QiGong For Menstruation
According to Traditional Chinese medicine, the health and function of a woman’s menstrual cycle are regulated by three different internal organs. The Spleen, the Liver and the Kidneys all play a pivotal role in this complex process. If even one of the three is in disharmony many problems can arise leading to pain, discomfort and dysfunction. Thankfully, by combining some gentle movement, with relaxed breathing and specific visualizations, using Qigong for Menstruation issues can make a major difference.
How do the organs affect menstruation?
The spleen, in conjunction with the stomach, has the job of turning the food that is eaten into blood and energy (Qi). It is that blood that nourishes all the tissues of the body as well as providing the material basis for the menstrual blood that lines or is shed by the uterus.
The spleen helps to move the blood and fluid around the body so that it doesn’t pool and accumulate where it shouldn’t. In addition, the spleen also provides the body with a retentive quality that keeps things like blood and fluid, just where they are supposed to be.
If however the spleen is weakened by its two nemeses, which are inappropriate eating or over-thinking, things start to go awry. A weakened spleen will result in poor blood production resulting in a deficient amount of blood to properly line the uterus or a scanty or very pale period colour.
Secondly, a weakened spleen’s inability to move fluids properly will result in fluid accumulating. This will lead to edema (swelling) in the lower body and bloating in the stomach.
Lastly, if the spleen is not doing a good job at turning food into the blood in the first place when the body begins to shed blood during a woman’s period, this will result in overall Qi (energy) and blood deficiency in the body. This can result in lightheadedness, weakness, blurry vision and fatigue.
The liver has a very specific job. It is responsible for moving Qi (energy) around the body. It is the movement of energy that in turn helps the spleen to move blood to where it's needed. In addition, the liver also provides the body with the ability to store blood when it’s not being used.
If however the liver is injured by stress, anger and irritability or by excesses of alcohol, it causes the energy of the liver to stagnate. Energy by nature needs to be in constant movement and when it doesn’t, functioning breaks down.
Clear signs that the energy of the liver isn’t flowing the way it should be any kind of achy pain in the body, especially around a woman’s period. Breast tenderness, premenstrual cramps in the stomach or lower back or temporal headaches, are all signs that the liver energy isn’t moving properly.
Because Qi moves blood, if there is significant stagnation in qi flow, the blood will stagnate as well. Sharp stabbing menstrual pain and blood clots are a result of blood not being moved because of stagnant Qi.
The Kidney’s store the Essence derived from your mom and dad. Essence can be thought of as the DNA or genetic material that is passed on from generation to generation. It is the blueprint that the body uses to decide how and what to do with the nutrients processed by the spleen and energy moved by the liver.
In addition, the kidneys rule over repetitive cycles of growth and development. They can be thought of as the body’s biological clock.
If the kidneys are injured by excess intake of salt or shocked by fearful or frightening events, the cycles they govern can be severely thrown off. This can be seen when strong emotional events lead to an irregular menstrual cycle whether it's early or later than expected.
However, it’s not just damaging to one individual organ that can lead to a dysfunctional menstrual cycle. Dysfunction to any one organ will throw off the functioning them all over time.
The three organs work in precise harmony to keep the body making blood, moving that blood, and doing it all at specific times. It is those happy relationships that regulate the body’s mechanical ability to give life or to clean that machinery out and prepare for the next cycle.
How does Qigong help menstrual pain?
Qigong exercise helps to remedy the sometimes painful side effects of menstruation through three distinct methods. Tonification, stimulation and regulation of Qi and blood.
When the Qi is tonified, it is strong enough to move the blood.
When the blood moves, it nourishes the tissues.
When Qi and blood move with the right amount of force and in the right direction, reproductive cycles regulate themselves.
Can you do Qigong while menstruating?
The real answer is …… maybe! It all depends on your current state of health as well as the type of qigong you are doing. Because qigong practice can have the effect of creating movement in the body, if your flow is heavy, you don’t want to be engaging in exercise that promotes more movement. If however your flow is normal on volume but you suffer from painful cramping and blood clots, then yes those types of exercises would be helpful.
“What is most important is to match your workout to your specific needs.”
- Qi Stimulating Qigong movements for PMS - symptoms such as breast tenderness, cramping and irritability are all signs that Liver Qi is stagnate. So practicing Qigong movements that stimulate Qi movement, such as in Qigong for Anxiety, will help to activate energetic movement through the meridians and tissues decreasing symptoms.
- Tonifying Qigong for Menstrual blood flow - Women who can feel weak, lightheaded, tired or have scanty or pale blood flow would benefit from these types of exercises. Using Qigong exercises that strengthen specific organs and meridians such as “Weeping Willow” from the Bodhi Medical Qigong set will be helpful for most women due to the fact that many women suffer with deficiencies of both Qi and blood during their period.
- Regulating Qigong movements between periods - Using Qigong exercises that focus on cleansing and regulating the movement of energy in the meridians especially of the Spleen, Liver, and kidney, such as in the video in this article will help to regulate the period and any disharmonious symptoms.
How Does Qigong for Menstruation work?
A Qigong meridian cleanse exercise is a fantastic moving meditation, and a great way to ensure the proper function of those three organs by connecting to the energetic movement of the meridians themselves. “Yi Dao, Qi Dao”, Where the mind goes, the Qi follows!
You first focus the mind on the path the energy travels and then reinforce that energy by visualizing the colour of that specific frequency of energy. This will turn on the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Using Qigong for menstruation and spending a few minutes a day tracing the path that energy travels through the spleen, liver and kidney meridians can lead to a happier, healthier and more productive... reproductive system.
...Give it a try!
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Thank you. This is so interesting. If I understand correctly I can do the exercises of the meridians during my periods, even though they I tend to have a heavy flow? Are there any Qi Gong movements that are still permitted for women with heavy flows? I love Qi Gong as it gives me energy and it brings me a deep sense of calm. But if I stop practicing (bc of my periods) after two days I feel really down and itchy to restart to practice. Any advice please? Thank you 🙏🏻
Hi Yitka, the general recommendations are not to do qigong while on your period. However with my patients I decide on a case to case basis. If you don’t feel light headed or weak during practice you are fine to practice. Qigong is wonderful for menstrual cramps and body aches.
Good explanation. Thanks!
My pleasure. I’m so happy you enjoyed. Sorry for the late response. I don’t know how I missed this message.