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Treating PMS

Lasting Relief from PMS

The scientific community are at long last thinking that premenstrual syndrome (PMS), is caused by a hormonal imbalance. Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture have been used for centuries to regulate the body, promote healing, rebalance the microbiome and restore proper balance of energy, blood, and biochemicals. Traditional Chinese Medicine is the “go to” treatment for Chinese women who know of its success, as a permanent relief from PMS and bloating.

Millions of women throughout the Western world report painful periods, cramps, and PMS that can disrupt life for 7-10 days each month. The most common symptoms include bloating, headache, acne, and irritability or severe mood swings.

There is Hope

Proper diet, exercise, medicinal herbs, Traditional Chinese Medicine and homeopathy can all be used to better regulate these hormonal fluctuations.

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In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we examine the flow of energy or Qi and Blood in patients as a means of recognizing 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. Deficiency of either Qi or Blood in certain meridians can lead to pain, while a buildup of internal Heat or Cold can also cause these symptoms.

The Liver Qi is fundamental to the overall flow of energy through our bodies. When this Qi becomes blocked or stagnated, Blood pools in the uterus, increasing the discomfort of monthly periods. Signs of this blockage include bloating, spotting, and irritability. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, when the Liver Qi becomes stagnant, it can make menstrual flow heavy and lead to thirst, constipation, and angry mood swings. If the Qi stagnation turns to Blood stagnation, pain can become more intense and localized.

For PMS, acupuncture points should focus on the Promoting the Smooth Flow of Liver Qi. Patients may find that gentle pressure, heat, and massage can also help to relax the muscles that cramp most often before and during menstruation. The herbal formula Xiao Yao Wan (Free n’Easy) can be used in conjunction with the acupuncture to relieve the symptoms of Liver Qi blockage. Tao Hong Si Wu Tang should be used to address severe pain in the lower abdomen, as it will nourish the stagnant Blood and stimulate natural healing. Other herbs that may help include Ba Zhen Tang to tonify the Qi, Dang Gui Jian Zhong Tang to warm the Yang, and Bai Shao (Golden Time) for hot flashes.

Acupuncture, herbs and homeopathy will help to relieve pain and PMS symptoms almost immediately, but the Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment should be continued for at least three months in order to fully address the hormonal irregularities.

Dr. Frank Lipman, acupuncturist and promoter of homeopathy for pain relief, reports a growing number of female patients that come to him for PMS relief. Approximately 75% of these patients can treat their PMS successfully with acupuncture and homeopathy. The acupuncture needles release Qi blockages, and women feel clear-headed after their 45-minute treatment sessions, with less bloating, sweating, and an improved overall mood.

With the relief that Traditional Chinese Medicine has to offer for PMS and the symptoms of menopause, women can fully reclaim their physical and emotional strength.

Here are some things you could try for PMS.

  1. Get Regular Exercise: It moves the chi and blood and smooths transition.
  2. Eat Cruciferous Vegetables like Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and all their cousins contain an active compound called DIM, which helps with estrogen imbalance.
  3. Prioritizing Health Fats means olive and coconut oils, omega-3s, and the like.
  4. Take Xiao Yao Wan is herbal formula has been used for hundreds of years to treat PMS, and it’s widely available for purchase. It helps with the hormonal transition and supports the liver as it confronts estrogen. Blakeway calls it “miraculous.”
  5. Free n’Easy Homeopathic Remedies is based on this miraculous herbal formula and in addition to treat PMS, it is recommended because of its cost effectiveness to be taken long term as preventative.
  6. Troubleshoot Symptoms with Vitamins. Irritable? Take B6. Sore breasts? Try vitamin E. For bloating you want magnesium. If you’re feeling weepy, try calcium. One quick word of caution when it comes to vitamins: always make sure to take the appropriate amount. Many vitamins (e.g., B6 and E) and elements (e.g., magnesium and calcium) have a threshold above which toxicity can occur, so be careful not to take too much.
  7. Try Seed Cycling which involves taking ground pumpkin and flax seed daily during the follicular phase of your cycle until you ovulate; the theory here is that they help you metabolize estrogen, which rules this phase. After ovulation you switch to sesame and sunflower seeds. Blakeway says they have nutrient precursors to the progesterone, which dominates this phase.

Get involved with our own health and be proactive, don’t wait until they find that magic cure, it may not come. The answer may be a combination of the above.

James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.

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