Dr. Eric Karchmer, one of our founding members here at DAO Labs, just finished a Nubry Nude podcast with some great tips about women’s health through a traditional Chinese medicine perspective. Hosts Britt and Gretchen discuss their own personal journeys, and Dr. Karchmer offers insight and advice for them and any women struggling with their period. The biggest and brightest take away from their conversation is that periods don’t have to be painful, as long as you are in tune with your body.
Here are the highlights from the conversation:
The difference between women’s health in China and the US:
When Dr. Karchmer began practicing Chinese Medicine over 20 years ago, he spent the first 5 years studying in China. During that time he was amazed at how different women in China view their period in comparison to what he has seen in the US. “They are more cautious and careful.” In China, women are very aware of the food and herbs that they take to help relieve painful periods. In the US it felt like many women had a negative relationship to their period, like they just wanted the problem to go away and not deal with it.
The hot and cold TCM concept to treat a painful period:
In traditional Chinese medicine the concept of hot and cold is often used to treat ailments, including painful periods. As your period is a time of cold, you can help your body heal by eating and drinking warm foods and beverages “Heat is almost always what you want during your period.” This was an eye-opening moment for Gretchen, who had experienced extremely painful periods and has a love for cold ice water. Cooking your vegetables, drinking ginger tea, adding warm spices, and eating foods with warm properties can all work wonders.
Try this Chai Spiced Almond Milk recipe next time you experience a painful period.
Thoughts on birth control and natural alternatives:
When asked about birth control and natural alternatives, Dr. Karchmer stressed that it’s a personal decision although there are some things to keep in mind with the pill. Besides short-term side effects like bloating, he’s seen long-term effects such as fertility issues and women having issues getting their period back. “The pill works by interrupting the hormonal feedback system you have in your body, By interrupting it, it doesn’t just get back on track like flipping a switch. It’s something for women to think about and consider seriously.”
The key in Chinese medicine is to regulate your period. Dao Labs offers a Women’s Monthly Kit based on traditional Chinese herbs that have been used to regulate women’s periods for over 2,500 years.
How to let your body heal after childbirth:
In China women recover by doing a “sit for a month.” Oftentimes they won’t even leave the house for a full month to recover after having a baby - eating protein-rich foods with heavy resting. This was a strong contrast to Gretchen, our lovely host from California, who mentioned she was at spin class two weeks after having a baby.
Similar to the concept of hot and cold in Chinese medicine is the concept of excess of deficiency. After having a baby and breastfeeding, women are often deficient. Our herbal formula Emotional Balance can help with that qi stagnation!
Ready to join a community of women working to make peace with their period? Join our #ownyourcycle challenge.
Listen to the full podcast here, and let us know what you think!