- Gathered Roots
Acupuncture and PMS
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of physical and emotional symptoms linked to a woman’s menstrual cycle. PMS symptoms usually occur during the ten days prior to menses and disappear either shortly before or after the start of menstrual flow. Symptoms vary from person to person, but each individual's pattern of symptoms is typically predictable.
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.
Other factors such as stress, a nutritionally inadequate diet, lack of exercise and sleep, and a hectic or demanding lifestyle may exacerbate the symptoms.
What to do about PMS?
Western medicine recommends diet and lifestyle change coupled with medications that manipulate the level of progesterone and estrogen (i.e birth control pills) tranquillizers and/or antidepressants that affect mood and emotions. Although prescription medication can sometimes bring relief; they, unfortunately, do not address all the underlying causes of PMS, and they can cause unwanted side effects that mimic PMS symptoms.
A natural approach:
Acupuncture can address PMS symptoms naturally, without medication, by restoring balance and harmony, both physically and emotionally. In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the root cause of PMS is usually an imbalance or blockage of qi or vital energy, and blood within specific organ and meridian systems. When qi and blood become imbalanced or blocked, symptoms and signs associated with PMS will appear.
At Gathered Roots, we offer a safe, natural and effective approach to alleviate these symptoms. Acupuncture and TCM may hold the key to a healthier, balanced, PMS free life.