Follow the yin

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the concept of Blood (with a capital B) includes both the physical and energetic properties of blood that nourish and vitalise the whole body and mind.

When Blood is abundant you can see it. You look vital and radiant, your eyes sparkle, there is a rosy colour to the cheeks and lips, and skin is clear, dewy and glowing. Your hair is lustrous and grows well, your nails are strong and there is an overall impression of being bountiful, attractive and vibrant.

Signs of strong Blood are what we all aspire to, but don’t despair if this isn’t you. Blood Deficiency is one of the most common TCM diagnoses for women. This is because Blood dominates a woman’s life. Throughout the fertile years women lose blood every month as part of the menstrual cycle, making women naturally inclined to Blood Deficiency.

The problem is, this natural tendency to Blood Deficiency is greatly aggravated in modern women. This is due to social and cultural pressures to overwork, overexercise and, generally, over function while at the same time dieting or inadequate nutrition and not getting enough rest, especially during the bleeding phase of the menstrual cycle.

Honouring the menstrual cycle

According to TCM, it’s as necessary for a woman’s wellbeing to follow her menstrual cycle, as it is to observe the day-night cycle. To follow nature’s cycles is to connect with universal intelligence, recognising the wisdom of balancing rest (yin) with action (yang) for optimum wellbeing. It’s easy to understand how sleeping at night is essential for peak

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