With Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, premenstrual symptoms are considered as patterns. These patterns are studied closely and are traced to specific pathways or meridians in the body and related internal organs in order to treat the root cause of the problem and not just the symptom. Depending on the list of complaints, the pattern is discovered, and the deficiency is diagnosed. Corresponding corrective measures are then prescribed.
Methods of treatment
Acupuncture is a common treatment for women suffering from PMS. Fine needles are inserted into specific meridian points in the body to relieve stagnant energy, increase circulation and restore balance. It is an effective method to treat pain and promote relaxation.
How does acupuncture help?
In November 1997, NIH’s Office of Alternative Medicine issued a consensus statement that reported that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of menstrual cramps, and some of the other symptoms of PMS.
According to Traditional Chinese medicine, PMS is very often due to blocked Qi (energy) and blood in the body. This blockage can manifest as emotional blockage (frustration, irritability, anxiety, tension, impatience) and/or physical blockage (pain, breast tenderness, water retention etc.). Acupuncture stimulates the circulation of blood and Qi throughout the body by inserting tiny thin needles into specified acupuncture points.
Herbal remedies are a major component of TCM. As treatment for PMS, herbs are carefully chosen for their specific effects on the reproductive functions of women. The herb called dang gui, for example, is commonly prescribed for its ability to regulate menstrual cycles and relieve cramps.
Specific herbs are also carefully chosen depending on the diagnosed deficiency patterns in the patient. If the pattern deficiency is found to be in the heart or blood, herbs such as jujube and biota seeds are used. If PMS is traced to the stagnation of the liver qi pattern, the herb bupleurum or Chai Hu is prescribed.
There are different types of massages that can be used to relieve the symptoms of PMS. Shiatsu and Tui Na, for example, focuses on the specific points in the body in order to encourage better blood circulation and bring on relief. In addition, massage may be used to induce relaxation and rest.
Dietary Recommendations for PMS
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain cereals and breads, beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds, broiled chicken, turkey, and fish.
- The practitioner will assess your particular symptoms to give a more detailed listing.