If you are a woman and you are part of the 80% of female population that experience PMS, you know how those days of the month can be particularly annoying. You might face a wide range of symptoms from mild ones like bloating, breast tenderness, changes in appetite, fatigue, moodiness, to pretty intense ones such as vomit, cramps, migraine, heavy bleeding, anxiety and depression. Even though it’s appealing to seek medical treatment, especially if your symptoms are severe, it is worth considering a more natural approach and give it a try.
It’s alway a good idea, but particularly during PMS, to try to eat smaller portions and reduce your salt intake to reduce bloating and water retention. Add more fruits and veggie (especially artichokes!) to your diet and eliminate complex carbs, sugar and alchol.
Don’t worry, mood is important as well, so a tiny bit of ice cream or chocolate won’t kill you!
Regardless of PMS, doing moderate exercise routinely is a good lifestyle choice, but can become very beneficial before or during your period. Even small exercises like walking, swimming or running release endorphins like dopamine and serotonin (chemical messengers that can boost mood) and have positive benefits on energy and sleep.
It’s always important to consult your healthcare provider before you start taking any herbal remedy. But if you have a green light, you should definetely try some of these: chaste tree berry, primrose oil (for cramps and breast tenderness), gingko biloba (for mood swings), dandelion (for bloating).
If you manage to leave the chocolate on the side and step from your pijama to the yoga mat, you will find these yoga positions really helpful against bloatness and cramps. Yoga can also improve your mood and sleep quality and overall reduce your stress level.
- Cobra: opens the heart, which can emotionally struggle, and distends the abdominal organs.
- Bow pose: increases blood flow and stimulates the regular activity of internal organs.
- Forward fold: one of the most relaxing poses! It also helps opening the hips.
- Bridge: calms down a stressed mind and stimulates pelvic and abdominal organs.
- Seated twist: massages and increases circulation and lubrication of internal organs.
Massage and TCM
Traditional Chinese Medicine views PMS as a variety of different possible imbalances of several organs that are all linked togheter. Various treatments and techniques (like herbs, massage, acupuncture, moxa, etc.) aim to remove energy blockages, rebalance hormonal fluctuations and repristinate optimum balance.
Acupuncture provides relief by stimulatting the body’s natural healing mechanisms and by treating the root cause of the problem, not just the symptoms. For instance, it seems to be able to reduce inflammation and works on the mind, which can help to alleviate the stress and mood swings.
Massage therapy can help relieve the bloat and water retention by increasing the circulation and helping with drainage. This allows the body to regain its natural water balance faster and reduce the puffy, bloating feeling. Allow your therapist to suggest which massage would be better for you: you might just need a bit of feet reflexology to detox and calm you down!
Among all the other things, don’t forget to get plenty of good quality sleep and find some ways to manage your stress level (like meditation, doing something creative, stay in contact with nature, etc.). With these tips you can only improve your PMS and make yourself go through those days of the months a bit more smoothly.