Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a condition related to hormonal fluctuations that affect more than half of all pre-menopausal women in the United States. It typically occurs 10 to 14 days prior to menstruation, lasting through the first two to three days of menstruation, and can present with a wide range of symptoms.
According to Susan M. Lark, MD, a holistic physician who specializes in women’s health issues, there are four basic types of PMS, which she categorizes as Type A, Type C, Type D, and Type H, based on the symptoms that predominate in each category.
Women who suffer from Type A PMS typically experience anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. Women in the Type C category predominantly experience fatigue, headache, and sugar cravings. Symptoms for Type D usually present themselves as depression, confusion, and memory and cognition problems, while Type H sufferers most commonly experience bloating, sore breasts, and fluctuating weight gain.
Other common PMS symptoms that can be experienced by women in all four categories above include acne, oily skin and hair, cramps (dysmenorrhea), low back pain, nausea, and sleeping problems, including hormonal insomnia.
When addressing PMS, the treatment goals of alternative health practitioners are to help women achieve balance in body, mind, and spirit using a combination of therapies, which can all be practiced as self-care treatments.
The primary causes of PMS are hormonal and nutritional imbalances, poor diet, stress, and, in many cases, the unwarranted belief by women that menstruation is somehow unnatural and revolting. Such a belief is primarily due to social conditioning and completely false, since menstruation is in fact a vital and natural part of every healthy woman’s life cycle and evidence of her innate feminine power.
As with all conditions this did not happen overnight. The very first thing you must do is see a licensed health professional. Find a list of practitioners in your local area here
Here are some things you can discuss with your practitioner:
- Eliminate Candida: Click here to find out how
- Do the Hydrogen Peroxide Protocol to strengthen the immune system:
- Drink 3oz of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days www.colloidsforlife.com/ Silver has long been recognised as a powerful natural antibiotic. Colloidal silver is silver that has been removed electronically from its source and then suspended in water. It is used to treat a myriad of diseases.
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste www.wecarespa.com
- We recommend regular colonics to remove toxicity from the body. Read more about colonics by clicking here. Find a practitioner here.
- Most of the water that we drink is very acidic and in order to heal our bodies need a more alkaline state. During the programme drink alkalised water, which you can buy from Real Water www.drinkrealwater.com/
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here kevintrudeaudailylifesessentials.com/
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
- Vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin B-complex, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, zinc, evening primrose oil, and gamma linolenic acid (GLA) are all beneficial in the treatment of PMS.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
- . Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
Guided Imagery and Visualization:
Guided imagery and visualization techniques are an easy way to enhance your ability to relax, which is important during times of PMS. The following exercise can provide you with tools you can use to quickly shift away from feelings of stress to feelings of relaxation. Sit comfortably in an easy chair and close your eyes. Take a few gentle, deep breaths, and imagine yourself becoming increasingly relaxed with each breath you take. Feel relaxation spreading over your entire body like a wave of peace. Now recall a time from your past when you were truly happy and at ease. Imagine yourself back within that moment as if it is actually happening now in the present. Use all of your senses to make the scene real. Hear the sounds, smell the scents, and see everything about you in full color. As you relive this experience, notice anew how relaxed, happy, and at peace you feel. By taking a few moments to imagine this scene whenever you feel PMS symptoms building up, you will be able to quickly release your tension and reclaim the positive mood you were in when you first experienced the scene you are recalling.
