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PMS From a Western to Eastern Perspective

In understanding the nuances of PMS, it is insightful to explore the perspectives of both Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM]. Western Medicine often attributes premenstrual symptoms to hormonal fluctuations, emphasizing the role of estrogen and progesterone. On the other hand, TCM views PMS through the lens of an imbalance movement of fluid in the body, or Qi, and the interplay of yin and yang forces. Regardless of the perspective, incorporating body work, like Shiatsu and Massage, can provide relief by addressing chronic symptoms to PMS and promoting relaxation. Beyond the bodywork, adopting holistic strategies becomes crucial. For Western approaches, dietary adjustments, regular exercise, and stress management are key. In TCM, herbal remedies, acupuncture, and lifestyle modifications that align with the principles of balance contribute to harmonizing the body's energy. By embracing a combined approach, individuals can navigate PMS more comprehensively, ensuring a holistic and personalized approach to well-being.


Ariana Pedroza, a practitioner at Curandari, takes a holistic and trauma-informed approach to health, blending Chinese medicine, yoga, massage, and nutrition. She is dedicated to guiding individuals on their bio-individual journey toward improved well-being. Specifically, Ariana specializes in shedding light on PMS, offering a unique perspective that integrates both Eastern and Western approaches. Her expertise aims to empower individuals with personalized insights, promoting a harmonious and balanced approach to women's health. Learn more about PMS by reading below!




WHAT IS PMS?

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) encompasses a range of emotional and physical symptoms that manifest one to two weeks before menstruation, typically following ovulation. This occurs due to a decline in estrogen and progesterone levels if pregnancy does not occur, with symptoms resolving as hormone levels rise and menstruation begins. Severe symptoms may indicate Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), affecting 3 in 4 women at some point in their lives. PMS is more prevalent in women experiencing high stress levels, a family history of depression, and a background of postpartum depression.



PMS: A WESTERN PERSPECTIVE

From a Western perspective, PMS is linked to hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle. Its manifestations vary among women and cease with menopause. Common accompanying health issues include depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and bladder pain syndrome. Symptoms range from headaches and bloating to appetite changes and mood swings. Diagnosis involves consulting a doctor if symptoms disrupt daily routines five days before the period for more than three cycles.


Treatment encompasses lifestyle adjustments, exercise, stress management, and medication like aspirin, Midol, or ibuprofen.



PMS: AN EASTERN PERSPECTIVE

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), PMS is viewed through the lens of specific patterns contributing to disharmony in the body. Emotions play a significant role, lifestyle and genetic factors influence the severity of PMS. TCM attributes PMS to the liver's failure to store and discharge blood, indicating disharmony between the liver and spleen. Patterns include Spleen Qi Deficiency, Liver Qi Stagnation, Blood Deficiency, and Liver Yin Deficiency. Symptoms vary, with Spleen Qi Deficiency presenting as heavy limbs and decreased appetite, while Liver Qi Stagnation is characterized by emotional changes, breast pain, and insomnia.


TCM treatment involves Acupuncture points such as Sp 5, Sp 6, LV13, ST36, Sp 3 for Spleen Qi Deficiency and LV13, BL16, LV14, Sp6, GB41, GB21, HT7 for Liver Qi Stagnation.



WHAT TO EAT

To effectively manage PMS symptoms, it is crucial to maintain a balanced diet. Focus on incorporating the following elements into your daily nutrition:


Anti-Inflammatory Foods:

Prioritize foods known for their anti-inflammatory properties. This includes:

  • Fruits

  • Dark leafy green vegetables


Healthy Fats:

Increase your intake of healthy fats, particularly omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.


Essential Nutrients:

Ensure you are getting essential nutrients such as:

  • Zinc

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin K2


Supplements:

Consider incorporating the following supplements into your routine:

  • Magnesium

  • Omega-3

  • Probiotics for women's health

  • Vitamin B6


Herbs and Specific Supplements:

Explore specific herbs and supplements known for their benefits in managing PMS symptoms:

  • Ashwagandha: Known for promoting calmness and potentially reducing food cravings.

