lack of menstruation (amenorrhea)
painful or difficult menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
The incidence of menstrual difficulty is extraordinarily common. The normal female cycle is disrupted from its average period of 28 days by a number of disturbing symptoms. Some women do not menstruate while others have extended or severe bleeding. Symptoms during or just before the monthly cycle can include pain in the lower abdomen, pain in the lumbar region, headaches, and nausea. The breasts sometimes swell and are painful. Many women are unable to continue with normal day to day functions and must go to bed and rest.
The symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome can be even more debilitating than painful menstruation. The symptoms come on one to two weeks before actual menstruation. These can include mental tension, irritability, headache, depression, and edema (swelling). During this time admissions to psychiatric hospitals, suicides, and accidents are all found to occur more frequently for women. Fortunately all of these symptoms are treatable with shiatsu, diet, and increased exercise.
In many cases the symptoms associated with menstrual difficulties are aggravated by lack of sufficient exercise. A complete shiatau treatment stimulates circulation and removes the heavy, bloated feeling often associated with these female problems.
Specific shiatsu should be directed to the lower back, abdomen, and the inside of the legs.
Have the receiver lie face down. Stand over the person and place your thumbs about 1 1/2 inches on each side of the spine, breathe in and out with the receiver and on an exhalation press down, leaning your body weight into the acupoint and hold for 2-5 seconds. Begin this press technique beneath the ribs at T^ and continue until the lower end of the tail bone. Repeat each point several times. With the palm of the hand massage in a circular movement over the kidney area.
Have the receiver turn over. Massage the lower section of the abdomen beneath the navel with the heel of the hand in a circular movement. Use care as this area may be tender and painful to the touch. Give the proper amount of pressure that will increase circulation and yet not create additional pain. Place one hand, palm down, on the navel and the other hand directly on top. You and the receiver should breathe in a deep full breath and on an exhalation press gently down until you find resistence. Hold for 1-5 seconds. Repeat at least 10 times. Finish by massaging the entire area again with the heel of the hand.
Massage the bottom of the feet and press with your thumb the lines on the inside of the legs. The channels found here are re-lated to the reproductive organs. Many times you will find tenderness around the ankle and just below the knee on the inside. Any tender spots are worth massaging a little extra. Work up and down each line 2-5 times.
Moxa treatment is very effective in relaxing menstrual cramping and discomfort. Warm each acupoint from 2-5 minutes. Use the following acupoints: on the abdomen-—CV 6, CV 12; on the back—US 23, UB 31-34; on the legs—SP 9, SP 6, KD 3.
Foods that retard the circulation of blood and energy should be restricted when menstrual troubles are present. They include: fatty items such as beef, cheese, milk and other dairy products, avocado, potato chips, and other fried, greasy foods. Sugars, honey, and fruit juice should be avoided and, temporarily, fruits as well. Stay away from raw salads and other cold foods which tax digestion and cool down the inside making internal contractions severe and painful.
The diet should include energizing warm foods which will relax excessive muscle contractions. A high fiber diet, taken in the form of whole grains, vegetables, and beans, has the ability to remove excessive estrogen from the body. The phytic acid present in fiber binds excess estrogen, thus removing this substance which is known to increase muscle cramping. This will help to establish the correct ratio of estrogen to progesterone (female hormones made by the ovaries) which is linked to the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.
Miso soup taken daily supplies adequate protein and vitamins including "itamin Bj^- Wakame seaweed and daikon radish (or turnip) added to the soup add a delicious flavor and medicinal qualities.
Compresses can be placed on the lower abdomen and/or the lower back, whichever you feel is appropriate. The warm, stimulating effect of the compress will help to alleviate pain rapidly.
Prepare a hip bath in one of two ways. You may use dried radish leaves (daikon preferred) and place 4-5 bunches in one gallon of water and simmer until the water turns brown. Add this liquid to a full bathtub.
The second method is to add a handful of seasalt to the bathtub.
Once the bath water is prepared, sit with the water level at least up to the waist. Cover the upper part of your body with a towel or blanket. Your body will become very warm and begin to sweat.This
takes about 10-20 minutes. Repeat this bath up to 10 days.