PMS is common condition affecting almost 90% (1) of all menstruating women – so if you suffer from PMS you are certainly not alone. PMS affects your emotions, physical health and behavior. The estrogen levels drop just before menstruation, this change in majority of the cases leads to symptoms of PMS. In this article we are going to explore the root cause behind PMS according to Chinese Medicine and explore the most effective natural remedies for PMS.
What are the symptoms of PMS?
Each woman will experience PMS differently however some common premenstrual symptoms include:
- Mood swings, irritability, anxiety and stress
- Difference in the appearance of skin e.g acne, textured skin
- Feeling more tired than usual
- Headaches, migraines, trouble sleeping
- Indigestion, bloating, gas, cramps, breast tenderness
- Changes in appetite and sex drive
Symptoms usually flare up in the 5 to 11 days prior to menstruation and cease when menstruation starts, or soon afterwards. Some women experience mild symptoms but many women experience symptoms that are severe enough to disrupt their daily life. When PMS begins to interfere regularly in your daily life diagnosis of PMDD could be made. PMDD share many of the same symptoms as PMS but is more severe hat causes significant physical and emotional distress and affect the quality of life. It is estimated that somewhere between 5% and 10% (2) of menstruating women suffer from PMDD.
Natural Remedies for PMS with Chines Medicine
There is a wealth of scientific evidence (3) (4) (5) demonstrating that natural remedies for PMS applied in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are safe and effective at helping women to overcome PMS. Here is a brief explanation of how we at GinSen approach PMS and how we use our expert knowledge of TCM to gently restore your health and get you back in control of your life.
Chinese Medicine believes that PMS is primarily caused by stagnation of Liver Qi
Explaining PMS in 4 simple steps – the Traditional Chinese Medicine way
According to TCM theory, the primary cause of PMS is Liver Qi Stagnation – a domino effect where a problem in one area creates a cascade of negative health outcomes. Here’s what happens:
1. The Liver regulates the smooth flow of Qi (our body’s vital energy) throughout the body. Amongst other things Qi helps our blood, hormones and fluids to circulate. Liver Qi is ensures the discharge of menstrual blood is smooth and unrestricted.
2. If the Liver gets stressed – for example diet, environmental factors or stress, it can start to malfunction, often known as ‘stagnation’. When this happens the flow of Qi that it produces starts to slow down resulting in Stagnant Qi.
3. As our Qi is the force that moves our blood around, any stagnation of this will inevitably lead to stagnation of blood.
4. If underlying Liver Qi Stagnation is not treated the build up of stagnant blood will result in a number of conditions including clots, ovarian cysts, fibroids and endometriosis. Painful menstrual periods can be explained in terms of your body cramping up to desperately try to expel trapped blood. The stagnation of Qi results in dark or clotted menstrual discharge, uneven flow of menstrual blood and other physical symptoms of PMS.
Liver Qi Stagnation also causes PMS related emotional and mental disharmony – The lack of free flowing Qi creates the mood swings and irritability experienced by so many women every month.
The goal with Chinese Medicine is to get to the root cause of PMS To help address this natural therapies such as Acupuncture, Herbs, Natural Herbal Supplement and Herbal Tea are used. To enhance the effect of this it is recommended to make changes in your diet and exercise. These treatments work to promote free flow of Qi whilst removing any stagnation.
Acupuncture for PMS
Acupuncture works to provide relief from overall PMS condition by stimulating nerves, muscles, lymphatic and blood vessels. At GinSen we often recommend Moxibustion in conjunction with Acupuncture. The aim is promote the smooth flow of Qi and Blood which in turn will naturally reduce the symptoms of PMS.
Acupuncture may help reduce symptoms of PMS by:
- Promoting relaxation and releasing tension from the body
- Stimulating the nervous system – this encourages release of endorphins – our feel good hormones
- Reducing inflammation
Acupuncture & moxibustion treatment is usually given 1 – 2 times a week. Once the condition improves, the frequency will be reduced to once a week. All acupuncture treatments are tailored to your specific needs and the acupuncture points used will be chosen by your acupuncturist based on your individual condition.
Natural Supplements for PMS
PMS Remedy by GinSen is an all-natural food supplement which provides relief from Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). This herbal remedy works by getting to the root cause of the issue allowing you to manage hormone imbalance peacefully without interfering with your day-to-day life.
ChaiHu (Bupleurum Root)
ChaiHu (Bupleurum Root) is a herb which is used widely in Chinese Medicine for its detoxification ability. It offers natural anti-inflammatory properties and offers relief from symptoms including fatigue, indigestion, PMS, headaches along with boosting energy and promoting a happy, stress free mind.
Mood Balance Remedy
Mood Balance Remedy was designed specifically to help with problems related to mood, PMS and PMT. This supplement is designed according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is a natural way to improve your mood and hormonal balance. Mood Balance Remedy helps you live a life free of stress, PMS, and PMT.
Natural Remedies for PMS: Diet & Lifestyle Tips
According to TCM theories consuming foods and icy drinks that are cold in nature can weaken the digestive system and aggravate symptoms of PMS. It is important that you incorporate more warm, cooked foods and room temperature drinks to your diet and limit your intake of alcohol and coffee. Your Liver gets stressed by too much red meat and greasy or fried food so try to eat these no more than once a week.
It is important to keep moving as this will help to move your Qi around your body and it also helps to prevent stagnation. Gentle exercises such as Tai Chi and yoga can also help to lower stress levels.
Self care at home – Acupressure for PMS
Stimulating specific acupuncture points – yourself by hand (acupressure) you can also contribute to managing PMS better in between treatment sessions.
Liver 3 (LV3) is one of the most commonly used acupuncture points on the body. It is located on the dorsum of the foot, in the depression distal to the junction of the big and second toe. Press both points on each foot firmly for 60-90 seconds while breathing deeply. This point can soothe frustration and feelings of irritability. It can help with abdominal cramps as well as breast tenderness.
Spleen 6 is a marvellous acupressure points to help regulate menstruation, promote the flow of Qi in the pelvis and to support the Liver. This point is located approximately four fingers above the tip of the medial malleolus, where there is usually a very tender depression. Press both points on each foot firmly for 60-90 seconds. Inhale and exhale slowly. It is the number one point for menstrual cramps as it has a direct connection with the uterus. It can also help with bloating and digestion.
For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you manage PMS better book your free consultation or treatment today.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.