Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has a wide variety of symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression. An estimated 3 of every 4 menstruating women experience some form of premenstrual syndrome. These problems tend to peak during your late 20s and early 30s
Premenstrual Syndrome covers a broad spectrum of symptoms before a period. Symptoms may be emotional, such as depression, irritability, sadness, anxiety, or poor concentration. PMS may also involve physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness, a change in bowel habits, acne, or loss of libido. Symptoms can vary widely in terms of severity, and may change from month to month.
Within the framework of modern medicine, problems associated with PMS are treated as any other disease. Its “symptoms” are treated with over-the-counter or prescription drugs or hormones. In Chinese medicine, severe PMS is considered an indicator that an underlying imbalance exists. Treatment is focused on correcting the imbalance, or the source of the problem, not just treating outward “symptoms”.
What Acupuncture Can Do For Your PMS
Let’s see how PMS is viewed through the eyes of Traditional Chinese Medicine. A woman’s cycle, in short, is characterized by the building up of Qi (roughly translated as energy or life force) and Blood throughout the month to support the possibly fertilized egg and ensuing pregnancy. The menses are the release of this unused Qi and Blood. This process requires high precision on the part of the Liver. However, the Liver has been termed, by the classical Chinese medical texts, as the ‘tender organ’ since it is easily disturbed by emotional upsets, poor dietary habits, or an overly stressful life. When this occurs, the Qi of the Liver begins to stagnate and back up. This can manifest on a physical and/or emotional level. Menstrual cramps, breast distention, and lower abdominal bloating are the result of the Qi becoming stuck along Liver channel. These complaint as many others should be relieved with the onset of bleeding as this releases the stagnant Qi and Blood. Emotional changes and irritability are the result of the Qi failing to maintain a smooth emotional response.
The treatment for PMS would comprise a multi-faceted approach incorporating many of the modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture, probably the most well known branch, would function to free up any blockages in the acupuncture channels. Its calming effect would directly and profoundly affect the emotional roller coaster along with aiding menstrual cramping. An herbal formula would be selected or custom-made based on that particular individual’s imbalances. This would take into account each person’s internal landscape and constitution.
Chinese herbal therapy seeks to combine anywhere from 5 to 15 herbal components all of which work synergistically to treat the person as a whole and not just alleviating the symptoms. As soon as the Liver regains its control over the smooth flow of Qi and adequate Blood is being stored, then an improvement in the condition will be observed.
This approach attempts to balance the person and the root of the problem, which will effect a permanent change. Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes that each person is a composite of both the physical and psycho-emotional. Chinese medicine is not interested in treating premenstrual syndrome; rather, it focuses on how that disorder manifests through the individual. What changes in the energetics of the person are taking place and how can they be corrected? To really attain health and balance, we must treat a person in a holistic manner. Perhaps it all starts with your Liver.
If you believe your premenstrual syndrome is affecting your work performance and daily tasks , please call us at (425) 392-8881 and schedule for your free consultation to find out how drug-free, all natural alternative medicine can help you to eliminate your premenstrual syndrome!