Menopause Series 3: Are you a 'Kidney & Liver Yin with Energy Rising Type?'
Yes, only chinese medicine would have a pattern with ‘energy rising’, but it actually makes sense once you start to understand what it relates to.
When one’s ‘yin’ is deficient energy will literally give rise upwards in the body which then manifests in more severe patterns such as dizziness, tinnitus, blurred vision and headaches. This step up from the first pattern in this series (Kidney Yin) it should ring a few alarm bells as the symptoms worsen beyond experiencing hot flushes and night sweats.
When we talk about energy rising it relates your yin being in a ‘negative balance’ and the aspect of yang is able rise quickly to the head. So basically, the coolant in the body is weak and it can’t calm the abrupt rise of heat to the head and chest. This rise can also be thought of as ‘internal wind’. No, not farting or flatulence (polite version) internal wind can be interpreted as environmental wind. ‘Internal wind’ can be a dangerous pattern if left alone, at it’s worst manifestation it causes stroke.
These are some symptoms associated with Kidney and Liver Yin with Yang Rising. You may not experience all these symptoms but a ‘small collection’ of them….
Hot flushes (day heat)
Ache in the joints
Slight awareness of heartbeat in chest
Here are some lifestyle patterns for this ‘type’, they don’t differ much from Kidney Yin - type 1.
Always feeling rushed even when you should feel calm.
The calendar tends to be overbooked with too many events.
You never really feel like you can relax.
Feelings of frustration often arise and may not resolve easily.
Feeling frustrated with people you like.
Feel upset with symptoms like dizziness, ringing in the ears and headaches.
You just don’t want to feel grumpy anymore.
For this ‘type’ caffeine products will set off headaches, irritability and frustration. I would also recommend avoiding de caff coffee.
Why no coffee?
Coffee is heating energetically and thermally (unless your drinking it cold). With this type of pattern signs of heat are fairly prominent, why add more fuel to the fire! It will be adding to your hot flushes and night sweats. A word of caution, if you are a big drinker of coffee or tea reduce slowly over a few weeks as withdraw can cause headaches and unpleasant mood swings.
Alcohol reduction or hiatus
Depending on what your choice of alcohol is it will contribute to levels of frustration and heat. As most of us know the liver filters everything running through the body. With this condition the kidney and liver are ‘out of balance’. By taking a break from alcohol it support the liver by providing a break from it having to work so hard to filter alcohol. This will also help the kidneys with transforming liquids to urine.
A word about wine and hormones:
Wine seems to have much worse after effects verses other alcoholic choices for women in peri menopause & menopause, one reason is how alcohol is broken down by one of our stomach enzyme’s (alcohol dehydrogenase/ ADH). Oestrogen suppresses this enzyme up until our late 40’s. When oestrogen declines so does our ability to process a glass of wine. Additionally the amount of sugar in wine on average is..
Dry white wine is 188 calories with 1.5 g for a 250 ml glass, 4 units
Medium white wine is 188 calories with 7.5 grams of sugar, 250 ml glass, 4 units
Rose is 198 calories with 6.25 grams, 250 ml glass, 4 units
Proseco 69 calories with under a teaspoon of sugar in a glass holding 101 ml (1 unit)
The suggested daily sugar allowance is 30 grams
Energetically spirits are the most heating type of alcohol (whiskey & scotch)
British NHS guidelines suggest a maximum of 14 units per week for women.
Example: a 125ml glass of wine (size small) with a ABV of 12% is 1.5 units, one can of lager at 440 ml, 5.5% is 2 units.
Really shouldn’t have to mention this lifestyle choice as a negative because most smokers know this. One thing to be mentioned about the effect of smoking on the lung and the body is it’s heating and drying effect. So, yes it will contribute to heat, reduce the ability of the heart and lung to regulate the cooling action of your yin therefore leading to more severe symptoms in the chest and head. I may be as bold in saying you are literally burning up your lung yin when you smoke a cigarette.
Recreational drug use
Any drug will have a negative impact on your body at any age, but the impact will now be much stronger when hormones are transitioning into menopause. Most class A drugs cause severe insomnia, deplete the precious energy and are immensely heating. Think of lighting a bonfire inside your body! Lastly, drug use diminishes your libido.
