Understanding puberty in girls from a TCM perspective

We can all remember the struggles of our teenage years; problems such as acne, the start of our periods, breasts forming, getting used to wearing bras, peer pressure, increasing levels of school work and home work, not being able to get out of bed in the mornings.

As a parent, I want my own daughters to have an easier time than I did. As a therapist, I am more aware of the strains put upon children and teenagers, and how this can effect them physically, psychologically and emotionally.

In my previous blog post, I explained in general terms about our Kidney energy being responsible for our growth and development, and reproductive health. If we experience a painful puberty it is likely that we will experience a more difficult menopause. We also want to optimise fertility, pregnancy and childbirth in between these two milestones, as well as general health and wellness, and they are all interlinked.

The following behaviours can have a significant impact on a young woman’s health:

  1. Early sexual activity. This can have an impact on uterine health at such a vulnerable time, causing imbalances such as blood stasis.
  2. Excessive physical work and exercise, During puberty, this may cause weakness and deficiency in the developing body (Spleen and Kidney), which in turn can lead to stagnation. Of course this depends on the individual constitution, but it is important to be aware of as a parent.
  3. Exposure to external cold. Young women are vulnerable to invasion of external cold, particularly during puberty. Social pressure to wear clothes that reveal the lower back and abdomen, going out without a coat and scarf, prioritising their physical appearance over their well-being can leave them prone to being attacked by the external pathogen of cold. If cold attacks the uterus, it will contract and cause stagnation.
  4. The use of tampons blocks the natural downward flow of blood and can cause stagnation. There are also many other health risks associated with tampons including the exposure to environmental oestrogens which is covered in a different blog post.
  5. Emotional stress and anxiety will have a massive impact on energy levels, depleting the Kidneys and creating excess Heart energy. If it is held onto then this can cause stagnation.

Taking care during this sensitive time will have a massive impact on our young women’s health as they get older. Common problems such as period pain, irregular periods, heavy/scanty periods, infertility, endometriosis, anxiety and depression, fatigue can all be improved through gentle communication, education and sensitivity around these issues at a young age.

If you are interested in receiving some acupuncture or reflexology sessions please contact me directly for an initial chat.

Jackie Marsden is a Reflexologist, Acupuncturist and Foot Reading Practitioner, based at Elder Cottage Clinic, Warton, Preston, PR4. She is a full member of the Association of Reflexologists.

Charity Fundraiser for Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Last week was Eating Disorders Awareness Week. During this week I co-ran a fundraising event with a local Preston-based charity Support and Education for Eating Disorders (S.E.E.D). S.E.E.D is dedicated to raising awareness about eating disorders in Lancashire by providing information, resources, education, training and support for everyone affected by eating disorders and/or working with eating disorders. S.E.E.D acknowledges that the symptoms of eating disorders are an expression of deeper emotional need; they believe that people suffering can get better; that there is help available and this help should be freely accessible.

The event was a shopping evening held at Howick House in Penwortham. We started off with drinks and nibbles, and then got started.

I donated a reflexology voucher worth £35 as one of the raffle prizes, so began with a short talk on what reflexology is, how it works and some of the benefits it can have on general wellbeing.

I then moved onto Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic, showcasing the natural and organic approach, and the ethical credentials of the company. We had a bit of fun with a “smell test”, guessing the scents of different essential oils, and learning about their health benefits.

S.E.E.D’s very own Shelley Perry enjoyed a mini facial, a demonstration of the key facial products and their benefits for the skin. Shelley was very relaxed afterwards! We then tried various different products, many of which are my favourites such as the Wild Rose Body Elixir, Firming Body Cream and the Melissa Hand Polish.

Afterwards everyone relaxed with the brochures and placed enough orders for me to donate £65 of my profits to the charity, and along with the other monies raised through the raffle and refreshments, a total of £165 was raised on the night. What a great result and everyone had such an enjoyable evening!

If you are a local charity and would like to hold a similar event with me please get in touch. Watch out for another shopping evening with S.E.E.D this summer.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

Growyourbusiness