When you experience bloating, acne, fatigue, breast tenderness and/or moods that swing between despair and fury a week or so before your period
Whether you find yourself devouring sweets, searching for a pair of jeans that actually zip up, or screaming at a co-worker or loved one, most women can relate to the symptoms that arise in the week (or two) before our periods. Your MD will recommend birth control pills to control the symptoms, but if you are looking for a more natural approach, try Chinese medicine!
What Causes PMS?
PMS is caused by the natural ebb and flow of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. When life has us working too much, not eating enough of the right foods, not sleeping enough (or sleeping too much), or dealing with chronic stress, things easily get out of balance. There is also scientific evidence suggesting that these hormone fluctuations can affect certain chemicals in the brain that regulate mood.
How Chinese Medicine Can Help
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies can not only regulate the levels of estrogen and progesterone that are in the blood stream at any given time, but also help the body to achieve its desired state of balance (homeostasis) month after month. Generally speaking it takes about three menstrual cycles to see and feel a difference. During that time your acupuncturist will work with you on diet and lifestyle choices that can help your body better process these ups and downs, and stimulate the brain to release more of those 'feel-good' brain chemicals like seratonin and endorphins.
Please note! Side effects of regular acupuncture include more energy, better sleep, lower blood pressure and feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
Julie M Baumhofer, L.Ac is an herbalist and acupuncturist passionate about sharing her understanding of traditional Chinese medicine. She is based in San Francisco and currently accepting new clients.