By the Staff at
Tao of Wellness
"Premenstrual syndrome” (PMS) is the cyclic recurrence of a group of symptoms that peak 7 to 10 days before
menstruation and disappear a few hours after the onset of the menstrual flow. This condition is characterized
by multiple and diverse symptoms including, but not limited to: breast tenderness, transient weight gain,
bloating, constipation, insomnia, acne, headache, pelvic pain, irritability, depression, mood swings, poor
concentration, confusion, social withdrawal, impulsiveness and appetite changes. While many women experience
mild symptoms of short duration, other women have more severe symptoms that last for many days and
temporarily disturb their normal functioning.
PMS is due to unbalanced hormonal fluctuations. A mixture of correct diet, adequate exercise, and
emotional clarity, along with acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herbs can correct imbalances and bring
Balanced nutrition is crucial for overcoming PMS. Certain foods such as alcohol, caffeine, cold temperature
foods, sugar, salt, and animal fats exacerbate symptoms of PMS and should be avoided. In addition, commercial
red meats and poultry, which have a residue of steroids composed of female animal sex hormones, should be
eliminated from the diet. Food necessary for a harmonious menstrual cycle include: plenty of organic
vegetables, small amounts of fruit, whole grains, legumes (especially soy), seaweed, small amounts of lean
hormone-free meats, and fish (especially salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel).
Exercise plays an important role in the treatment of PMS. Thirty to forty-five minutes of cardiovascular
exercise at least three times per week improves blood circulation and significantly helps reduce symptoms.
In addition to diet and exercise, some form of meditation can be very helpful. Our emotions and hormones
influence each other, since they are registered in the same part of our brain. Stress can cause hormonal
imbalances and therefore worsen the symptoms of PMS. Some quiet time everyday helps bring emotional and
Chinese medicine offers even more tools to address premenstrual syndrome. Acupuncture removes energy
blockages and in turn stabilizes hormonal fluctuations. It also provides deep relaxation that helps to
calm the mind. Chinese herbs work together with acupuncture to regulate the flow of energy and substances in
the body. Together they stimulate the body’s natural functions and encourage it to establish optimum balance.
Women do not have to accept and live with premenstrual syndrome. When the symptoms of PMS are reduced or
eliminated, women feel more energetic -- physically, mentally, emotionally and creatively.