Menstrual periods are not the same for every woman. A woman’s period can change throughout her lifetime and timing, duration, colour and flow of periods can vary greatly.
Every month, the hormonal cycle of a woman in her fertile years goes through the process to prepare for pregnancy. Your hormones oestrogen and progesterone usually change throughout the cycle. If the egg does not become fertilised, the lining of the uterus is shed during menstruation.
In Chinese medicine we look at four phases of the menstrual cycle which are determined by the ebb and flow of yin (oestrogen) and yang (progesterone). The kidneys, heart and liver are of utmost importance for an harmonious cycle, the health of the spleen and stomach play a role as well.
What you will get out of tuning in:
The different phases of a menstrual cycle seen from a Traditional Chinese medicine perspective.
What’s a normal healthy cycle like?
How do you diagnose infertility with Chinese medicine?
What are the most common Chinese medicine patterns / imbalances for infertility?
How is the spleen energy related to fertility?
What role does the liver play in fertility?
How is the heart connected to the uterus and what does this mean for fertility?
Why are the kidneys so important for fertility?
What are a kidney yang and a kidney yin deficiency?
How do I treat an imbalance in my practice? What are the different steps?
How can a couple/woman/man support this process to increase the chances to conceive?
How can the Embody to Thrive program help to balance hormones and to boost fertility?
“According to Chinese medicine, the menstrual cycle is determined by the ebb and flow of Kidney-Yin and of Kidney-Yang. The amount of Yin oestrogen and Yang progesterone (and specifically Kidney-Yin and Kidney-Yang) fluctuates like a tide during the month in a defined pattern.”
“Very important to mention is that uncomfortable symptoms around ovulation, before, during and after the period are NOT normal. They indicate an imbalance.”
“In terms of fertility there are four organ systems – Kidney, Spleen, Heart and Liver that, when unbalanced, can lead to infertility.”
“Women with Spleen Qi deficiency typically have low energy, cravings for sugar, breads and other carbs, poor circulation and may experience spotting before their periods, menstrual cramps and fatigue during their periods. A Spleen Qi deficiency pattern is common in women with luteal phase defect.”
“The uterus (bao gong) is not seen in TCM as an isolated organ, but includes the ovaries, the fallopian tubes and the cervix.”
Are you interested what Ayurveda and Yoga have to offer for a healthy menstrual cycle and to enhance fertility? Then tune into the other podcast episode here.
Are you looking for natural ways to have a healthy menstrual cycle?
Do you want to boost your fertility naturally?
I offer in my practice in Barcelona tailor-made treatments for women with acupuncture, Chinese herbals, Hormone Yoga Therapy and food recommendations. This natural therapy approach can help to ease menstrual discomforts, to enhance your fertility and support IVF treatments.
Naturopathy boasts an impressive variety of effective measures and therapies. As different as they may be, their goal is always the same: to activate and strengthen the body’s self-healing powers.
While conventional pharmaceuticals suppress symptoms and often cause new ones, the goal of naturopathy is completely different. Naturopathic therapies activate the body’s own self-healing powers to bring about real healing and restore healthy balance.
Ideas and values of naturopathy
The self-healing powers of the organism can be reactivated through protection and relief, or by using certain techniques to activate stimulus.
For a better understanding, let’s take someone with painful joints and look at different treatment options:
An acutely inflamed joint is first immobilised and carefully moved passively under tension.
A chronically inflamed joint, on the other hand, is trained appropriately depending on the damage.
In addition, the stimulus strength is individually adapted to the patient and his illness. For example, a vigorous and strong person may take cold showers. Whereas an underweight, weaker person would take warm showers or baths.
Naturopathy thinks holistically
Naturopathy is considered the “teaching of natural remedies and naturopathic treatments”. Naturopathic procedures traditionally root in different cultures around the world. When it comes to physical complaints or illnesses, naturopathy regularly assumes that the harmonic balance in the human organism is casually disturbed.
The goal of many naturopathic procedures is therefore to restore this natural balance in the body gently. It takes into account the relationships between individual organs but also between the physical level and the mental state of the person. Furthermore, it seeks to identify and treat the causes. Especially, in case of chronic diseases, it is important to recognise the “common thread” that led to the profound imbalance.
Natural medicine procedures
According to a definition by Brauchle in 1952 natural therapies methods include: the sun, light, air, movement, rest, food, water, cold, the earth, breathing, our thoughts, our feelings and processes of will.
“Classic” naturopathy generally includes the following naturopathic treatments:
Hydrotherapy and balneotherapy (water treatments)
Dietetics: support of the treatments by a healthy diet and a diet adapted to the clinical picture.
Order therapy: balanced lifestyle in a regular rhythm and in harmony with nature. Very important as the observing of the patient’s network of relationships.
