“Premenstrual syndrome” (PMS) is the cyclic recurrence of a group of symptoms that peak 7 to 10 days before menstruation and disappear a few hours after the onset of the menstrual flow. It is occurrent with an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone levels.
This condition is characterized by multiple and diverse symptoms including, but not limited to: breast tenderness, transient weight gain, bloating, constipation, insomnia, acne, headache, pelvic pain, irritability, depression, mood swings, poor concentration, confusion, social withdrawal, impulsiveness and appetite changes. In all there are about 150 symptoms that fall into the PMS category. While many women experience mild symptoms of short duration, other women have more severe symptoms that last for many days and temporarily disturb their every day life.
It is so very common when I am chatting with a new patients, to hear them say “yeah..” to the following questions; bloating? cramping? moodiness? cravings?, etc. We are taught that women just have to deal with menstruation as an unpleasant time of the month (for both women and men), when in actuality, menstruation shouldn’t be that bad…. Thats right, I said it!
“One study found that acupuncture quelled symptoms in 78 percent of women.”
In Chinese Medicine, there are a few pathologies and organs that might be the culprit to your PMS symptoms. Today, I am going to discuss the most common – the Liver. The Liver (not your physical organ) is in charge of free flow of energy in the body, it is also very important in holding Blood, hence the link to menstruation. The Liver is also connected quite closely to stress and agitation. So when the Liver fails to move the Qi properly throughout the body during menstruation, this is where the moodiness comes from.
Acupuncture not only improves the circulation of Qi, it also elevates endorphins in the body which leads to a better mood and decreased pain. Acupuncture can help alleviate bloating and regulates bowels as well.
Exercise is important to alleviate PMS symptoms, as is diet. Regulating emotions and stress on a regular basis can also help decrease PMS symptoms.
So instead of covering up the symptoms with Birth Control or medication, come in for an acupuncture treatment to see a decrease in PMS symptoms.
It is important to remember that there are about six different pathologies in Chinese Medicine that lead to PMS, so not every treatment will be the same between people. And that it may take a few cycles to notice a difference, but don’t give up hope ladies. You can have a cycle that has a decrease in moodiness, cravings and bloating!
Resources: yinyanghouse.com, http://www.shen-nong.com/eng/exam/specialties_womenpms_treatment_acupunture.html, foundations of TCM.