Many women know it all too well: the cyclical bloating, breakouts, cravings and yes, mood swings that strike right around the time your monthly period is due. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, or PMS for short, is a series of symptoms women feel due to the strong hormone fluctuations they experience with their menses.
According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, “Several million women report painful periods, cramps, and PMS that can disrupt life for 7-10 days each month,” with common symptoms include and ranging from bloating, headache, acne, and irritability or severe mood swings.
To help ease these symptoms, a healthful diet, exercise, medicinal herbs, and acupuncture are recommended as they, “can all be used to better regulate these hormonal fluctuations.”
As a form of natural relief, the article explains that, “Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) analyze the flow of energy, or qi, and blood in each patient as a means of identifying imbalances that are to blame for their diseases or medical conditions. Cramping associated with the menstrual cycle or menopause is often due to the stagnation of qi.” Additionally, a deficiency in quality qi or blood flow can also lead to chronic pain.
The most common acupuncture point for PMS is along the liver meridian, or Liver Qi, which is believed to be integral to the overall flow of energy, life force, through the body. By stimulating this point, stagnant blood can be combated, which can ultimately lead to pain relief and restoration of balance.
The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine states, “While the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has no official stance on the efficacy of acupuncture on PMS, many of the professional members recognize that acupuncture helps to regulate our endorphins and other biochemistry.”
In other words, it quite literally can’t hurt to give acupuncture a try in an effort to help combat when PMS rears its ugly head.