Pre-menstrual syndrome results in both physical and emotional symptoms, which can become unbearable for some women. PMS has been attributed to a hormonal imbalance. It is believed to occur because of an over production of estrogen and deficiency of progesterone. The syndrome usually starts a week to ten days before the actual flow of blood. Within the first hour of blood flow the syndrome ceases until the following month.
Western medicine attempts to treat some of the symptoms associated with PMS with various drugs. For instance if the patient experiences anxiety or stress they are given Buspirone or Alprazolam. If the PMS symptom is depression, then the PMS treatment is Fluoxetine or Prozac. There is a drug given for every PMS symptom as a PMS treatment.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for PMS
Traditional Chinese Medicine approaches PMS treatment differently. The PMS treatment is based on the group of internal organs it affects and their energy pathways or meridians. The Traditional Chinese Medicine PMS treatment involves three body organs. They are the Liver, Heart and Spleen. The reason these three organs are involved are because emotional disturbances attack the liver. Liver is a wood element. Wood generates fire. Fire is the heart’s element. Fluids diminish or put out fire. This creates a heart blood deficiency. Heart is the house for shen or our spirits (our essences, what make us as we are). The blood deficiency makes the heart to weak to store shen. The spleen is also deficient as a result of the blood deficiency (the spleen makes red blood cells). Spleen deficiency causes Phlegm. Phlegm causes heat and heat bothers the Heart. So PMS causes symptoms because of these conditions described.
Traditional Chinese Medicine calls the symptoms patterns. The patterns involved with PMS are Liver Qi stagnation, Heart Blood, Deficiency pattern; and Phlegm-Heat Harassment pattern. In order to differentiate the patterns to have an effective PMS treatment the tongue and the pulse are also analyzed. This way things like other characteristics such as a heavy early period would associate with Liver Qi Stagnation, scanty and late periods with Heart Blood Deficiency and vaginal discharge with Phlegm Heat Harassment.
Can Acupuncture Help?
Acupuncture has been used to successfully deal with PMS Treatment. Once the symptoms are pinpointed and type of pattern established, both herbs and acupuncture are used for PMS treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The PMS symptoms associated with Liver Qi Stagnation include depression, anger outbursts, irritability, moodiness, mood swings, chest congestion, pain under ribcage, headache, anxiety maybe even talking to ones self. The periods are early and heavy. The tongue is coated and the pulse wiry. In addition to acupuncture the herbs Buplerum (Chai Hu) and Mood Smooth (Jia Wei Xiao Yao San) are given. Also a Buplerum Formula (Chai Hu Shu Gan San), which has been used for this pattern, is given. The Buplerum formula consists of Buplerum, White Peony, Aurantium Fruit, Cnidium, Cyperus Tuber, Licorice and Tangerine Peel.
The PMS treatment for Heart Blood Deficiency Pattern is based on Chronic illness or excessive menstrual blood loss and the other related symptoms. The related symptoms include emotional upset, sadness, fatigue, sluggishness, heart palpitations, insomnia, poor memory, pale complexion, periods may actually be scanty and light, white coated tongue and thin pulse. The herbs that go with the acupuncture in this PMS treatment are Biota seed (Bai Zi Ren) and jujubee (Suan Zao Ren), which are 2 important heart tonic herbs. Heart Yin Tonic (Tian Wan Bu Xin Dan) and Heart Tonic (Yang Xin Tang) are two formulas for nourishing the Heart and calming the Spirit, which are also used in this PMS Treatment. Biota seed, Jujubee Asparagus, Lilyturf Root, Angelica, Schizandra, Rehmannia, Ginseng, Codonopsis, Polygala and Platycodon are the herbs that make up the tonics.
