PMS Relief with Traditional Chinese Medicine

PMS is a disorder characterized by a set of hormonal changes that trigger disruptive symptoms in a significant number of women for up to two weeks prior to menstruation. Of the estimated 40 million suffers (between 50% and 70% of women, or more than 1 in 2), more than 5 million require medical treatment for mood and behavioral changes. Often symptoms tend to taper off with menstruation and women remain symptom-free until approximately two weeks prior to the next menstrual period. These regularly recurring symptoms from ovulation until menses typify PMS.

What is PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome)?

It is believed that there are about 150 physical and emotional symptoms that women may experience. However, the most commonly reported symptoms are:

Physical Symptoms of PMS:

  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Breast Tenderness
  • Generalized Aches and Pains
  • Joint Swelling
  • Weight Gain
  • Intense Food Cravings
  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Skin Problems
  • Fatigue

Emotional Symptoms of PMS:

  • Sadness, Tearfulness
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Mood Swings
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Panic Attacks
  • Poor Concentration

The number, type and severity of symptoms experienced can vary from woman to woman, and from month to month. Symptoms increase about 7-10 days before the onset of the period, then immediately decline. Symptoms are not experienced throughout the menstrual cycle. If a woman reports experiencing symptoms throughout the menstrual cycle, it is not PMS.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) occurs in about 2-5% of all women. PMDD is when the symptoms are so severe that they interfere with normal daily activities.

Causes of PMS

There are various theories as to the cause of PMS. These include:

  • Hormones - PMS symptoms can be triggered by menstrual hormones such as estrogen and progesterone
  • Metabolism - Some PMS symptoms may be caused by the inability to properly metabolize fatty acids
  • Calcium - Some researchers believe the cause of PMS may be linked to a calcium deficiency
  • Environment - Factors such as the increased use of chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides may be linked to an increase in rates of PMS
  • Combination - PMS symptoms are possibly brought on by a combination of diet, stress, and mineral and vitamin deficiencies

The lives of women today are very different from those of women 100, 50 or even 20 years ago. Constant physical and emotional demands combined with environmental and societal factors can offset a woman's equilibrium and leave her experiencing symptoms of PMS.

PMS in Traditional Chinese Medicine

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the basic energetic imbalance that causes premenstrual syndrome is "liver qi congestion," meaning that the qi's free flow in the body is compromised. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs often provide enormous relief from PMS.

At New York AcuHealth, we apply gentle, soothing infrared heat to the acupuncture points on the lower abdomen and lumbar sacrum region during your session, often providing instant relief of various symptoms including cramping. Regular acupuncture and herbal treatment is helpful in balancing female hormonal function and the autonomic nervous system, and is effective for the long-term management of PMS.