Harmonise your Yin and Yang – Women’s Health
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), everything from objects to processes has either a yin or yang quality. We try to balance four basic constituents in Chinese Medicine: Qi, Blood, Yin, and Yang. Blood is self-explanatory; Qi is the free flowing vital energy. Yin is considered feminine and is associated with both wetness and cold whereas yang is masculine and associated with dryness and heat. Should you be considering harmonizing your yin and yang to improve your health? If so, then read on to learn more about Chinese medicine for women’s health.
Yin, Yang, and Women’s Health
Women’s health is intimately linked to the notion of Yin and Yang balance in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is especially evident through hormonal imbalance. Yin and Yang are directly opposed in nature, but they, rely on one another to function effectively. If there is excess yin or yang an imbalance occurs.
When it comes to women’s health, TCM offers a systemic approach. Instead of just simply treating symptoms, practitioners of TCM will seek to understand and resolve underlying conditions in an effort to improve your health and wellbeing.
For example, a woman who spend most of the day being inactive and consuming a poor diet, overtime she is likely to experience excess Yin. This can occur as a result of poor blood circulation and lack of yang to keep the Yin circulating, resulting in a range of Yang deficiency or weak Yang symptoms. On the other hand, if a woman is stressed or exercises too much without plenty of rest, it can lead to Yin deficiency symptoms.
Signs of Yin Deficiency in Women
Those with yin deficiency often report a poor quality of life. The symptoms of yin deficiency refer to a lack of fluids such as blood and bodily fluids. This is sometimes referred to as a build-up of “heat” in the body – or excess heat. . Symptoms of Yin deficiency or weak yin include
- Scanty periods or absent periods
- Fertility struggles due to poor ovulation
- Hot flashes, Night sweats
- Vivid dreams or nightmares
- Dry skin, nails, hair
- Vaginal dryness
A weak yin may result in fatigue and impaired nervous system function sleeplessness, irritability, and night sweats. During menopause, many women are found to have kidney yin deficiency. This can result in vaginal dryness, palpitations, and hot flashes. Since yin deficiency can cause dryness, other common symptoms include both dry hair and dry skin. Lastly, deficiency of the heart and kidney yin have been associated with postpartum depression.
Lifestyle Changes to Nourish the Yin
Thankfully, there are many simple lifestyle changes, herbs, and foods that women can engage in to nourish and strengthen yin.
- Get Plenty of Sleep: Make sure to get plenty of rest because not doing so may result in an inability to manage stress which has been shown in studies to lead to kidney yin deficiency. Since Added stress is one of the more common causes of yin deficiency, to reduce stress, consider adding exercise or practicing yoga.
- Yin Tonifying Foods: Yin deficiency can cause to body to overheat. Cooling foods are recommended for a weak Yin, there are many tasty options when it comes to foods that will nourish and tonify yin.
- Meats such as duck and chicken can nourish yin and blood.
- Fruits such as jujube and goji berries (also known as wolfberries) are also yin-nourishing.
- Yams and mung beans are a great side item to add to the above for a yin nourishing meal.
- Add lettuce and vegetable salads, raw sprouts, fresh fruit (especially watermelon, melons, and peaches), cucumber, celery to your diet
- Tonifying yin also means eliminating certain foods such as those that are fried or loaded with sugar, hot spicy food in general, lamb, shrimp, prawns, and trout.
- Yin Tonifying Herbs:
Herbal preparations that contain ginseng and red sage (salviae miltiorrhizae) have been shown to improve blood circulation and to nourish yin while replenishing Qi. When the body is Yin deficient ginseng helps reduce ‘fire’ or ‘excess heat’ as it generates fluids. It is often known as kidney yang tonic.
Lotus Seeds (Nelumbinis Semen) is a yin herb that helps to strengthen the spleen. The yin herb Crataegi Fructus helps to improve digestion by invigorating the stomach.