Phlegm-Heat Harassment Pattern
Finally the last PMS treatment is done for Phlegm-Heat Harassment Pattern.This condition, is brought on by constantly eating hot spicy foods, greasy fried foods and by emotional trauma. Symptoms include anxiety, red eyes, insomnia before the period, anger, tightness in the chest, poor appetite, a red tongue with a yellow sticky coating and wiry/slippery/rapid pulse. The herbs used in this PMS treatment include Pinellia tuber (Ban Xia) for resolving phlegm and Bamboo shavings (Zhu Ru). Both are excellent at alleviating phlegm from the body and Bamboo Shavings alleviate anxiety. Warming Gallbladder Decoction (Wen Dan Tang) is a popular herbal remedy for this pattern. The herbs for the decoction are Pinellia Tuber, Bamboo Shavings, Aurantium Fruit, Tangerine Peel, Licorice, Poria, Rhubarb, Acori Graminei and Curcuma.
All the PMS symptoms in this article subside after the period begins. That is the classic trait of a PMS symptom. It starts a week to two before the actual flow of blood and then stops as if it never happened.
The Health Benefits of Acupuncture for Women
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese practice that has been used for centuries for the treatment of various ailments ranging from minor aches and pains to fertility and till recently for complications associated with HIV/AIDS. The use of acupuncture in modern western medicine has been one of more ups than downs as those practicing traditional medicine have found it very difficult to make the transition. However, in recent times there has been a marked increase in the number of doctors and other professionals who are practicing and recommending the use of this ancient ritual for the treatment of patients. One particular group of patients who have greatly benefited from the induction of such a practice in modern medicine is women.
Both sexes (men and women) are continuously faced with a number of similar health issues but because of the differences in their anatomy and physiology there are ailments, which are unique to each sect. The reproductive processes of women and men are quite different but acupuncture has been used for many centuries to treat the reproductive problems of both groups. Women can suffer from a wide range of reproductive issues and for many of these issues there has been sufficient evidence to suggest and in most cases justify the use of acupuncture treatment as a superior alternative to convention medication or treatment.
Menstrual Cycle Discomfort
Women who go through the monthly menstrual cycle have often found themselves under tremendous discomfort and strain due to the physiological changes that their bodies undergo. Studies have shown that the use of acupuncture can significant reduce the symptoms of bloating, menstrual cramp and other pains in the lower abdomen that most women would experience during their normal cycles. Women with irregular cycles and those who have irregular ‘flows’ also find themselves benefiting tremendously by using acupuncture along with certain alterations in diet and lifestyle.
The development of cysts, fibroids and other abnormalities in the womb and cervical region has also caused many problems for women. Many of these occurrences have been linked to imbalances in hormonal levels in women of childbearing age. At the post menopausal age, the tendency to develop such ‘growths’ is greatly reduced as hormonal levels become better regulated by the body. The use of acupuncture as a means of treating such abnormalities have resulted in the need for less surgeries by women as they see a reduction in the growth and appearance of these unwanted things.
Acupuncture has also been linked to solving fertility problems in both men and women. Stress is an underlying cause of many illnesses and ailments that affect individuals worldwide. Many fertility problems are stress related and may lead to other problems such as hormonal imbalances, which significantly affect the ability of the mother to conceive. Even after conception, many mothers stand little chance of carrying their babies to a full term if the stress problem is left untreated. Acupuncture treatment has been credited with blessing many prospective mothers, who once thought that they had no chance of conceiving with healthy normal babies.
Many women also suffer physiologically and psychologically when they reach menopause. Acupuncture treatment has been found to provide much relief to such women and a return to normalcy during that stressful period of their life. Many medical practitioners are now actively recommending such treatment to their women patients.
Addictions, Allergies and Other Disorders
There are also problems such as addictions (smoking is a prime example) and other unhealthy lifestyle practices, which has resulted in favorable outcomes as a result of acupuncture treatment. The use of acupuncture in the treatment of allergies and gastrointestinal disorders has been well documented and is extensively being used by both men and women of the Asian block. More persons of western cultures are developing an appreciation for the use of this ancient practice as a means to better health.