Meditation has been scientifically shown to relieve stress, as well as to improve overall health and immune function, and to reduce the pain and suffering caused by chronic disease. In fact, in 1984, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommended meditation as the more appropriate and effective choice for treating mild cases of high blood pressure, instead of commonly prescribed blood pressure medications. Meditation can offer new insights and improved coping strategies, better enabling you to meet the challenges of the day. Some types of meditation, such as Transcendental Meditation (TM), have even been shown to produce deeper states of physical relaxation than ordinary sleep.Although there are many types of meditation practices to choose from, all of them have one thing in common: focused attention on the breath. If you are new to meditation, you can begin by sitting up straight yet comfortably and closing your eyes. Place your attention on your breathing as you inhale and exhale. Each time you find your attention starting to wander, simply refocus on your breath. Though doing so may seem difficult initially, with practice it will become easier and easier, and you will easily spend 20 to 30 minutes meditating in this manner. The key is to be gentle with yourself and not force. At first, you may find yourself unable to sit still for more than a few minutes. If that is the case, don’t continue. Instead, each day seek to add to the length of your meditation practice until you reach your goal of 20 to 30 minutes per session.
Relaxation Exercises: Practicing exercises that help your body and mind to relax can quickly release feelings of stress and tension associated with PMS. Here is an example of a relaxation exercise that you can easily make part of your daily health routine:
- Sit in a quiet room with dim lighting, with your feet flat on the ground.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Gently begin to breathe deeply in and out from your belly.
- Each time you exhale; mentally tell yourself, “Relax.” Do this for a few moments, until you feel a wave of relaxation starting to move through your body.
- Now place your attention on your head, jaw, and face. As you continue breathing, direct the wave of relaxation throughout all of the muscles of your face and jaw, including those of the eyes, then over your scalp and along your head, down to the base of your neck.
- Now tense your facial, jaw, and eye muscles for a few seconds, then, quickly release and relax them.
- Repeat this process with each remaining part of your body, beginning with your shoulders, back, arms, and hands, then moving down to your chest, abdomen, pelvis, thighs and upper legs, calves, ankles, feet, and toes. Be sure each area of your body becomes more relaxed before you move your attention to the next area.
- Once you have proceeded all the way to your toes, continue to sit with your eyes closed for a few more minutes, still breathing gently in and out of your belly, allowing your feelings of relaxation to deepen.
- Just before opening your eyes, allow your breathing to become deeper and fuller, feeling a wave of energy passing through you. Once you feel vitalized, slowly open your eyes and return to your daily activities.
According to practitioners of Ayurvedic Medicine, symptoms of PMS often manifest according to a woman’s specific metabolic type, or dosha. (See Ayurveda within the Glossary for further description.) For women who are primarily vata types, well-established daily routines both at home and at work can help to prevent added stress due to PMS. Adequate sleep, rest and meditation are also recommended. Eating more sweet-and-sour tasting foods can also help, as can increasing your intake of warm, cooked foods.
Women who are primarily pitta types should eliminate all spicy, sweet, and oily foods from their diet, and also avoid coffee and alcohol. Such women also need well-established home and work routines, and should try to meditate or engage in regular relaxation exercises.
Kapha body types should increase their level of exercise, being sure to engage in physical activity on a daily basis. They should also increase their intake of spicy foods, as well as legumes, and eliminate all sweet-and-sour tasting foods.
In addition, if possible, all women should try to go to bed by 10 p.m., and wake up at 6 a.m. According to Ayurvedic theory, these are the peak hours when the earth’s energies are best able to improve the flow of energy through the human body. Ayurvedic specific herbs are included in the herb section below.
As always the fastest most effective way to receive tailored advice to your own situation, you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Ayurvedic practitionershere
Traditional Chinese Medicine
According to Chinese medical theory, PMS is mostly indicative of disharmony in the liver, thus PMS occurs when the liver function is impaired.
To receive bespoke advice based upon your own situation you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners here
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Acupuncture – to gently break up stagnant energy in the body, helping to ease emotions and pain associated with menstruation.
Herbal formulas such as Xiao Yao Wan to also break up stagnant energy, nourish the blood, and aid the Liver.
Tai Chi or qigong exercises– to bring balance and harmony to the mind body and spirit.
