upward leading to headache, irritability, hot flashes, insomnia, and other menopausal symptoms.
An extremely common and damaging emotion, guilt causes the sinking of Qi, which may lead to a bearing-down feeling or a prolapse of the uterus or bladder.
There’s a Chinese saying, “Flowing water does not rot.”
If we allow our emotions to flow through us naturally, they will serve to guide us and enrich our lives. On the other hand, if we repress or indulge in negative emotions, they will stagnate, knot, sink or rebel, causing various emotional and menstrual disharmonies.
It can take time to heal past emotional difficulties. So it’s important that we’re patient with ourselves.
At this moment, though, we can at least learn how to handle our emotions in healthier and more constructive ways, so we can begin to heal our emotional and menstrual disharmonies, naturally…