Premenstrual syndrome, characterized by a collection of 150+ symptoms that can occur the week before a woman’s menstrual cycle, is due to an imbalance in estrogen and progesterone levels. Just a few of the undesirable symptoms include: irritability, migraine headaches, mood swings, bloating, food cravings, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and water retention. Factors that intensify the hormonal imbalance of PMS include: sleep deprivation, chronic stress, unhealthy eating habits, and inactivity.
“Statistics on PMS reveal that it is a widespread condition affecting approximately 85% of American women”, says Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health. “Studies show that about 5% of those affected become temporarily disabled due to severe PMS symptoms and, the suicide rate for PMS patients with depression is substantially higher prior to their menstrual cycle. While PMS presents a difficult challenge for many women, there are a number of natural remedies that have been proven to substantially reduce if not eliminate PMS symptoms. Below is a list of our faculty’s top 5,” she continued.
A recent study by Touch Research Institute (TRI) in Miami showed promising results in the use of massage to reduce symptoms of anxiety, pain, water retention and depressed mood in women diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD), a more severe form of PMS. By promoting circulation and lymphatic drainage, Massage addresses the circulatory changes (water retention) triggered by altered hormone production. It also reduces the body’s stress hormone Cortisol (by 30 to 40%) and increases Serotonin and Dopamine levels (30 to 40%) thereby enhancing mood, reducing pain and facilitating better sleep.
Though not exactly sure how it works, Western physicians believe that Acupressure increases circulation and elevates endorphin levels in the brain. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain fighters and mood enhancers. As a treatment for PMS, studies showed Acupressure on specific points of the body substantially diminished cramps, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and nausea on about 78% of patients tested.
The Chaste Berry may stimulate your endocrine system so your body can manufacture more natural progesterone, decreases bloating, irritability, and reducing achy breasts. Also, Evening Primrose may help alleviate anxiety and cramps, while Valerian Root, works as a muscle relaxer and sleep aid.
A Calcium-rich diet (1,300 mg daily) —one full of leafy greens, almonds, and yogurt—may help prevent many PMS symptoms. Aim for about 15 milligrams of E Vitamin E and 500 mg of Omega-3 per day (essential fatty acids) such as those found in a fish-oil capsule.
Mild Exercise and Stretching:
Mild exercise such as walking or Yoga, has been shown to positively impact dozens of PMS symptoms like cramping, tension headaches, water retention, and irritability. Even a mild work-out increases circulation and signals the body to release Endorphins (which reduce pain), Dopamine (the body’s natural source of pleasure) and Serotonin (which reduces depression and anxiety while enhancing sleep). Also, hip and back stretches that increase blood flow to the uterine, abdominal, and lower-back muscles can substantially ease the tension that leads to cramping. Yoga moves such as child’s pose or happy baby during the week before your period have also proven to have a similar affect.
To learn more about the 80+ holistic health courses offered at HHSHH, call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido or visit us online at www.healinghandsschool.com .