Premenstrual syndrome or PMS, for short, affects about 70% to 90% of women in the United States, women who are not in menopause; however, PMS is not a problem for most of the women living in Southeast Asia. This difference may be attributed to the contrasting social structure and living style between the two cultures. Premenstrual syndrome is known as a dysfunction of the ovaries associated with a women’s cycle of menstruation. This condition affects a woman’s emotional and physical state and may, at times, interfere with her daily activities due to fluctuation in her hormones. PMS happens one to two weeks prior to menstruation. It then dissipates when the period begins. This article will deal with how acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy can be used to treat PMS.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese form of treatment that has been utilized to alleviate the tension on any part in the body caused by blood and qi stagnation in traditional Chinese medicine or TCM.
How does acupuncture treat women with pre-menstrual syndrome?
Kidney deficiency – this type of deficiency leads to edema or water retention in the body of a woman suffering from PMS. To restore the function of the kidney, acupuncture is used. This treatment helps stimulate more fluid secretion which helps to remove toxins via urinary secretion.
Cramps and pains – acupuncture is able to alleviate menstrual cramps and pain resulting from overactive muscles in the stomach area. It does this by removing the cause of blood and qi stagnation. This causes the muscles to relax that then lessens stomach cramps and pain.
Yin and Yang qi – these two opposing but at the same time complementary forces of TCM play a huge role in the overall health of a person. Licensed Chinese herbalists agree that PMS is occasionally due to an imbalance in yin and yang qi in the woman’s body. When herbal therapy brings back the balance of these tow forces, the woman’s hormonal system starts to normally function that eventually helps in eliminating the symptoms of PMS.
Releasing the tension in the nervous – when blood flow improves due to acupuncture, the nervous system begins to relax, this results in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and depression
Blood and liver qi stagnation – Chinese herbalists state that a large number of women suffering from PMS may have blood or liver q stagnation or even both. So, when inserting the needle in the important areas in the body (occasionally, electrical current can be utilized to make the results more effective), it also releases pressure and improves the function of liver resulting in lessened symptoms of PMS.