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Menopause Series 4: Are you a 'Kidney Heart not Balanced type'?

A similar pattern to the first in the series (Kidney Yin) with a few more stronger symptoms which will feel uncomfortable. When we have a deeper deficiency of yin the connection between the kidneys and heart can cause issues such as an awareness of heart beat (palpitations), anxiety and mental restlessness daytime or night. Additionally there will be signs of heat which we refer to as ‘empty’. This really means a women is deficient in her yin and blood her body is unable to self regulate the ‘heat’ and she may feel like the internal thermometer isn’t working!

These are some symptoms associated with Kidney & Heart not Balanced. You may not experience all these symptoms but a ‘small collection’ of them….

Palpitations

Anxiety

Mental restlessness

Poor memory

Easily startled by loud noises or a surprise

Insomnia

Dizziness

Tinnitus

Headaches

Blurred vision

Dry mouth & throat

Dry garden

Dry stools

Hot flushes (day heat)

Malar flush (hot cheeks)

Night sweating

Back ache

Here are some lifestyle patterns for this ‘type’:

You feel anxious even when there isn’t reason to feel that way.

Things often feel muzzy and you may struggle to feel organised everyday.

Without a list when shopping you don’t remember what your buying.

Tiredness seems like a never ending theme due to insomnia.

The headaches, tinnitus and dizziness may be felt all at one time which adds to lack of concentration.

Lower back pain comes and goes, but doesn’t flare with normal bending activities. 

Bowel movements seem harder and uncomfortable.

Awareness of heart might happen when you feel anxious, have too much coffee or tea or even when you have your feet up in the evening.

 

Advice for this pattern:

Rest & slow down a bit!

This can represent many practices, but the most important thing is to take time to do an activity to nourish your yin. Often when there are ‘heart patterns’ some calming practices will be integral to rebalancing yin energy. Anxiety can come from many causes, but during menopause it becomes magnified with our ever changing hormone balance. Issues which seemed to be nothing in the past may suddenly appear as a threatening issue. It’s really important to take some time and think about the issue or past memory and work out why it is causing an emotion to come up. Why not consider talking therapy or maybe speak to that one ‘friend’ who was always a good listener. By paying attention your sleep and mental restlessness will get better. We all know a good sleep can make the world of a difference in how we view the day!

If you want some more tips on how to get a great sleep click here an article in my free resource section.

Some activities that rebuild ones yin are:

Meditation

Mindfullness

Qi Gong

Walking in nature

Stretching 

Yin yoga

Reduce caffeine intake

For this ‘type’ caffeine will contribute significantly to patterns of anxiety, mental restlessness and insomnia. The answer…. Yes your right, reduce coffee consumption until you can stop it entirely. It’s upsetting I know (big fan myself) you might consider a six month holiday from the bean and reap the rewards. After this point possibly re introduce one cup mid morning and really celebrate the joy from the taste and ritual time of celebrating that cup.

Decaf, yes that’s an option but the best quality you can buy. To strip coffee of caffeine there are alot of chemicals involved. Choose Swiss water process. 

Protect your lower back

If you experience dull lower back pain that comes and goes which isn’t caused by bending or heavy lifting be vigilant in keeping the lower back covered and warm. I know it may not seem appealing when you experience hot flushes but there is a reason.. Cold drafts on the abdomen or lower back cause cold to lodge into the muscles and fascia. Overtime cold depletes the energy of the kidneys. During the menopause journey the kidneys are restorative house of your ‘yin’. By supporting the kidneys you can help keep the kidneys in balance.

Dietary support

For this pattern dietary suggestions are guided toward two things; nourishing blood and nourishing yin. So there are few more idea to create better quality blood. Often signs of blood deficiency are insomnia, anxiety, feeling startled and dizziness.

Consider a daily iron tonic such as Spa Tone with apple or Blueiron Liquid to top up blood.

Heres some dietary additions as well:

Leafy Greens: Cabbage & other brassicas, dandelion leaf, kale, kohlrabi, parsley, spinach, spring greens, watercress

Animal products: Chicken, eggs, quail & quail eggs, pork, lamb, beef, bone marrow, oysters, mussels, sardines, salmon

Pulses & bean products: Tofu, miso, mung beans, tempeh, aduki beans, black beans, kidney beans, haricot beans, alfalfa

Fruit: Apricots, cherries, dates, figs, goji berries, grapes, longan, lychee, mulberries, raisins, coconut products

Vegetables: Alfalfa, avocado, beetroot, carrots, chinese angelica, globe artichokes, tomatoes

Grains: Barley, brown rice, corn, oats, wheatgerm, whole wheat

Other: Marmite, molasses, seaweed, sesame seeds, tahini, spirulina, wheat germ

This is the list below for foods to nourish yin, as you can see there are some of the same items, this is due to the close relationship yin and blood have. 

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

*A word about dairy: when the notes refer to dairy products, these should be consumed in small amounts. Be good quality (organic only) and can be from cow or goat. Dairy is helpful for dryness symptoms. 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

Cigarettes, alcohol, vitamin B, corticosteroids, non steroidal anti inflammatories

Recreational drugs: amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy

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.

Drink bone broth every day - Not enough time to make it? Try Paleo Bone Broth

Struggling with dry stools or constipation?

This is a recipe to help the large intestine regulate bowle movements, but it also nourishes blood, so a win win!

Orange and Prune Blood Builder  

6 stoned prunes (tinned are best as they are in a rich juice, avoid anything with added sugar)

3-4 fl oz freshly squeezed orange juice (=2 large oranges)

1 heaping spoonful of live yoghurt (Preferably sheep or goat’s yogurt, it is more digestible and less damp forming than cow’s yogurt)

Ground cinnamon to taste

Blend all the ingredients as a smoothie.

Tip: The Vitamin C in oranges encourages the absorption of iron from the prunes.

 

Try complimentary therapies for support:

Of course speaking 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 September.

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. 

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