Flow visited me this weekend. I was happy to find that she was pretty nice to me. My cramps were mild. It helped that I took extra care to nurture myself with a warm bath with epsom salts, light, healthy foods, and lots of rest 🙂
As I travel down this road to natural healing, I’ve learned that menstruation is an indication of my healing progress and a reflection of my choices and/or changes during the previous cycle.
One way of telling the health of the menstrual cycle is obviously the pain and cramping that comes with it. After suffering for years with painful periods, when I experience mild pain, then this is always a good sign!
Another sign to observe is the look and consistency of the menstrual flow. Since I received my acupuncture treatments a couple of cycles ago, things have been a bit wonky in this area for me, so I decided to review what “normal” menstrual flow looks like and what it means if it is “abnormal”.
What Does Menstrual Flow Show?
For this analysis, I went back to the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – which looks to find the underlying root issue. I’ve found an excellent resource to be Dr. Radine Lewis‘ book The Infertility Cure.
First things first…. Normal menstrual flow should be a dark red color. If you are the lucky one to experience this then congrats 🙂
According to Dr. Lewis, “If the menstrual blood is unusual in amount, color and consistency then this usually means a problem with the uterine lining.”
Largely black or brown blood, accompanied by stabbing pain indicates that menstrual blood is not able to release properly. In TCM this is classified as “blood stasis”. This means that the lining may have difficulty regenerating.
Pale blood, watery, or thin menstruation indicates poor blood quality, which could indicate poor circulation.
Clots in the flow mean stagnation. This means that flow is not being expelled from the uterus. This is also a sign of low progesterone and/or liver functioning issues.
If you (like me) experience lower back pain, cramps that respond to heating pads and clotty menstrual blood then you have what is termed in TCM as a “Cold Uterus”. (A cold uterus usually feels literally feels cooler than the rest of the body).
If the blood is too thin or watery, this indicates a deficiency in reproductive energies. A scanty period with only one or two days of bleeding that is pale red or pink could indicate an iron deficiency or annovulation (lack of ovulation).
On the Positive Side?
My flow goes through a mix of symptoms. The start to my cycle (since doing Acupuncture) has been pale, pink with limited flow, cramping and a swollen tummy, then the following days include pretty large scale clotting, then I finish up with dark blood.
This tells me, that while I am feeling better, my menstrual flow shows differently.
I have hopes that I will have a dark red flow, with no clots, with a nice consistent flow. Believe it or not this has happened before, but it is not consistent.
I think that with each new cycle we get a new start — a chance to truly nurture our lives, thus reflected on the lining of the uterus. This means eating well, practicing self care and making sure to express ourselves in a creative manner.
I know that I have come a long way when a part of me looks forward to my period. I look forward to the creative force that is released and the progress that I am making on my overall healing journey.
Do you pay attention to your menstrual flow? What does it look like? Do you notice differences when the self care aspect is in full force? I’d love to hear from you…..