  • Chamomile: Supports digestive relaxation and helps alleviate anxiety.

  • Calendula: Useful for addressing breakouts and fluid retention.

  • Valerian Root: Effective for relieving headaches and insomnia.

  • Passionflower: Contains GABA, reducing nervous system activity for better sleep and anxiety management.

  • Milk Thistle: Supports liver regulation and aids in indigestion.

  • Chasteberry Fruit Extract: Alleviates bloating and breast tenderness.

  • Lemon Balm: Helpful for cramps.

  • Ginger: Contributes to hormonal balance and aids in digestion.

  • Skullcap: Enhances mood.

  • Lavender: Known for its calming properties.

  • Rose: Contributes to mood enhancement and helps alleviate bloating.

  • Raspberry Leaf Tea: Specifically beneficial for PMS and diarrhea.

  • Cinnamon: Regulates progesterone levels.


Incorporating these elements into your diet and considering the mentioned supplements and herbs can contribute significantly to the effective management of PMS symptoms.



ADAPTING DIET TO SPECIFIC PMS PATTERNS

Customize your diet to target specific patterns associated with PMS. Address the following patterns with appropriate food choices:


Spleen Qi Deficiency:

Counter Spleen Qi Deficiency by incorporating the following foods: Barley, Beef, Black beans, Carrots, Chestnut, Chicken, Dates, Ginger, Lamb, Onion, Oats, Squash, Tuna, Sweet potato


Liver Qi Stagnation:

Combat Liver Qi Stagnation with a diet including: Artichoke, Asparagus, Basil, Broccoli, Cardamom, Cauliflower, Ginger, Garlic, Mint, Onions, Pepper, Peppermint, Plums, Pickles, Turmeric, Vinegar, Citrus


Yin Deficiency:

Address Yin Deficiency by incorporating the following recommended foods: Almonds, Mango, Orange, Peaches


Blood Deficiency:

Boost Blood Deficiency with a diet enriched in the following foods: Goji berries, Beets, Carrots, Lychee, Raspberries, Spinach, Spirulina, Wheatgrass, Eggs, Coconut, Bone marrow, Parsley, Mussels


By tailoring your diet to these specific patterns, you can effectively address the diverse symptoms associated with PMS.



COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES

Beyond dietary adjustments, explore alternative treatments for PMS relief. Moxibustion (moxa) can restore balance, acupuncture stimulates neurotransmitter release and positively affects PMS, and cupping improves circulation. Prioritize consultation with a healthcare professional before introducing new supplements or herbs, especially if you are currently taking medications. This comprehensive approach aims to empower individuals with effective tools to manage PMS symptoms and enhance overall well-being.



CONCLUSION

In conclusion, navigating the complexities of PMS requires a comprehensive and integrative approach that considers both Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine perspectives. While Western Medicine focuses on hormonal fluctuations and offers treatments like lifestyle adjustments and medication, Traditional Chinese Medicine delves into the body's vital energy and employs acupuncture and herbal remedies. The incorporation of body work, such as Shiatsu and Massage, provides relief by restoring balance to the body. Embracing a combined approach that includes dietary adjustments, exercise, stress management, targeted herbs and supplements allows individuals to manage PMS more holistically. Tailoring the diet to specific PMS patterns, such as Spleen Qi Deficiency or Liver Qi Stagnation, adds a personalized dimension to the strategy. Complementary therapies like moxibustion, acupuncture, and cupping further enhance the toolkit for PMS relief. By empowering individuals with diverse and effective tools, this holistic approach aims not only to alleviate symptoms but also to enhance overall well-being, fostering a balanced and harmonious connection between mind and body.


 

Blog Provided By: Ariana Pedroza, Founder of Curandari


At Curandari, their mission is to help others feel safe in their bodies while integrating mind, body, and spirit. They incorporate holistic health to improve routines, chronic conditions, emotional trauma, and muscular tension.


CHI-SOCIETY Members receive $15 OFF their first therapeutic session! Click here to claim this offer!

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