4 Natural Treatments To Ease PMS (Part One: Acupuncture)
PMS can be treated effectively with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Sometimes, moxibustion and Tui na (Chinese form of massage) may be used in conjunction with acupuncture as a complementary therapy.
You may wonder which treatment best suits your conditions. A TCM physician will tailor a treatment plan with you after understanding your symptoms and menstrual history during a consultation, so that you are informed the treatment strategies and duration. TCM treats PMS in accordance with syndrome differentiation (in which your disharmony patterns will be identified) and the energetic changes of the four phases of your menstrual cycle. For more details please read my previous post on Oh PMS! 3 Organ Systems That Affect You And Your Productivity That You Must Know.
Clinically, most people who complain of PMS present a combination of repletion and depletion at one time. TCM aims to correct the imbalances of the body to maintain good health. For treating PMS, it is important to support the flow of qi with the goal of removing stagnation, and enhancing the circulation of blood flow to the pelvic area.
Acupuncture involves an insertion of a fine acupuncture needle into selected points (acu-points). In Singapore, most TCM clinics use one-time sterile needles of different lengths and thicknesses.
Acupuncture for treating PMS is usually recommended once to twice a week initially. As the woman shows improvement in subsequent cycles, the frequency of treatment can be reduced to fortnightly or monthly session to maintain menstrual wellness.
Commonly Used Acupoints in A PMS Treatment
Commonly used acupuncture points for treating PMS include the four gates, EX-8 (also named 子宫穴, the uterus point), GV-20 and SP-6. In most practice, more acupoints will be selected according to the woman's syndrome differentiation and symptoms at that time. Please tell your physician if you are trying to conceive because certain acupoints are contraindicated during pregnancy.
The four gates is comprised of LR-3 (太冲) and LI-4 (合谷), which are located on the lower and upper limbs respectively. This combination is commonly used in treating PMS caused by stagnation of liver qi as it promotes qi circulation in general. Specifically, LR-3 is on the back of the foot, between the first and second toes, about two fingers width from the web; LI-4 is located on the back of the hand, between the thumb and index finger, approximately in the middle of the second metacarpal bone on the radial side.
EX-8 (子宫穴) is located on the lower abdomen, 3 cun (approx. 4 fingers width) lateral to the midline, 4 cun down from the navel.
GV-20 (百会) is one of the most versatile points, often chosen for its function of raising emotional energy and relieving stress. It is located on the top of the head. Draw an imaginary line upward from the tip of each ear. The center of this imaginary line is where GV-20 is located.
SP-6 (三阴交), is the crossing point of Spleen, Kidney and Liver meridians (three yin meridians). It is widely used to nourish blood and yin. SP-6 is located approximately 4 fingers width upwards from the protruding bone on the inside of the ankle.
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