Relieve PMS with Alternative Treatments
Premenstrual syndrome, otherwise known as PMS, is a collection of over 150 symptoms that women may experience the week or two prior to monthly menstruation. It can be frustrating not only for those going through it but also the people around them. The variety of symptoms that PMS presents makes it a difficult condition to effectively treat. Fortunately, there are many natural and relatively inexpensive methods to make premenstrual syndrome a little more bearable.
The Chinese believe that many of the symptoms associated with PMS (cramps, headaches, irritability, and breast tenderness) are the result of deficient or blocked energy. Blocked energy creates pressure which can be perceived as emotional pressure (anxiety, depression, irritability) or physical pressure (bloating, cramps, and soreness). Acupuncture functions to relieve this pressure, involving the insertion of tiny needles into particular points along the body which restore the natural flow of energy throughout the body.
Inflammation and stress are responsible for many PMS symptoms. Inflammation causes painful joints and sore muscles. Stress can lead to many of the emotional symptoms of PMS as well as inhibit our ability to deal with pain. Massage works by improving circulation and relieving inflammation as well as providing a calming effect. Touch is very powerful in that it allows us to be deeply relaxed, causing the release of pain-fighting endorphins in the brain. This relaxation can also help to restore the chemical balance within the brain, allowing us to overcome irritability, anxiety, and other emotional disturbances.
Eating high complex-carbohydrate, low-fat foods can help the production of serotonin in the brain which is responsible for feelings of euphoria and restfulness. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine which limit the livers ability to process excess estrogen. Estrogen imbalances in the blood are responsible for many PMS symptoms including mood swings and cramping. Also, keep salty foods at a minimum while increasing your consumption of minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Excess salt causes water retention which results in that bloated feeling which can worsen cramps.
Poorly degraded endometrial tissue and blood clots are mostly responsible for the painful cramping of PMS. The oils of evening primrose, pumpkin seed, flax seed, and borage have all been shown to be converted into the good prostaglandins necessary for endometrial tissue breakdown. Unbalanced estrogen can cause many PMS symptoms, both physical and emotional. German researchers have shown that chaste tree berry stimulates progesterone production and can aid in the balance of estrogen within the body.
As mentioned previously, stress and other emotional upsets can exacerbate the physical symptoms of PMS. Yoga employs the use of breathing exercises and stretching to clear the mind and soothe muscle tension. It is most beneficial when performed regularly and 30 to 60 minutes at a time. Leave more vigorous yoga positions for when you are not menstruating. Premenstrual syndrome may be unavoidable for most women. Fortunately, there are many inexpensive and effective alternative methods to decrease its severity by restoring physical, mental, and emotional balance.
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