That bloating starts to appear, you feel sluggish and tired. Your partner starts avoiding you with a ten foot pole because they see you bouncing between unexplainable tears and a fiery rage. You dread this time of the month- not the period, but your PMS or Pre-Menstrual phase.
PMS doesn’t have to be endured. Believe it or not, but it’s true.
PMS or Pre-menstrual syndrome for some women can be 2 weeks or it can be a couple of days, everyone is different. In Chinese Medicine we would say that you have Qi Stagnation and the woman feeling hormonal for 2 weeks prior is more stuck than the woman feeling hormonal for 2 days.
What is Qi Stagnation???
Well, lets just take a look at the concept of Stagnation. It’s a big concept and a unique one in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and explains beautifully exactly how Women feel each month when they have PMS.
Stagnation, simply put, is when things aren’t flowing.
And it can show up as:
- Stagnant circulation & micro-circulation eg. headaches, migraines, fluid retention, clotty periods and any kind of pain including tender breasts, painful periods.
- Stagnant digestion eg. Bloating and wind, constipation
- Stagnant moods that chop and change suddenly or become overwhelming eg. irritability, depressed, anxiety, tears, anger, frustration, rage.
- Stagnant thoughts eg. rumination, brain fog, vagueness, indecision, can’t get to sleep because of a busy mind.
How do I move stagnation if I have PMS?
- Exercise is BRILLIANT. Move your limbs and you’ll be moving your qi. It doesn’t have to be a marathon, but a gentle walk, jog, run, swim or cycle will get things moving again. Just go by how you feel on the day, you may not have all the energy in the world to get motivated or started. Take it easy, but keep moving.
- Keep it LIGHT – Steaming your veg instead of raw or cooked to smithereens is best. Lots of great green veggies and less of the stodgy, heavier meals will be a treat to your digestion. Bone broths, Soups, stews and slow food is also great.
- Stay Hydrated – this keeps your elimination routes of the urinary and bowel systems flowing. Add electrolytes for a hydration booster.
- Get some TCM – Acupuncture & Herbs are fab for moving stagnation; relieving pain, moving your bowels, balancing hormones, evening out your moods and clearing your thoughts. TCM for stagnation is a match made in heaven.
Here are some case studies to give you an idea:
Trying to Conceive 2 yrs. Not particularly stressed despite a demanding job.
Restless sleep, headaches, clotty periods (Endometriosis). Pre-menstrually: Breast tenderness, bloating headache, irritable. Received Acupuncture & chinese herbs and continued Acupuncture fortnightly after that. By her next session, Pre-menstrual signs had diminished.
By her 6th Acupuncture session of which she had no PMS signs since starting Acupuncture, period was late. Conceived and positive Pregnancy test.
Julia, 31y.o. TTC.
PMS signs: Teariness without fail every month, emotionally sensitive, sometimes irritable. Bloating, breasts tender and swollen. No headaches. Not particularly stressed after recent job change.
By 6th session PMS has diminished, less mood swings, some irritability but lasting only minutes rather than days. No tears. (This was a big deal to Julia!)
7th session – No PMS signs. No moodiness, no breast tenderness, energy levels are good.
8th session – No PMS signs. No teariness, no moodiness, no breast tenderness, no bloating, no mood swings.
9th session – No PMS signs, no period pain.
I use these to illustrate that it is possible for women to live without PMS, and to the point where they’re pleasantly surprised to be getting their period because they no longer have PMS and the sluggishness of that phase as a warning signal that their period is coming.
For more information about how Acupuncture can help your PMS, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how PMS affects you.