What does the color of your flow say about your health?
Updated: Mar 13
As far into the distant past as the Zhou Dynasty in 1,000 BC, many of the great minds of Chinese Medicine worked in the palace of their emperor. Imagine, if you were a leader of a great empire, considered to be the "Son of Heaven" and therefore the father of future sons of heaven, what would Your primary medical concerns be? What would you require of your family's doctor? If you guessed longevity and virility for the men in your family and beauty and enhanced fertility for the women, you are correct!
Often people think of Chinese Medicine as a solution for pain management (which it is), but those people are missing the rich and well-documented history of Chinese Medicine as the sole medicine used by many millions of women to enhance fertility and proactively balance and heal their reproductive systems.
Building over thousands of years of clinical observation, Chinese medical doctors have gathered a rich understanding of women's health, with periods as a lens into our body's systems. So, what exactly did they figure out about periods? There are a lot of factors we could discuss here, but let's focus on the color of menstrual blood, as it is a big tip off on the state of your reproductive system and body's systems as a whole, and it is easily observed by you.
Pale watery blood indicates that your body isn't integrating nutrition from your food well, and is often scanty and accompanied by fatigue, bloating, and pelvic floor pressure during menses.
Crimson blood, such as blood you would bleed through a cut, is ideal and tells us that your uterus is healthy and happy.
Dark red blood is usually caused by stress, either acute or long-term as seen in trauma. Women who have this color of blood will usually also have PMS, including breast tenderness, mood changes, and headaches. The length of these cycles can be erratic.
Dark purplish blood, which often has clots, is indicative of a lack of healthy circulation in the uterus and can often be a seen in tandem with diagnosable western conditions such as fibroids or endometriosis.
Keep in mind that an asymptomatic period is the standard of health and Is attainable. That's right- your breasts don't have to hurt every month. Your mood doesn't have to go south. You don't have to suffer from cramps. You don't have to bleed heavily on an unpredictable schedule. If your period is symptomatic, you would benefit from working with a Chinese medicine practitioner. If you are considering having children, you would ideally start working with someone in advance of beginning to "try" to get pregnant. Doing so can alleviate the process of needing to "try" for a long time and, in many cases, can eliminate the need for fertility treatments.
At Within Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine, we have two treatment options- Acupuncture or a Diet, Herbs & Lifestyle Consultation for women not interested in acupuncture or for women who can't make it to our clinic in downtown SF. During these sessions, Heather Bird, our women's health specialist, gets to the bottom of the imbalance in your body that is producing your symptoms and, using the wisdom and tried and true treatment plans of thousands of years of Chinese medicine, helps you get on track to the symptom-free period that is a reflection of balanced internal health that you deserve.
Visit our website at www.withinsf.com to learn more about our clinicians and clinic. Or give us a call at (415)839-8090 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation.