Menopause Series 6: Blood Stagnation
The pattern is the last in the menopause series. Blood Stagnation does sound quite ‘serious’ but if this sounds like your pattern you may have had variations of some symptoms over the years of your period. It really is a pretty easy syndrome to understand. Literally the blood is stagnating, so you guessed it! Yes moving blood in the body is really really important to alleviate health issues. You may have had a history of endometriosis or periods which you observed clots as well.
If you think ‘Blood Stagnation’ might be a menopausal pattern you are experiencing here are some symptoms familiar to the pattern. You may not experience all symptoms, but a few:
Menopause preceded by a period when menses are very irregular stopping for along time then starting again
Dark clotted blood
High blood pressure
These might be some of the lifestyle patterns which might seem familiar:
Feeling tired often due to waking in the night.
Feeling out of control due to the unexpected nature of hormones and irregular bleeds.
Sometimes you can’t explain why you feel wound up.
The more you think about your blood pressure it keeps rising and causes you distress.
Mental restlessness turns into inability to concentrate on tasks.
Activity levels - move your energy!
When you hear the word stagnation what pops into you mind? It might bring up thoughts of being stuck, this pattern causes energy (qi) to become literally stuck and therefore blood stagnates in an area of the body. (uterus)
Exercise is integral to striking a balance and shifting this pattern. Your exercise choices should be gentle but active. At a minimum we all need 150 minutes of exercise per week. It might be a great idea to schedule active time for yourself starting with a 30 minutes per day. Becoming active is a brilliant choice for lots of reasons.
By moving our body we move our energy, when we move energy we move blood. Exercise can move stagnation physically.
Secondly, exercise and challenging ourselves physically can really boost motivation and our ‘can do’ states well as calm mental restlessness.
Not to mention if you have high blood pressure exercise will keep that amazing heart of yours in better shape.
A win win self care solution that is often free. Walking in nature has been shown achieve all the above. The only investment is a good pair of walking shoes, appropriate clothing for the weather and possibly a good audio book or some music.
Some other exercise ideas you might consider:
Weight bearing exercises
Light to medium types of yoga with a great teacher who understands any conditions you may have
Training for the couch to 5K
This pattern causes stagnation in the lower abdomen and uterus, getting energy moving in the area would be very beneficial. You could visit a special massage therapist who specialises in this area. In West Berkshire we have a great therapist who has years of experience her name is Jo Medhurst. There are various videos on abdominal massage which might be helpful. The suggestion here is getting stagnation in the area to move, it is likely you would need to consider a practice every few days to see benefits. Your massage therapist may also be able to show you a few pointers to use in between treatments.
Acupuncture would really help a few time per month for this pattern.Acupuncture points would regulate bleeding, stop clotting and reduce abdominal pain during an unexpected bleed. Overtime your body will regulate with acupuncture treatments and transition into periods coming to an end naturally.
Nourish Your Blood
If you are encountering irregular bleeds over a period of time nourishing your blood will be very important. Better quality blood will help reduce some of your tiredness. Chinese medicine has a few different causes of insomnia, but one of the biggest issues is not enough blood or poor quality blood. Now then work back into your history… if you had heavy periods, lost alot of blood while giving birth, have been a long term vegetarian, experienced long term anxiety or ate a poor quality diet for many years nourishing your blood now will be a step forward to better health!
I will list foods below to boost blood, but here’s what you can do today!
Consider a daily iron tonic such as Spa Tone with apple or Blueiron Liquid to top up blood.
Add a portion of red meat to meals each week
Drink bone broth each day (the Chinese drink broths everyday for nourishment)
Set your self up for a good sleep
If you can get a consistent quality sleep each night it will not only help blood pressure but it will also help your overall energy.
Check in with how much screen time before bed you are viewing. Stop one hour before bed.
Leave the phone outside the bedroom. Get an old fashioned battery alarm or treat your self to to alarm that wakes you with soft light in the morning. Ditch the red light alarm or the loud distressing noises in the morning. These tend to set off our cortisol levels and push blood pressure up in the morning.
Waking up in the night or struggle with falling off? Teach your self a light mediation or body check in to calm the mind and soothe your self back to sleep.
I know it may sound woo woo but lavender pillow spray and a sleep crystal is a great tool too!
An hour before bed do a calming slow yoga or stretching routine, basically a treatment for your body and mind each night.
For this pattern there is a balance of nourishing and moving blood to stop stagnation.
Firstly, blood nourishing foods:
Leafy greens: cabbage & other brassicas, dandelion leaf, kale, kohlrabi, parsley, spinach, spring greens, watercress
Animal products: chicken, eggs, quail & quail eggs, pork, lamb, beef, bone marrow, oysters, mussels, sardines, salmon
Pulses & bean products: tofu, miso, mung beans, tempeh, aduki beans, black beans, kidney beans, haricot beans, alfalfa
Fruit: apricots, cherries, dates, figs, goji berries, grapes, longan, lychee, mulberries, raisins, coconut products
Vegetables: alfalfa, avocado, beetroot, carrots, Chinese angelica, globe artichokes, tomatoes
Grains: barley, brown rice, corn, oats, wheatgerm, whole wheat
Other: marmite, molasses, seaweed, sesame seeds, tahini, spirulina, wheat germ
These are foods which move stagnate blood and energy, mix and match from each list to strike a balance.
Green tea, oolong tea
Radish, ginger, pepper, vinegar, light salting, a little wine
Watermelon, tomatoes, pears, water chestnuts, fungus of all kinds (mushrooms, wood ears etc.)
Aduki beans, lotus seeds, chinese barley
Crab, jellyfish, kelp, laver, mussels, clam, sea cucumber, abalone,
'How’ to eat to allow for energy to boost circulation
Avoid cold raw foods that freeze and constrict the circulation
Eat less, main meals earlier in the day
Eat mildly spiced foods
Cooking methods: stir fry, poaching, steaming
Higher volume of vegetables, low carbohydrates
Avoid skipping meals, eating when upset, eating quickly or over eating
Try complimentary therapies for support
During the journey of menopause self care is monumentally important. It is a point in a women’s life when there are alot of changes going on. Find a complimentary therapy to support your physical, metal and spiritual wellness. Consider a course of acupuncture treatments. These are often scheduled weekly to initially start to reduce symptoms. This also involves support with many of the lifestyle changes mentioned above. Please do contact me with any question you have about acupuncture and your health.
I follow strict COVID guidelines set out by the British Acupuncture Council and I am accepting new patients during this time.
Please get in touch if you have any questions about acupuncture and your health.
Thanks for reading,