Relieving the Symptoms of PMS and Painful Periods
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms that many women get before the start of their menstrual period. Researchers think that PMS happens in the days after ovulation because estrogen and progesterone levels begin falling dramatically.
Over 90% of women get some PMS symptoms, but some experience more severe symptoms which affect their daily life. A small percentage (under 5%) experience PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder). Typically, this occurs in women with high stress levels and/or a personal or family history of depression. TCM looks at specific imbalances in organ systems and qi stagnation to explain why some women experience more severe symptoms of PMS.
Natural Relief for PMS
TCM offers some of the best, and most natural, solutions for PMS. If symptoms affect your daily life, you should consider seeking treatment. Acupuncture can help with sleep problems, anxiety and other emotions, tension, and pain. Herbs are good for both symptom relief and rebalancing the body chemistry to reduce the likelihood of such symptoms.
The body needs rest and recovery as it goes through the hormonal cycle. Women should try to eat a healthy diet, get sufficient rest and reduce stress. That can be difficult when your body is out of balance and your very symptoms make it hard to rest and take good care of yourself. With a boost from TCM treatments, you start to feel better and your body becomes better equipped to handle the natural fluctuations.
It is normal to feel some symptoms of the body’s changes during your menstrual cycle. Most women experience some of the following during their period:
- bloating, fluid retention
- tender breasts
- muscle aches; joint pain; lower back pain
- abdominal cramps
- diarrhea or constipation
- trouble sleeping
- low energy, fatigue
However, if these symptoms affect your quality of life, you should consult with a doctor. You should not have to suffer and symptoms and pain are the body’s way of telling you something is not right.
Evaluating and Treating Menstrual Symptoms
First, your practitioner can rule out any internal medical problems that may need to be treated. Then, we look to the body’s possible imbalances. TCM identifies certain stagnations in the qi that cause different symptoms. Upon evaluating the patient’s condition, herbal medicines and acupuncture can be tailored to clear these stagnations and relieve symptoms.
Along with TCM therapy, diet and lifestyle can help rebalance the body and keep it healthy in the future. Certain foods cause inflammation, while others such as those high in Omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks for anti-inflammatory hormones. Your practitioner can suggest foods and other lifestyle tips to reduce PMS and menstrual pain.
Viviane offers TCM evaluation and treatments in the Downtown (Xintiandi) clinic. She has extensive experience treating gynecological disorders and works closely with members for holistic solutions. Body & Soul offers a full range of gynecological diagnostics and treatment. Click here to make an appointment.