For many women, the emotional aspect of hormone imbalance – anger, irritability, anxiety, mood swings and depression – is the hardest part of PMS to deal with, because it makes us feel out of control, and because it causes serious damage to both our relationships and our very sense of wellbeing.
Many believe that PMS is the cause of these difficult emotions. But in truth, these emotions are not only manifestations of PMS, but also a major cause of PMS and hormone imbalance. Even though this has not been explicitly articulated in Western medical science, it has been recognized and documented in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
TCM believes that emotions, when not expressed and exhausted, are stored in our organ systems. And that over time this will inevitably harm our health and wellbeing.
- Anger is stored in the liver and can harm the liver.
- Overexcitement and impatience are stored in the heart and can injure the heart.
- Worry is stored in the spleen and can weaken the spleen.
- Sadness and grief are stored in the lungs and can damage the lungs.
- Fear and fright are stored in the kidneys and can weaken the kidneys.
It’s not a coincidence that anger is a common emotional manifestation of PMS. As I’ve mentioned in previous weeks, an overactive or sluggish liver is one of the most common causes of PMS. Note that the definition of anger here is broader, in the sense that it includes irritability, frustration and depression (repressed anger).
These emotions, when not properly channeled, are stored in the liver. They stagnate the natural flow of energy and may sometimes explode in order to release the pent up energy – often at a moment of physical or emotional vulnerability for many women during the premenstrual phase of their menstrual cycles.
For some women, making lifestyle changes is enough to help them find PMS relief. But for others, it takes more. It requires looking into the emotional aspects of oneself, as well as understanding and resolving the root causes of certain persistent, long-standing emotional issues.
It’s hard. In my own case, it took many years to understand the nature of my emotional experiences, and to then heal myself from these childhood wounds. When I finally understood what I’d experienced, made peace with it, and forgave others and myself, the root of anger was eradicated from my body and my mind. And I began to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally – on all levels.
This is a journey you need to take – for yourself, and those you love. It’s the journey of the butterfly from the caterpillar. When you come out to the other side, your warmth, radiance and beauty will light up those around you, and you’ll be an irresistible woman to be reckoned with!