Phytotherapy: use of plants active substances as medicine.
Other methods of naturopathy are:
Traditional Chinese Medicine with acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietetics, Qi Gong and Tuina massage
How to choose a good naturopath
You can recognise a reputable naturopath as someone that :
has successfully completed qualified trainings in the procedures they use.
does not offer a variety of treatment methods, but has specialised in a few specific procedures.
does not recommend that you stop taking medication that a doctor has prescribed for you.
knows their limits and will refer you to a doctor if your disease cannot be successfully treated with their methods.
does not give you healing promises.
does not advertise with spectacular healing successes.
completes regular training programs.
does not categorically reject conventional medicine and is also ready to work in cooperation with a doctor.
Today we find many people calling themselves naturopaths after taking some weekend trainings. That’s why it’s always important to inquire about the length and school where the naturopath trained. A comprehensive naturopathic training takes around 20 – 30 months.
Naturopathy is recommended if you:
want to change and optimise your diet.
suffer from psychosomatic complaints.
have sleeping problems.
have chronic diseases e.g. rheumatism, gout, arthritis.
suffer from acute events such as lumbago or a cold.
want to prevent (prophylaxis) and maintain health, e.g. strengthening the immune system.
want treatment specifically with a special naturopathic procedure e.g. craniosacral therapy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, yoga therapy, etc.
suffer from musculoskeletal disorders such as spinal or joint problems.
have skin problems like acne, eczema or psoriasis and are looking for an alternative to cortisone & Co.
want to address and heal allergies naturally.
suffer from digestive disorders.
have autoimmune diseases e.g. Hashimoto, Graves’ disease, etc.
feel exhausted and tired.
suffer from hormonal imbalances and diseases such as: infertility, PMS, hypothyroidism, endometriosis, PCOS, etc.
Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a subtle, profound body work that balances and harmonizes all levels of a human being. It is an alternative manual treatment that has its origins in osteopathy.
Craniosacral therapy describes the functional unit between “cranium” (skull) and “sacrum”. From top to bottom, both are connected to each other via the spine. The skull and the spine are lined on the inside with membranes. Furthermore, these form the brain and spinal cord skins. It contains the cerebrospinal fluid, which flows around the brain and spinal cord and is in a permanent rhythmic pulsation. Most importantly, it serves as a shock absorber for the protection of our nervous system.
Secondly, and very important, the craniosacral system “CSS” maintains close relationships with the nervous, vascular and lymphatic systems. Moreover, it is connected to the hormonal, respiratory, muscular and skeletal systems. Not to mention that disease or dysfunction can affect the rhythmic harmony and flow of the craniosacral rhythm as well. Equally, disorders within the system can inevitably have serious and often damaging effects on all bodily systems.
What happens during a craniosacral therapy session?
During the treatment, which lasts about one hour, the patient lies relaxed on the massage table. At the beginning of the session the craniosacral therapist usually senses different parts of the body with gentle pressure of 2 – 20 grams. With the aim of receiving information about the harmony, uniformity and quality of the craniosacral rhythm. Given that, we use gentle techniques to resolve those obstacles in the system.
The goal of craniosacral therapy is the integration of body, soul and spirit. This can be achieved by promoting self-healing through self-correction within the body. Over and above that, it stimulates the blood circulation and relaxes the nervous system.
What conditions does craniosacral therapy treat?
The craniosacral system is closely related to all other systems in the body. As a result, by balancing or harmonising the craniosacral rhythm we can always affect the whole body. For this reason, the following list is a small selection of possible applications:
This is a great video explaining the Upledger approach to Craniosacral Therapy
History of Craniosacral Therapy
When we look at the history of craniosacral therapy, there are three people that need to be honoured and mentioned in order to understand the evolution of this powerful therapy.
Founder of Osteopathy
Dr. Andrew Taylor Still founded osteopathy. His basic principles of osteopathy are still today the basis for understanding the work of osteopathy and craniosacral therapy. Essentially important to him were the following conjectures:
The body is seen as an interconnected unit.
The body has the ability to regulate itself.
Structures and functions of the tissues are in mutual relation.
In 1892 he founded the American School of Osteopathy to transmit his vast knowledge. One of his most important guiding principles to his students was: “Find it, fix it and leave it alone.”
Founder of Craniosacral Osteopathy
One of his students was William Garner Sutherland was deeply fascinated by the anatomy of the skull with all its bones and sutures. His profound research found that pressure applied to different parts of the skull leads to certain emotional states and physical symptoms.
If not making progress with his work he remained in a state of silence to find further impulses and answers to advance his work. That´s why his motto to his students was “Dig on”. With that, he emphasised that motivation, persistence and patience are needed when working with craniosacral osteopathy.