Taking a bigger look at feelings of irritability and frustration
During perimenopause mood swings become a part of life, this is due to the constant state of flux of the body reacting to lack of progesterone. When these dips happen our stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol release adding to feeling of anxiety and stress. That’s physiological picture, but what can you do to release some of this tension?
Mind body connection exercises
Self care! (go get a manicure, take a nice bath, try a face mask, anything you love but never seem to allow your self the time to do)
Get creative. We all have projects we have set aside (maybe for years)! It’s time to revisit these, working creatively provides a deep haven of energy resources for our hearts and spirit.
All the above are suggestions, but you may have some ideas of what makes you feel replenished. You can replenish your energy by calming activities which rebuilds yin. Often one’s yin gets depleted by moving too fast through life for long periods. A very common pattern of motherhood which see’s women caring for others and reducing time for self care and creative activities.
Over performing patterns
This really leads into what is mentioned in the above paragraphs. Stop the doing, being perfect, neglecting self and serving family and friends. These types of obligations become set patterns in life. It’s okay to drop the ball and revisit how you want your life to go for the next 50 years! If you are in a relationship consider having a chat or even book a talking therapy session with your beloved partner to release and create new flows or habits to allow you to be you. By assessing these very tough situations you will feel much better and likely many symptoms will calm and menopause will be an empowering experience.
Resource: read Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu
Chinese medicine dietary therapy is fantastic!
For each condition there are specific foods to nourish a deficient substance to help support.
In order to nourish yin (kidney & liver) dietary changes or additions are important. This is a gradual process with learning to add certain foods to benefit you will eventually become second nature.
Foods to rebuild your Yin!
Aduki beans, almond oil, apple, asparagus, avocado, barley, banana, beetroot, black beans, black soya bean, black sesame seed, black fungus (wood ears), blueberry, blackberry, bone marrow, *butter, *cheese, chicken, clam, coconut, courgette, crab, cuttlefish, duck, eggs, flax seed oil, frog, honey, kidney bean, kelp, lemon, malt, marrow, mango, melon, millet, *milk, mulberry, mung bean, mushroom, mussel, nettle, nuts & seeds, oats, olive oil, oyster, pea, pear, pineapple, pomegranate, pork, pork kidney, potato, rabbit, rice, royal jelly, sardine, seaweed, sesame, spelt, Spanish mackerel, spirulina, spinach, string bean, sweet potato, squash, squid, tofu, tomato, watermelon, wheat, tofu, tempeh, yam, *yoghurt
These are the basics and won’t suit very person, rich foods need to be eaten moderately, if you have a damp condition you may need to consume less dairy, banana, cheese and pineapple.
Foods to avoid:
Warming drying pungent such as: chillies, curry, garlic, ginger, onion, shallots (scallion), leeks
Spices: cinnamon, basil, clove, wasabi
Drinks: coffee, tea
Meats: lamb, veal, pigeon, prawns, game birds
Other: lemons, vinegar, pickles
Vitamin B, corticosteroids, non steroidal anti inflammatories
*A word about dairy: when the notes refer to dairy products this should be consumed in small amounts. They should be good quality (organic only) and can be from cow or goat. Dairy is helpful with dryness symptoms.
Get your 5+ veg per day
Is your five a day mostly consist of fruit? Try to eat most of the five in vegetables and have a few pieces of fruit. Green leafy and root vegetables are a really important source to boost your yin.
Ways of cooking:
Steaming (keeps in fluids), stir frying, use lots of water in soups and stews. Try not to roast often, it pulls out moisture in foods.
Take a blood tonic: Spa Tone with apple (you need to have Vit c for iron to absorb into the blood stream)
Drink bone broth every day - Not enough time to make it? Try Paleo Bone Broth
Try complimentary therapies for support:
From an acupuncturists point of view and having treated various stages of peri to menopause in my clinic, I have often observed positive outcomes for many women. Consider a course of six treatments, often scheduled weekly to initially start to reduce symptoms. This also involves support with many of the lifestyle changes mentioned above, of course no one is the same so advice is tailored to each patient.
I follow strict COVID guidelines set out by the British Acupuncture Council and I am accepting new patients in the month of August.
Initial consultations are 2 hours can be done virtually for an hour to record your health history and then a treatment can be booked. We can also book this 2 hours session in person. Follow up treatments are 1 hour.
Want to have a discovery call to answer any questions? 07563537872
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