Premenstrual syndrome, known colloquially as PMS, is characterized by a set of symptoms that appear a week to 10 days before a menstrual cycle and usually fades within a few hours of menstrual flow. PMS can range from mild to severe: some women may only experience short-lived or minor symptoms while other women may experience more intense pain and emotion that make it difficult to function. The severity of PMS can also change from month to month. If PMS is affecting your life, here are some ways that acupuncture can help alleviate your symptoms.
Causes and Symptoms
To understand how acupuncture can help provide relief from the symptoms of PMS, it is important to understand what those symptoms are and where they come from. PMS is caused by rapid and unstable shifts in your hormone levels. These fluctuations can have any number of effects, including (but not limited to):
- Bloating and upset stomach
- Breast tenderness
- Abdominal discomfort and cramping
- Fatigue and trouble sleeping
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Changes in appetite
- Anxiety, irritability, depression and mood swings
How Can Acupuncture Help?
Acupuncture is a part of a holistic health care regime that includes a healthy diet and exercise. In general, a diet rich in organic vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fish can help reduce the symptoms of PMS. A small amount of cardiovascular exercise a day has also been shown to alleviate the symptoms of PMS.
Combined with a healthy diet and exercise, acupuncture is a strong form of alternative medicine for PMS relief. Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points in the body to target the areas causing you pain or discomfort and to balance hormones.
The energy imbalance of PMS, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, is mainly the result of a Liver Qi stagnation. By targeting this stagnation, acupuncturists help to redistribute the flow of energy in the body to provide pain relief. Acupuncture has also been proven to have positive emotional and mental side effects, and can be used to treat the anxiety, irritability and depression that can accompany PMS.
Premenstrual Syndrome is a medical condition that affects a large number of women every menstrual cycle. The pain and discomfort cause by PMS may feel insurmountable, but with the right mixture of lifestyle changes and alternative therapy, you can overcome PMS and get back to living your regular life. For more information on the health benefits of acupuncture and the holistic health services we provide, contact us today at Red Leaf Wellness.