Choose from following essential oils suited to your specific case, and add several drops to a warm, relaxing bath. Aromatherapy can be very effective in preventing and relieving PMS symptoms:
Bergamot (for fatigue and stress)
Chamomile (for irritability)
Clary sage (for menstrual cramps/dysmenorrhea, irritability, and emotional shock)
Frankincense (for irritability and stress)
Geranium (to help cleanse the liver of toxins, which can aggravate PMS symptoms) Jojoba oil (for irritability)
Lavender (for irritability, stress, and liver toxicity)
Lemon and lemongrass (for mental confusion)
Marjoram (for cramps, muscle tension, and emotional shock)
Neroli oil (for insomnia)
Patchouli (for stress)
Peppermint (for cramps and menstrual pain, and for liver toxicity)
Roman chamomile (for insomnia)
Rose (for emotional shock)
Rosemary (for muscle tension, liver toxicity, and fatigue)
Ylang-ylang (for emotional shock)
To ensure positive results, always check that the essential oil is a 100% pure plant distillation and that it comes from a reputable source.
Owing to the principles behind homeopathy (link to full description of what it is) it is essential you see a licensed practitioner to receive your own personalised prescription. Find your closest Homeopath here
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Bovista – for PMS with fluid retention and feeling bloated.
Calcarea carbonica – for PMS with fatigue, anxiety and overwhelm.
Chamomilla – for PMS with anger, irritability and hypersensitive to pain.
Cimicifuga (also called Actaea Racemosa): for painful periods with shooting pains.
Lilium tigrinum: – for PMS with rage.
Lycopodium: PMS with a craving for sweets and huge appetite.
Natrum muriaticum: – for those who are reserved but deeply emotional inside.
Nux vomica – for PMS with impatient and intolerance.
Sepia – for PMS with feeling worn out and overworked.
Veratrum album – for PMS with heavy flow and cramping.
Useful herbs for treating PMS include chasteberry (for general symptoms and as a preventative), cramp bark (for menstrual pain and dysmenorrhea), dandelion (for bloating and water retention and liver congestion), and skullcap (for restlessness, anxiety and irritability). The Ayurvedic herb, Ashwaganda, is known as an excellent tonifier for the reproductive system; and, Triphala can be used for bowel tonification and to ease premenstrual constipation — an issue for many women.
Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy: Applying natural progesterone cream to your breasts for ten days before your menstrual cycle can relieve symptoms and, in many cases, cause PMS to completely disappear. Please consult your alternative health practitioner to determine if transdermal progesterone cream is an appropriate choice for you.
Bach Flower Essences:
Bach Flower (named after Edward Bach, a British physician and homeopath, who developed flower essence therapies in the 1930s) and other flower essence therapies can be very effective at healing the mental and emotional issues of a person’s life that are causing them stress, including PMS. Flower essences work by healing the underlying psychological causes that contribute to physical health conditions, helping to resolve emotions such as anxiety, depression, fear, grief, loneliness, panic, and worry. Rescue Remedy, an all-purpose combination of Bach Flower Essences can be particularly helpful in this regard. Add a few drops to a glass of pure filtered water and sip from it throughout the day. There are also many other companies that make wonderful flower essences. We like and recommend the Star Flower Essences as an alternative to the Bach Flower Remedies. Each flower essence carries a specific vibrational frequency, and some women feel more attracted to one company’s products over another. You might find a local source that offers the added advantage of freshly-made local products that appeal to you.
Various aerobic and stretching exercises performed regularly can help to relieve symptoms. An excellent adjunct exercise option is bouncing on a mini-trampoline otherwise known as a rebounder-mini-tramopline/”>rebounder for 10 to 20 minutes each day. This will aid your body’s ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the breasts via the bloodstream, as well as help to eliminate waste buildup in the lymphatic system. To further reduce stress and improve mood, brisk walking for 30 minutes each day is also recommended. Find something you can commit to doing at least 5 days per week that you enjoy, be it walking, dancing, swimming, hiking, biking or anything that works for you, and do it. Movement is as important as diet when it comes to managing PMS; and, for that matter, all hormonal issues women are faced with in life.
