Extreme fatigue, depression, severe abdominal cramps, food cravings. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of the most common women’s health conditions that completely lacks any reliable Western medical treatment for its symptoms. Yet it’s part of many people’s regular menstrual pattern.
So many women suffer from severe side effects of PMS—so much so that it affects their daily lives for at least a few days every single month.
While the painful and disruptive PMS are naturally occurring and there’s no way to get rid of them completely (after all, menstrual symptoms are messages from the body asking for rest and care!), Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a natural solution that may be even more effective than medication.
Can Acupuncture & Acupressure Ease PMS?
An analysis of 15 studies with over 1000 subjects found that acupressure can reduce moderate to severe PMS symptoms.
An analysis of 15 studies found that acupuncture treatment was significantly effective in treating PMS, compared with medicine and sham acupuncture. While more, larger studies are needed to fully confirm the scientific evidence of acupuncture to treat Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms, there is a slew of promising research to back it. Since PMS has such varied effects on different women—from moodness to severe abdominal pain—there are also a variety of ways acupuncture and TCM may be used to help. In particular, studies show that acupuncture and acupressure are sure-fire solutions for mood swings, depression, pain, and anxiety—some of the major symptoms of PMS.
The most commonly used acupoints for PMS treatment are SP6, LR3, and RN4.
Other Natural Treatments
There are a variety of natural, personalized solutions for the debilitating aggravation of PMS. If you’re a person who experiences PMS symptoms, you know it can be quite the journey with advice, experimentation, and routine to discover what works best for you. Here are some tips that experts agree help reduce the pain and discomfort of PMS:
- Get plenty of rest!
- Choose foods high in complex carbohydrates and rich in calcium.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Try supplements like calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B6 can also help.
- Move your body gently. Exercise helps the body regulate our mood and gets blood flowing to sore muscles and organs.
- Chasteberry extract, though not sufficiently scientifically studied, is reported to have helpful effects on swelling and pain.
- Keep track of your cycle, symptoms, and treatments, to help figure out what works best for you—and, at least, to be prepared!
- Schedule an acupuncture appointment a few days before you begin menstruating! Planning for PMS before it happens can be one of the best ways to avoid a pitfall when that time rolls around.
Acupuncture for PMS at Different Intervention Time