A women's cycle and the cycle of life (August 9th, 2005)
The monthly cycle women experience is rooted in the deepest cycles of nature and life from the Chinese medicine perspective. In the largely patriarchal West, we at best view menstruation as an annoyance, and at worst a scourge of uncleanlyness inherent in the "weaker sex". It is called the "curse" by many, and some forms of hormonal birth control stop the cycle completely to the relief of those who fail to understand the significance and power of this cycle. A woman's first period is sometimes a source of embarrassment and shame in our culture. In other cultures it is a cause for celebration and a right of passage. The Chinese medicine view is that the cycles of Yin and Yang that occur in women's cycles is a mirror of nature, life, and the universe. Traditionally in Taoist thought, woman held a place of great wisdom, since their bodies more closely followed the cycles of the moon and seasons than that of man. The Yin nature of women connects them with the mysterious, ancient and quite primal universal creative energy. A woman's body brings forth new life and connects her intimately to the primal universal energies of change, growth, rebirth and death. A women's intuition is directly related to her connection with this Yin nature of reality.
A woman's menstrual cycle speaks volumes about her overall health and emotional wellbeing. This cycle gives clues that make diagnosis and treatment in many ways easier and more powerful than what is typically available for the treatment of men. Women are encouraged to get in tune with their cycle, to honor it and understand the deep connection that it provides them with the cycles of life. Just as the moon moves from darkness (New Moon) to fullness and then back into darkness, a women's body does this as well.
Over thousands of years, Chinese medicine developed techniques, such as acupuncture and herbal remedies that work from this place of honoring and respecting women. In few other areas does Chinese medicine have such a profound impact as on women's health. While Western medicine and scientific understanding has advanced and our modern technology can sometimes do miraculous things, the Chinese approach to women's health issues is in many ways superior. The treatments of menopause, PMS, painful periods, infertility, and many other women's health issues can be dramatically and powerfully helped with Chinese medicine with far fewer side effects.
Chinese medicine is a Yin style medicine in that it is gentle and works with the subtleties under the surface to help restore balance. Western medicine is a Yang and patriarchal style medicine that works with dramatic and heroic measures but often fails to notice the subtleties and the interrelationships that make us all unique and mysterious. In women's health issues the Yin style of Chinese medicine seems to be quite effective. Luckily we have access to both approaches to healing and can freely choose which one (or both) we feel will serve us best in our striving for health and healing.
Copyright 2005 Oasis Acupuncture
Christopher Vedeler is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Clinical Hypnotherapist in Scottsdale, Arizona, with a Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine. He is the owner of Oasis Acupuncture, an Oriental medicine clinic where he operates a general family practice that specializes in treating psychological and emotional disorders including stress, anxiety and depression and women's health issues from the Chinese medicine perspective. Visit www.oasisacupuncture.com or call Chris at 480-991-3650 for more information.