Sophia Tang, L.Ac.
When a woman visits a Chinese medicine practitioner, a question that must be asked is about her menstrual situation. The menstrual situation tells a Chinese medicine practitioner about the general health and condition of the woman. Most Chinese medicine practitioners know the importance of a normal menstrual situation for women’s health, but not all of them know exactly “why” unless the practitioner has a deep understanding about how the body mechanism works from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the nutrients in breast milk are the direct source of menstruation. This can be proved by two observations. One is that a mother does not have a period when she’s breastfeeding due to the milk given to the baby. The other is that most women experience fullness and bloating of their breasts before their periods come. Not until their periods end do they feel relief. From this point of view, the flow of milk nutrients through the meridians to the ovary and uterus is crucial to avoid disease. If the milk nutrients are not totally going down to the ovaries and uterus and, instead, get deposited in the breasts, combining with qi and blood stagnation, breast lumps or cancer can develop. If breast milk reverts, milk nutrients will accumulate in other organs. This may cause other health problems or cancers in the future. Some of the cancers include liver cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, and lung cancer.
From the above explanation, you can see why having a normal monthly “period” is important for a woman’s health. Through menstruation, milk nutrients can be eliminated and are not deposited in the body causing future health problems. Women no longer menstruating need to have good daily bowel movements in order to eliminate milk nutrients from the body.
In menstruation, the heart plays an important role. Good Heart Yang energy will keep good breast circulation and send milk nutrients down to the ovaries and uterus. This will prevent breast milk nutrients from depositing, so no lumps or cancers can form.
A lot of women have Internal Cold that remains untreated. This can also lead to a lot of future health problems, including breast cancer. Some symptoms of Internal Cold include having cold hands or feet and always feeling chilled. This Internal Cold is developed by physical constitution with the weakness of Heart Yang energy or other factors including never fully recovering from the common cold or flu and a diet consisting of too many cold foods and drinking cold beverages. It should be obvious why people with Internal Cold are more susceptible to tumor growths. Because of Internal Cold, there is no good circulation in the body. It is easier for any toxin to stay in the body and for blood to get clogged. With all uneliminated toxins, excessive nutrients, and blood clots, tumors can more easily form.
Besides physical pre-conditions that can cause breast disorders, emotional health can also play an important role in women’s breast health. There are some channels connected to the breast including the Kidney, Stomach, Spleen, Liver and Pericardium channels. According to the Five Elements theory, emotions such as joy, anger,
Anxiety, melancholy, sorrow, fear and fright, are related to different internal organs. Any excessive emotion will have a negative impact on the proper functions of related organs. In other words, any of those excessive emotions may disturb the harmonious vibration of energy channels. This will lead to energy blockage or even cause the malfunction of organs. Those subtle emotional energies could store in our body, which may not only cause problems in the physical but most of time also in the spiritual level.
Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a natural and effective way to deal with breast disorders including breast lumps or cancers. The treatment principles are unlocking the energy blockage with related channels using acupuncture and strengthening the Heart, eliminating excessive milk nutrients, attacking and melting out the lumps or cancers with herbal medicine. Besides treatment for the physical level, people are encouraged to go for emotional health and spiritual uplifting to enhance the healing process.
Reference: Classical Chinese medicine treating breast disorder from Dr. Hai Sha