Pssst...PMS Is Not Normal (And How to Fix It)

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I recently conducted an informal poll on social media, which went out to over 100 women, asking questions about symptoms related to their cycle.  What I discovered is that 100% of women experience at least one PMS symptom during the time of their cycle.  Most women (about 80%) experience some cramping, whether it was mild, moderate, or severe.  About one-third experience headaches, nearly half experience breast tenderness, breast swelling, bloating, and food cravings, and nearly all admitted to moodiness.  The most alarming statistic was that every woman who responded who was not a Chinese Medicine practitioner believe that there was no long-term relief, and this was their fate to suffer.  (Hint: there is an answer. Read on…)

All women experience their cycle differently.  Some are always on track, coming every 28 days, while others are irregular. The combination of PMS symptoms is different for each woman too.  We are taught (or at least I was taught, and most women I know were taught) that cramping, mood swings, bloating, and headaches are all a normal part of being a woman, and really, there’s not much we can do other than pop a Tylenol or Advil and use a heating pad to alleviate the side effects.  If things get really bad, a doctor may prescribe hormones, like birth control pills.

Here’s the truth - the truth I didn’t know until I was in my early 30’s and a student of Chinese Medicine.  PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) is not normal.  It is common, but common does not equate to normal, and it certainly does not equate to healthy.  What I learned blew my mind and ultimately changed my life forever. 

Here is what we know.  Every PMS symptom that you have indicates an underlying health issue.  (That’s why treating women is great because understanding their cycle and symptoms associated will yield 80-90% of the information that is needed to get an accurate overall diagnosis.  Remember, as Chinese Medicine practitioner, I am looking for the reason your symptoms are occurring, and I want to do more than just mask them.)  The really cool thing is that Chinese Medicine not only understands the root cause of each of PMS symptom, but also offers safe, natural, and effective ways to treat each and every symptom by using acupuncture and herbs.  PMS isn’t masked, like it would be with an OTC pain reliever or birth control, but it is truly addressed, so that the problem can be resolved.

As a student, I decided to try it myself.  I took myself off the pill and allowed my body to begin regulating my cycles naturally with the help of acupuncture.  Then, I used herbs to fine tune the remaining symptoms, which usually presented as moodiness and cramping prior to my cycle.  And voila! 20 years of PMS symptoms and painful periods gone!  Now, my cycles come and go with no indication, except perhaps when there’s a bit more stress in my life; however, I know exactly how to address it, and the issue resolves without having to put harsh medications or synthetic hormones into my system.

Here are common PMS & Period symptoms (how many do you suffer from?)

  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Acne/Skin Outbreak
  • Digestive Upset/Altered Bowel Movements
  • Low Back Pain
  • Sugar, Carb or Salty Cravings
  • Moodiness (Irritability, Sadness, Anger, Easily Cries)
  • Heavy Flow/Clots

If you have 1 or more of these symptoms associated with PMS and your monthly cycle, schedule an appointment with Phoenix Rising Acupuncture.  We love seeing our patients experience improvement. It’s pretty magical, but really, it’s just ancient medicine that knows exactly how the body works and how to bring it back into balance, or back to “normal”.

At Phoenix Rising Acupuncture, we recommend weekly or bi-monthly treatments for about three months, in addition to herbal teas, tinctures, and breast and womb serums, if needed.  Yep, we even have a glorious tea to eliminate that notorious irritability and road rage that may creep up around that time of the month.  Cupping sessions can also help, especially for those suffering with more severe cases of cramping or endometriosis.