Nobody likes having periods, and what’s more, those annoying cramps. Use these TCM massage techniques the next time period pain strikes.
PMS can be a frustrating monthly experience and can range from annoying headaches, bad cramps and mood swings. While we’d all much rather take an MC and stay home to ride out the pain, that’s not always a possibility.
So here’s one, healthy way you can try dealing with the pain — Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Physician Tan Wen Jia of Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic says bad PMS and cramps can be alleviated by adjusting your lifestyle before and during your period. “Avoid eating cold foods, keep your abdomen and lower back warm and get sufficient rest. These adjustments allow the smooth and even flow of qi and blood throughout the body, reducing or preventing menstrual cramps.”
TCM maintains a holistic view of the human body, emphasising on the role that diet, emotions and lifestyle factors play in the development of diseases. To top it off, Wen Jia has offered some natural ways to reduce pain through massage you can do yourself. For each massage point, apply firm and steady pressure until you feel a mild ache. Massage for three to five minutes when you have menstrual cramps, two or three times a day.
Keep these in mind when that time of the month rolls around again.
San Yin Jiao
Place four fingers above the inner ankle, directly behind the shin bone. Put pressure on this area to ease pain.
With the knee bent, place three fingers above the inner top corner of the knee cap in a 45-degree angle. Put pressure on this area.
Four fingers below the angle of tibia, directly behind the shin bone. (How to find the angle of tibia: Feel for the rim of your shin bone on the inner side of your lower leg, run your finger along the shin bone upwards, until your finger comes to a stop before the bone bends inwards. This is the angle of tibia.) Put pressure on this area.
Drink herbal tea
If you are easily stressed, and have a tendency to consume a lot of cold foods, you might have what’s known as “excess syndrome” (which is known as too much “qi” in the body). This can be soothed with ginger tea. Place three to five slices of ginger with one tablespoon of brown sugar in 250ml of water.
If you tend to feel fatigued or have a dull ache in the lower abdomen, you might have “deficiency syndrome”, which is due to a lack of “qi”. For this, drink longan red date ginger tea. Boil two or three slices of ginger, three red dates, two dried longans and 250ml water. Sweeten with brown sugar if necessary.
A version of this article first appeared on www.cleo.com.sg.