Quite frequently we can significantly reduce symptoms of PMS with natural medicine. Schedule your consultation today. Call (212) 685-0985
Traditional Chinese Medicine
A controlled trial of Chinese herbal medicine for premenstrual syndrome
- PMID: 18608825
- DOI: 10.1080/01674820801893011
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common disorder troubling many women during their reproductive years. The Chinese have been using herbal medicines to treat menstrual cycle related symptoms for centuries. The present study examined the effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine for the treatment of PMS among Australian women within the theoretical framework of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Sixty-one women were assigned randomly into two groups within different TCM patterns. Herbal medicine and placebo were provided sequentially for a period of three months. There were significant differences (p < 0.01) in scores after three months of treatment between Chinese herbal medicine and placebo in premenstrual physical and psychological symptoms, depression, anxiety and anger favoring herbal medicine, but with no difference in perceived stress (p > 0.05). There were highly significant reductions (p < 0.001) between baseline and the end of the third herbal treatment month in all assessments in both groups except that a significant result (p < 0.05) was recorded on perceived stress only in the herbs-first group. No adverse effects were reported by any participant. The results support the hypothesis that the symptoms occurrence and severity of PMS can be effectively reduced by the use of Chinese herbal medicine.
ACUPUNCTURE FOR PMS
According to TCM theory, PMS occurs when the normal flow of energy and blood are interrupted. The endocrine system, which controls our hormones, is dependent upon the smooth flow of energy and blood. When the blood and energy become blocked because we are not taking care of ourselves as we should, then pain and dysfunction can occur.
Acupuncture has been shown to improve circulation, thus allowing blood and energy to flow more freely. It also balances hormones in the body, while providing relaxation that many women need. When all these components are working in harmony, PMS symptoms are eased.
ACUPUNCTURE POINTS FOR PMS
- Spleen 6: This point is located on the inside of the lower leg. It is found 3 thumb-breadths above the medial ankle bone and just behind the tibia. Spleen 6 is frequently used by acupuncturists. It helps with abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhea, menstrual problems, edema, dizziness and insomnia.
- Ren 6: This point is located on the midline of the abdomen, about 1 ½ thumb-breadths directly below the belly button. Ren 6 can be used to help with abdominal pain, edema, diarrhea, constipation and menstrual problems.
- Large Intestine 4: Located on the back of the hand. When the thumb and forefinger are brought together, this point can be found directly in the middle of the fleshy mound that is created. It is helpful with lower abdominal pain and constipation. LI 4 also helps to calm the uterine muscles and lessen headaches sometimes associated with PMS.
CHINESE HERBS AND HERBAL FORMULAS FOR PMS
Individual herbs and combinations of herbs, known as formulas, are used frequently in TCM. Dang Gui is an herb that is commonly used to help treat PMS. Dang Gui is especially good at promoting the healthy flow of blood throughout the body. It also helps improve the secretion of hormones allowing for proper balancing during the monthly cycle.
There is a particular herbal formula that is used frequently in TCM to help with PMS. This formula is known as Xiao Yao San, or Free and Easy Wanderer. This formula focuses on creating harmonious flow of blood and energy throughout the body, which is particularly helpful for headaches, cramping, and mood changes.
NUTRITION FOR PMS
Proper nutrition is vital for everyone, but when the hormones are imbalanced and working overtime, it is even more important. When we experience pain, we tend to reach for comfort foods that are rich and full of sugar or starch. But for PMS, these can actually be more aggravating of symptoms. More whole foods are recommended during the cycle. High fiber foods like beans, pears, and avocados help combat digestive issues that are common with PMS. Foods high in calcium, like kale and broccoli, are also a good choice for reducing cramps.
As you can see, traditional Chinese medicine is a great way to deal with PMS. If you are having difficulties dealing with your menstrual cycle, contact us to begin treatment.
PMS Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression.
It's estimated that as many as 3 of every 4 menstruating women have experienced some form of premenstrual syndrome. Symptoms tend to recur in a predictable pattern.
But the physical and emotional changes you experience with premenstrual syndrome may vary from just slightly noticeable all the way to intense.
Still, you don't have to let these problems control your life. Acupuncture and herbal medicine and lifestyle adjustments can help you reduce or manage the signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms
- Tension or anxiety
- Depressed mood
- Crying spells
- Mood swings and irritability or anger
- Appetite changes and food cravings
- Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
- Social withdrawal
- Poor concentration
- Change in libido Physical signs and symptoms
- Joint or muscle pain • Headache
- Fatigue • Weight gain related to fluid retention
- Abdominal bloating
- Breast tenderness
- Acne flare-ups
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Alcohol intolerance
For some, the physical pain and emotional stress are severe enough to affect their daily lives.
Regardless of symptom severity, the signs and symptoms generally disappear within four days after the start of the menstrual period for most women.
But a small number of women with premenstrual syndrome have disabling symptoms every month.
This form of PMS is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
PMDD signs and symptoms include depression, mood swings, anger, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty concentrating, irritability and tension.
Causes Exactly what causes premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but several factors may contribute to the condition:
- Cyclic changes in hormones. Signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome change with hormonal fluctuations and disappear with pregnancy and menopause.
- Chemical changes in the brain. Fluctuations of serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that's thought to play a crucial role in mood states, could trigger PMS symptoms. Insufficient amounts of serotonin may contribute to premenstrual depression, as well as to fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems.
- Depression. Some women with severe premenstrual syndrome have undiagnosed depression, though depression alone does not cause all of the symptoms. Acupuncture and herbal medicine show remarkable results in either reducing or completely eliminating the the signs and symptoms of PMS.
At The Berkley Center for Gynecologic Wellness we are committed to helping the menstruating woman to feel ‘normal’ and comfortable during the ‘pre menstrual time’.
We only use natural methods, including acupuncture and herbal medicine. We are licensed and board certified in acupuncture and board certified in herbal medicine. We are experts in women’s health.
At The Berkley Center for Gynecologic Wellness, we are licensed and board certified acupuncturists and board certified herbalists. We specialize in helping women with gynecologic issues to get better, and to feel better.
We work hand-hand with several of New York City’s preeminent gynecologists should Western medical intervention be necessary. Our philosophy is to try the ‘natural’ approach first as these approaches often provide the desired results without the use of drugs.
Schedule your consultation today by calling (212) 685-0985