Mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, skin problems, bloating and depression…. Many women dread the last week of every cycle because of how irritable and miserable they feel. Chinese medicine has been treating premenstrual symptoms for thousands of years and here at the YinOva Center we have drawn on this traditional wisdom to help modern New Yorkers address their PMS simply and effectively. Many of our patients are surprised and thrilled to find out that PMS can be solved and that they don’t have to put up with feeling moody and uncomfortable every month.

Recently Parents TV came to our center to interview me and talk to one of our patients about using Chinese medicine to treat PMS and  you can see the video over on YinOva TV

In Chinese medicine uncomfortable symptoms before the period are related to Liver Qi Stagnation and by this we mean that stress and fatigue cause qi and blood to circulate less well and our livers to function sluggishly resulting in hormonal transitions that are not smooth. At the YinOva Center we use a combination of weekly acupuncture to move qi combined with a natural herbal formula to help balance hormones, gently and safely. Your herbs can be specially tailored to suit your particular symptoms so, for instance, if you suffer from breast tenderness we can add qing pi (Tangerine Peel) which can really help. Likewise if abdominal bloating and gas is a problem we can add mu xiang (Costus Root) to help move qi in your abdomen.

Most of our patients find they need to take the herbs for three months to bring their body back into balance after which we wean them off and, like Suzanne in the interview above, they usually find that their premenstrual symptoms are much more manageable. Likewise we suggest weekly acupuncture for the first three months followed by a treatment once a month for a further two months and as Suzanne says in the interview this is usually enough to make a permanent change. There are also plenty of things you can do to help yourself. Here is the advice we give our YinOva patients about tackling their PMS :-

  • Get regular exercise. This moves qi and blood and smooths hormonal transitions.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens.
  • Prioritize unsaturated fats such as olive oil and whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal.
  • In the week before your period avoid alcohol, coffee, salt and processed foods.
  • If you feel irritable take Vitamin B6 (50 – 100 mg)
  • If you suffer from breast tenderness take Vitamin E (400mg).
  • If you suffer from bloating take take Magnesium (400mg)
  • If you feel weepy take Calcium (1200mg)
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