PMS

Premenstrual Syndrome Relief with Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine a normal menstrual period should be pain free with a modest amount of bright red blood. Pain, dark blood and emotional fluctuations are signs of imbalance that can be corrected with Chinese medicine. There are number of different patterns that can present with menstrual irregularities and infertility, and understanding these patterns can help in choosing the most appropriate herbal formulas that will bring balance back to the body. Because this is considered a complicated health condition, regular application of Acu-sticks to correlated acupressure points, external topical remedies, and organic herbs are often required for for a number of months to address all of the symptoms of PMS fully.

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Acupressure Points to Alleviate Symptoms of PMS

How to Apply Acupressure Explained Here!

 

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PMS Causes and Symptoms Related to Different Types of PMS

Liver Qi Stagnation and Premenstrual Syndrome free and easy wanderer organic chinese herbal formula

In Chinese medicine, the Liver controls menstrual blood, and Liver Qi Stagnation is a central pattern involved with PMS, PMDD, and any menstrual irregularity. Emotional stress and strain is common with Liver Chi related PMS. Signs of Liver Qi Stagnation could also include irritability, emotional outbursts, breast tenderness, acne erupting before period, cramps before the period, depression, or headachesConsider our organic Free and Easy Wanderer formula! 

Blood and Qi Stagnation and Premenstrual Syndrome

Where Qi goes Blood goes, therefore, prolonged Qi Stagnation will likely lead to Blood Stagnation. PMS with menstrual cramps and sharp pain, a sensation of downward pressure, and an easing of pain after clots pass are all symptoms of Liver Qi Stagnation combined with Blood Stagnation in the Uterus. Consider our organic Stasis in the Lower Palace formula!

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Kidney Deficiency and Premenstrual Syndromekidney yang essential oils

A pattern of menstrual disorders with Kidney Yang Deficiency will often include lower back soreness before menstruation, tiredness, watery menstrual blood, diarrhea just before menstruation, cramps after menstruation begins, a sensation of downward pressure after the period ends, tinnitus, or a feeling of cold in the bodyConsider our organic Ancestor Treasure Yang formula used with our organic Yin Valley formula!

Kidney Yin Deficiency presents with night sweats, back soreness, and a dry throat. This type of imbalance is more common in menstrual disorders nearing menopauseConsider our organic Yin Valley formula!

Spleen Qi Deficiency - Dampness and Premenstrual Syndrome

The Spleen channel, or meridian, traverses the reproductive area, and is partially responsible for the production of Blood, and has a strong influence on reproduction and menstruation. Spleen Qi Deficiency patterns often present with vaginal discharges that can be sticky in nature, general fatigue, foggy unclear thinking, digestive or eating disorders, obesity, heavy bleeding, or lack of appetite. Consider our organic Restore the Middle Way formula!

Damp-Cold and PMS

Ongoing Spleen Qi Deficiency or prolonged exposure to cold and damp environmental conditions can create Cold-Damp internally with symptoms such as cramping pain before menstruation that is eased with the application of heat and an achy lower back. 

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Chinese Medicine and Premenstrual Syndrome

There is no organ system in Chinese medicine that relates to the endocrine system; rather, Chinese medicine sees the intricate balance of hormones and communication in the body as a function of several organ systems that are all inter-related. In the case of menstrual disorders, the main organ systems that must be energetically balanced to work optimally are the Kidney and Liver. Additionally, Chinese medicine includes an energetic organ system called the Triple Heater, or San Jiao, that has no comparison in western medicine. This system is responsible for regulating temperature and many functions throughout the body that could be related to hormonal functions.

Chinese medicine views Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) as a variety of different possible imbalances. Because the Liver governs over menstrual Blood in TCM, Liver Qi Stagnation is a common syndrome seen in PMS. Herbs help to remove energy blockages and in turn stabilize hormonal fluctuations. Chinese herbs are often used together with acupuncture to regulate the flow of energy and substances in the body as they both stimulate the body's natural functions and encourage it to establish optimum balance.

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Western Medicine and Premenstrual Syndrome

‘Premenstrual syndrome’ (PMS) is the cyclic recurrence of a group of symptoms that peak 7 to 10 days before menstruation and for some can disappear a few hours after the onset of the menstrual flow. This condition is characterized by multiple and diverse symptoms including, but not limited to: breast tenderness, temporary weight gain, bloating, constipation, insomnia, acne, headache, pelvic pain, irritability, depression, mood swings, poor concentration, confusion, social withdrawal, impulsiveness and appetite changes. While many women experience mild symptoms of short duration, other women have more severe symptoms that last for many days and temporarily disturb their normal functioning.

Lifestyle and Premenstrual Syndrome

PMS is due to unbalanced hormonal fluctuations. A mixture of correct diet, adequate exercise, and emotional clarity, along with acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herbs can correct imbalances and bring long-term relief.

Balanced nutrition is crucial for overcoming PMS. Certain foods such as alcohol, caffeine, cold temperature foods, sugar and salt can exacerbate symptoms of PMS and should be avoided. Additionally, commercially raised red meats and poultry which have a residue of steroids composed of female animal sex hormones should be eliminated from the diet. Food necessary for a harmonious menstrual cycle include: plenty of organic vegetables, small amounts of fruit, whole grains, legumes, seaweed, small amounts of lean hormone-free meats, and fish.

Exercise plays an important role in the treatment of PMS. Thirty to forty-five minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least three times per week improves blood circulation and significantly helps reduce symptoms.

In addition to diet and exercise, some form of meditation can be very helpful. Our emotions and hormones influence each other, since they are registered in the same part of our brain. Stress can cause hormonal imbalances and therefore worsen the symptoms of PMS. Some quiet time everyday helps bring emotional and physical equilibrium.

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References

Armour M, Ee CC, Hao J, Wilson TM, Yao SS, Smith CA. Acupuncture and acupressure for premenstrual syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Aug 14;8(8):CD005290. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005290.pub2. PMID: 30105749; PMCID: PMC6513602.

Xu SL. Clinical study on treatment of premenstrual syndrome by acupuncture and moxibustion. Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science 2011;9(5):310‐1.[Google Scholar]

Jang SH, Kim DI, Choi MS. Effects and treatment methods of acupuncture and herbal medicine for premenstrual syndrome/premenstrual dysphoric disorder: systematic review. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014;14:11.

Smith CA, Zaslawski CJ, Cochrane S, Zhu X, Zheng Z, Loyeung B, et al. Reliability of the NICMAN Scale: an instrument to assess the quality of acupuncture administered in clinical trials. Evidence‐based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM2017;2017:5694083. [PUBMED: 28690661]

Simsek Kücükkelepce D, Timur Tashan S. The effects of health belief model-based education and acupressure for coping with premenstrual syndrome on premenstrual symptoms and quality of life: A randomized-controlled trial. Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2020 May 29. doi: 10.1111/ppc.12546. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32468669.

Uzunçakmak T, Ayaz Alkaya S. Effect of aromatherapy on coping with premenstrual syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. 2018 Feb;36:63-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2017.11.022. Epub 2017 Dec 1. PMID: 29458934.