The 4 Phases Of The Menstrual Cycle

Professor Xia Gui Cheng integrated ancient TCM concepts into the modern theory of the menstrual cycle. TCM explains the menstrual cycle in terms of Kidney Yin, Kidney Yang, and Kidney essence, which are all affected by hormonal changes.

Phase 1 – Menstrual:

This phase is characterized by a sharp drop in Yang and a slow increase in Kidney Yin, resulting in the downward flow of Qi and blood. Acupuncture can help ease menstrual cramps and regulate blood flow during this phase.

Phase 2 – Post Menstrual, Follicular:

During this phase, the ovaries produce sacs called follicles, containing one immature egg. The estrogen released by the mature follicle thickens the uterus lining in preparation for implantation. Higher Yin levels during this phase help build a healthy foundation for the ovum and uterus lining.

Phase 3 – Mid Cycle, Ovulation and Luteal:

Estrogen levels peak, triggering the release of Luteal Hormone (LH) and increasing basal body temperature and vaginal discharge. This is the time when a woman can conceive. During this phase, the Heart Qi descends and transforms Yin to Yang, which induces ovulation. Kidney essence plays a crucial role in creating fertile cervical secretions. Acupuncture can help address imbalances that may affect fertility.

Phase 4 – Premenstrual:

Pre-menstrual symptoms, such as cramps, mood swings, and headaches, can occur due to Liver Qi stagnation and excess Yang. During this phase, Yang reaches its highest levels while Yin is at its lowest, eliminating cold-damp and blood stasis from the uterus. Acupuncture can help relieve pre-menstrual symptoms by addressing imbalances in the Liver and reducing excess Yang.


Understanding the four phases of the menstrual cycle according to TCM can help women become more attuned to their bodies and identify imbalances that may affect their health and fertility. Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to address these imbalances and promote overall wellness.

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