Signs of Yang Deficiency in Women
Although Yang is the male energy of the yin-yang, Yang Qi is essential for women’s wellness. “Yang Qi guards the body against external threats.” Yang Qi controls our growth and strength throughout our lives, as well as the generation of essence, blood, and body fluids. Symptoms of Yang deficiency or weak Yang include:
- Fertility struggles
- Always feeling cold (cold hand and feet)
- Fatigue and low energy
- Sore back, varicose veins, achy legs
- Painful periods
- Poor digestion (loose stool)
- Urinary disorders
- Water retention
- Low libido
Yang deficiency in women may produce many different symptoms. Some may experience sexual dysfunction, infertility, and low libido. Others may feel cold, tired, short of breath. Digestion and elimination issues are also common in yang deficiency. It is not uncommon for women to experience loose stools and issues with urination because of yang deficiency.
Lifestyle Changes to Nourish the Yang
As with weak yin, there are lifestyles changes that will help to correct yang deficiency by tonifying and nourishing yang.
- Gentle Exercise: Consider practicing yoga, tai chi, or qigong to help strengthen yang. Doing so will help the body to relax while reducing heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure.
- Avoid staying up late: The Yang energy is most abundant in the morning, it reaches peak about midday and starts all over again at night. If you remain up late, you haven’t preserved Yang Qi but have instead consumed it.
- Yang Tonifying Herbs: Panax Ginseng, Astragalus Mongholicus Bunge, and Rubiaceae are herbs that have been used to invigorate yang.
- Yang Tonifying Foods: Foods containing phytosterols will help to nourish yang. These include:
- Beans, nuts, seeds such as Chestnuts, pinenuts, pistachio nuts, walnuts
- Flavonoids, found in berries, tea, read cabbage, and dark chocolate, will also help to invigorate yang
- Avoid cold foods and beverages instead opt for jasmine tea or green tea
- Add meats like Chicken, lamb, kidneys of beef and lamb to your diet
- Incorporate warming herb is your diet like: black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon bark, clove, dill seed, fennel seed, fennugreek seed, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, peppermint, rosemary, tumeric, thyme
Other Ways Chinese Medicine for Women’s Health Can Help
In addition to lifestyle changes, herbs, and foods, both moxibustion and acupuncture can help women to feel their best.
- Moxibustion: Moxibustion can improve the flow of Qi, blood and yang energy. It can also expel cold and dampness from the body. Moxibustion can help with a range of women’s health issues including menstrual health, fertility breech baby, stress, anxiety, pain management. Women who are going through menopause can also benefit from moxibustion.
This ancient practice involves the burning of a moxa cone in an effort to improve healing. It. Studies have shown that women who tried moxibustion experienced improved emotional health and physical condition.
- Acupuncture: Like moxibustion, acupuncture also has a long history of success in TCM. It uses sterile needs inserted into the skin on specific points in order to create harmony between yin and yang. Acupuncture works by promoting blood flow, Qi, the stimulation from the needles causes body to release endorphins – a natural pain killer.
Acupuncture can help women with a range of issues including: fertility, menstrual issues, endometriosis, PCOS, emotional well being, immune system, pain and weight management.
A study out of Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, USA used acupuncture on women experiencing low libido and sexual dysfunction. After five weeks of acupuncture, women reported an increase in their sexual desire as well as improvement in overall sexual function.
Menstrual Maintenance by GinSen are supplements for regulating the menstrual cycle naturally. Ideal for irregular periods – absent periods, heavy/light period flow, period clotting and balancing hormones. It also supports the well-being of female fertility organs to help promote fertility
There are a variety of herbs that provide a drug-free option to help improve yin and yang deficiencies. Getting plenty of exercise and restorative sleep will also help to improve your overall wellbeing. A diet rich in lean meats, berries, seeds, and nuts will tonify and nourish both yin and yang. The ancient practices of moxibustion and acupuncture have been used in Chinese medicine for women’s health and have been proven to boost physical and emotional health. If you could benefit from harmonizing your yin and yang, consider speaking to a TCM practitioner about your options.
For more information about Chinese Medicine for women’s health, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.