In my private practice, PMS and dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) are certainly common reasons for seeking treatment with acupuncture with herbs, as these holistic methods tend to be very effective and safe options for most women. Chinese medicine and acupuncture have enjoyed a rich history in treating gynecological issues. Even today, many women turn to this style of treatment for numerous female health concerns. PMS and cramping usually respond very well to treatment. The key is to give it sufficient time before discerning if it is working for you.
Both PMS and cramping are generally attributed to an underlying liver imbalance that is based on qi (energy) and blood stagnation. The liver is responsible for balanced circulation throughout the body; cramping pain and PMS are signs that the blood has congealed and qi has become stuck. The primary cause of liver qi and blood stagnation is emotional in nature and is specifically related to the suppression of anger and frustration. When you feel stuck in your life and your creative resources are thwarted, the natural byproducts are anger and frustration. The continued attachment to these emotions makes us feel stuck on all levels. Thus, the body will mirror to us this stagnation by impairing the circulation of qi and blood through the liver meridian. This, in turn, causes pain, mood swings, and further emotional upset.
Many women have resigned themselves to simply putting up with these uncomfortable symptoms every month. They simply think that this is normal and that there is no treatment available for it. When women start to see miraculous changes in their cycles, they no longer feel like the world is ending and they are no longer doubled over in pain for 3 days; How could this be? Well, this is actually one of the easier conditions to treat since acupuncture excels at moving stuck qi and blood. Needles disperse energy and promote circulation. That is their primary function. By harmonizing the flow of qi in the liver meridian, order is restored the woman’s body and mind. Along with acupuncture, here are a few herbs and supplements that I recommend. It is always best to pursue natural treatments under the guidance of a skilled practitioner. With that said, consider the following:
Nutritional therapy can go a long way toward healing PMS and cramping. The standard American diet is certainly enough to create a host of problems for female health, including hormonal imbalances, various side effects of holding excess weight, low serotonin levels, and poor metabolism. Here are a few basic tips to consider if you want to use food to heal yourself:
Lastly, make sure you get plenty of exercise. This is an important consideration for healing ourselves in general. Try to get at least 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Find ways to manage your stress level. Yoga and meditation are incredibly helpful for this purpose (along with many others). Hopefully after reading this brief article, you feel more encouraged that there are steps you can take for PMS and cramping that you might not have known about. Don’t forget, it is common that natural therapies take time, as they have a cumulative effect over a few weeks. Be consistent and accurate in your treatment (which is difficult without some professional guidance) and you should make vast improvements.