Yoga – The physical postures and breathing exercises comprising the practice of yoga have long been proven by scientific research to promote feelings of relaxation while simultaneously strengthening the body. Research conducted since the 1970s has shown that regular yoga practice not only relieves stress, and stressful emotions such as anxiety and depression, but also improves blood pressure rates and overall cardiovascular health. Yoga is also effective for reducing pain, improving gastrointestinal and respiratory function, and for improving cognitive function and enhancing sight and hearing.
Note: If you are just beginning to explore yoga, it is recommended that you initially do so under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor who can guide you to become aware of the subtleties involved in each yoga posture as well as the corresponding method of breathing.
Qigong – Is a wonderful form of exercise, breath work and meditation to relieve stress and tension in the body. See article section for more information about the art of qigong.
Quick Action Steps for PMS
- Essential oils, such as bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, and rosemary, added to warm soothing baths could help reduce symptoms.
- A healthy diet is vitally important for preventing and managing PMS symptoms. Avoid all refined sugars and carbohydrates, including white flour products, processed foods, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol, excess of red meats, saturated, hydrogenated and trans-fatty oils.
- Emphasize a diet of organic foods, including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, nuts and seeds, and small quantities of organic, free-range, grass-fed poultry, meats and wild-caught fish.
- Eat three meals daily, and two small snacks between meals, to keep blood sugar levels balanced, and to keep adrenal gland stress to a minimum.
- Exercise regularly, especially walking, hiking, or try new forms of movement such as expressive dance like Nia, or 5 Rhythms dance, to open up new channels of movement.
- Helpful nutrients include vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin B-complex, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, zinc, omega-3 oils, evening primrose oil, and gamma linolenic acid (GLA).
- Useful herbs include chasteberry, cramp bark, dandelion, and skullcap, Ashwaganda, and for some, Triphala.
- Managing stress through guided imagery, meditation and/or relaxation exercises is highly valuable.
- Remember that managing PMS symptoms is a prelude to managing peri- menopausal issues; and, the sooner you learn how to work with your challenges, the easier it will be to manage peri-menopause and menopausal related issues.
- PMS can present as irritation, aggravation or short-temperedness. A heightened sense of sensitivity and awareness can illuminate life issues if you are open to it; and, are able to harness and use this energy rather than feel constantly aggravated. PMS could be used as a window of opportunity.
Pack my stuff (PMS) and get me out of here – NC_Newsletter_12-09.pdf
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT NC_Newsletter_12-06.pdf
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effective www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/hypnotherapy_for_stress.php
How to relieve menstrual cramps and pms using foot reflexology techniques www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvxBwqhwXzY
Guided Relaxation by Kelly Howell part 2 www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-6fSEG9A8I&feature=fvwrel
Reflexology reduces symptoms www.reflexologynews.com/articles/561-reflexology-and-pms
Chasteberry and PMS www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0901/p821.html
Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2067759
Calcium reduces PMS ebn.bmj.com/content/2/2/43.full
Further Information (links and books)
Overcoming Pms The Natural Way: How to get rid of those monthly symptoms for ever by Marilyn Glenville
Stress-Free (Audio Book) by Louise L Hay
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
www.iherb.com (951) 616-3600
Living Multi, Optimal Women’s Formula
www.livingnutritionals.com (866) 729-3438
Rejuvenation for Ladies, Maharishi Ayurveda
www.mapi.com (800) 255-8332
Female Balance, Dr. Schulze
www.herbdoc.com (800) 437-2362
Andrea Butje | Aromahead firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt email@example.com – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA firstname.lastname@example.org – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad email@example.com – herbalist.
Kath May firstname.lastname@example.org – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges email@example.com – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy.
Rakesh GAC@AyurvedicLifeStyles.com – Ayurvedic Practitioner.