Founder of techniques of Craniosacral Therapy
The techniques we see today during craniosacral therapy are mostly to honour Dr. John E. Upledger. Resulting from an operation on the dura mater he experienced the craniosacral rhythm and henceforth began a serious study of the writings of Sutherland. In addition, he also did scientific tests using laser to show the movements of the meninges of the skull.
During the years he accomplished his work by the development of the somato-emotional-release. This evolution resulted in a technique that helps the patient to release traumas in a safe container.
His publications and teachings made the craniosacral therapy worldwide known. Today, his school is the leading school for training craniosacral therapists.
How would it feel to free yourself from your symptoms? Ready to change and invest time and energy to get to the root of your problem? Then book your session now. I am looking forward to meeting you.
"Carina is amazing! She is very knowledgeable and offers highly professional treatments and advise. She is also very human, kind and caring to the smallest detail, and will make you feel comfortable and safe during her sessions. I absolutely enjoy my acupuncture and naturopathy sessions and recommend Carina without hesitation!"
"If you are looking for a Naturopath who specialises in Traditional Chinese Medicine in Paris or Barcelona, I can highly recommend Carina Greweling.
My first face to face session with Carina was for recurring tendinitis that I have been suffering from since my early 20s. Usually it takes up to 12 weeks for the tendinitis flare up to ease off; Carina's acupuncture treatment and accompanying advice reduced the timeframe by HALF.
My second meeting with Carina was via teleconference - I was in Paris and she was in Barcelona. Her advice for diet changes based on Ayurvedic principles have really helped me with bloating discomfort, sleep issues and to maintain my natural weight.
Don't miss Carina's blog, where there is a wealth of information on TCM and Ayurveda topics plus more."
"I had never heard of Craniosacral Therapy until I met Carina at a workshop and something that started off in curiosity ended up being one of the most profound healing experiences I have had. I am so grateful that I got an opportunity to receive sessions from her in Barcelona."
"I had a severe neck pain that was bothering me for 4 weeks. Carina was kind and caring to really understand the root of the problem. I had a fantastic massage to loosen the muscles and left the practice brand-new."
"Carina est une excellente naturopathe, passionnée par son métier, elle est profondément investie et à notre écoute pour nous comprendre. Ayant des soucis hormonaux entraînant des symptômes très gênants au quotidien.
Grâce à ses conseils, en 1 an de temps, mes symptômes se sont grandement améliorés et certains ont totalement disparu, je revis totalement depuis.
Elle a une très grande connaissance.
Je la recommande à 100% !"
"La thérapie cranio-sacrale et les fleurs de Bach prodiguées par Carina m'ont aidée à retrouver un équilibre thyroïdien et une meilleure stabilité émotionnelle. Ses connaissances se doublent d'une empathie exceptionnelle. Douce, à l'écoute et très compétente."
"I have chronic pain due to my scoliosis and while vacationing in Barcelona, found Carina online. I get regular massages so was hesitant about trying someone unknown but was in so much pain. Carina is truly a gifted massage therapist. I highly recommend her."
"Despite my fear of needles, I have tried Carina Greweling. She treated me with care and candor and was very welcoming and professional. I highly recommend her to anyone interested in exploring acupuncture and eastern medicine."
"Carina is a gifted naturopath. She has helped me considerably with my various conditions. I strongly recommend her to anyone interested in healing and feeling better than they currently do. I am grateful to have found you in Barcelona!"
"I went to a workshop of Carina and really loved it. The exercises were so well explained and the atmosphere really friendly."
"Very good organisation, with a mix of intense yoga exercises and meditation breaks. The intensity was good for all levels. Beside the food was excellent and the place very relaxing. Thank you for this nice retreat in Barcelona!"
"Carina is a great professional and a wonderful person who lives in accordance to her values and her teaching.
I booked a massage treatment with her and I was very happy with the whole experience. The massages helped me to release the stress and the anxiety that I was experiencing and I left with a sense of joy and balance. Also, the cabinet has a great location and I love that she takes care of all the details in order to make you feel comfortable.
I appreciate the passion and the commitment she puts in her work, her knowledge, her professionalism and positive attitude.
I definitely recommend any of her services! She is a treasure in Barcelona!"
"Carina is a very talented therapist with a great amount of knowledge of the body and it’s ways. I was very happy to find her here in Barcelona! Her gentle touch and sensitivity to your needs as well as her wide range of knowledge are sure signs of a deep practice and ability. I felt much more balanced after my session with her and she helped me come back into touch with myself. I look forward to continuing!"
“Carina is a wonderful and very professional yoga teacher. She helped me with opening up my hips and gave me in addition advices how I can improve my diet. I love coming here and will continue my personal yoga trainings. Thank you as well for the amazing yin yoga workshop yesterday. I am so happy to have found you here in Barcelona.”