Premenstrual tension (PMT) represents a collection of physical and emotional symptoms that a woman experiences in days and weeks before their period. Most women experience some form of PMT of some kind, ranging in severity from anxiety, low mood, irritability, insomnia, bloating and breast tenderness to more severe depression. Acne is also a common symptom of PMT. Acupuncture treats PMT by regulating the body’s energy and blood flow, improving circulation, calming the mind and regulating the menstrual cycle (period). Acupuncture is particularly good at improving mood, treating breast tenderness and regulating the digestion when PMT symptoms upset the stomach. Facial acupuncture can be of particular help when treating acne.
What causes PMT?
The exact cause of PMT isn’t known by doctors. Chinese medicine regulates the organs related to mood and menstruation, which typically alleviates symptoms.
When studying PMT, doctors find that hormone levels are normal, leading them to believe there is an interaction between neurotransmitters (the chemicals of the nervous system) and the hormones. There is a well-respected theory that there’s a deficiency of beta-endorphin, a neurotransmitter that acupuncture has been shown to increase. This is probably the explanation of why acupuncture treats PMT so well.
Specific risk factors include consuming a lot of caffeine, living with a lot of stress, a history of depression and having family members who have also had PMT. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are also found to cause PMT, specifically vitamin D and magnesium.
How is PMT treated by acupuncture?
Acupuncture treats PMT by regulating the energy (Qi) and blood circulation of the body. Acupuncture treats the organs that are related to menstruation and calm the mind. Acupuncture and herbs can help nourish the blood and regulate menstruation. Acupuncture helps improve mood, stop insomnia, and regulate the digestion.