Does Acupuncture help PMS? (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome)
Using Acupuncture is a positive support for your body during this time of the month. Let's take a look at some of Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture strategies to help a woman with PMS.
Chinese Medicine views PMS as a time of stagnantion.
During this time of the cycle, FSH and Oestrogen has surged to a peak before the switch into LH and Progesterone peaking and troughing, so it's literally like riding a rollercoaster . The lining is now at it's maximum but not yet started to shed, it is at a point of holding on, waiting for the signal to release.
This explains why you may feel...
Frustrated, tense and even anger or rage. Little things bug you and send you off the richter scale. Then the next minute you're thinking where did that come from and burst into tears. This emotional changeability tells a TCM practitioner that hormones (which are probably causing the emotional surges) are out of balance and not flowing smoothly, or simply - stuck.
Physically you may sense tension in your neck and shoulder, your lower back or lower abdomen. Niggles and cramping pain before the period can cause a lot of dicomfort. Headaches can be common, even migraines. All of these signs of pain, tension and discomfort is a sign of stagnation - of circulation and contracted muscles.
Mentally, Stagnation shows up as "feeling stuck" on something - the wrong job, a difficult relationship, a challenging problem that confronts you. Using that language, "stuck between a rock and a hard place", ruminating on things, overthinking and stressing yourself out about issues, is classic stagnation signs.
What is PMDD?
Pre Menstrual Dysmorphic disorder is severe PMS. Where pain, discomfort and emotional tenson is extreme. Please consult your Doctor first if you think your PMS is severe. Get a diagnosis and then seek Acupuncture or Chinese Medicine support if you want to consider a drug-free solution.
How can Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture help?
The treatment strategy is Regulate the cycle. How a Acupuncture practitioner does that is by focusing on using Acupuncture points to move the stagnation, improve blood flow, relax the muscles, ease tension and pain. Calming the mind and encouraging relaxation "frees up" the headspace and promotes clearer thinking, better focus and decision making. In TCM we use Acupuncture and herbal medicine to move the stagnant Qi and Blood and we specifically focus on the Liver.
This is relevant to Western Medicine too - if Liver Detox pathways aren't functioning properly, there is a backlog of toxicity and the Liver works really hard to filter the blood. This includes processing hormones such as Oestrogen and clearing excess Oestrogen efficiently. You need your Liver to clear Oestrogen efficiently because this affects your period and menstrual cycle directly - how you ovulate, the length of your cycle and PMS signs and symptoms.
The benefits of Acupuncture for PMS:
- Cycle regulation by regulating hormones = Liver support
- Releasing muscular tension - neck, shoulders, lower back.
- Easing abdominal cramping with acupuncture and moxa
- Managing bloating and abdominal distention. (Air)
- Managing swelling and fluid retention (Fluid)
- Emotional tension. Moderating the ups and downs - tears, anger, frustration.
- Calming the nervous system and mind. Relaxation.
- Releasing neck tension causing headaches and migraines.
Where do we start?
Lets start with what symptom is bothering you the most and begin there. A Registered Acupuncturist will ask lots of other questions to dig around and get a bigger picture of how you experience PMS. They will take your pulse and look at your tongue and may even prescribe you some herbs to speed up the process. Women can be surprised how such an annoying syndrome can be tidied up and a lot more manageable within a few cycles. Some women are even suprised to get ther period without any wanring signs from their old PMS because they continue to seek Acupuncture or herbs to manage their menstrual cycle.
Katika is a Registered Acupuncturist on Sydney's Northern Beaches. You can contact her here: 9938 1090 or book online here.