PMS can be a complex thing. The term Premenstrual Syndrome includes over 100 varied symptoms ranging from headaches, breast tenderness, fatigue and depression, to angry outbursts and severe mood swings.
And modern science has not yet been able to pinpoint the exact causes of PMS, explain why the symptoms vary among women, or why they seem to change from month to month for the same woman.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), PMS is viewed as the manifestation of imbalance within our body, mind and spirit. It also reflects an imbalance in our relationships with society and nature as a whole.
Over the years, I’ve experimented with many things to help relieve my own PMS symptoms and overcome difficult PMS emotions. I’m happy to say that today I hardly experience any PMS symptoms at all. And even when I do, I have effective strategies to take care of them
It’s a journey to establish and maintain a dynamic balance and harmony on a daily basis, for sure. But it’s a journey worth taking.
Today, I want to share with you some simple strategies that have worked for me or have worked for other women based on my research.
Diet & Nutrition:
1. Cut down or eliminate refined sugar if you can. Balancing blood sugar level is a key strategy to eliminating PMS symptoms.
2. Cut down or eliminate processed foods and white flour from your diet. Add whole grains, beans and legumes instead.
3. Eliminate partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats) whenever possible, because they increase the production of inflammatory chemicals.
4. Eliminate commercial red meat, poultry and diary products that are packed with hormones and animal steroid hormones. They contribute to excessively high levels of estrogen in the body – one of the major causes of hormone imbalance that manifests as PMS symptoms.
5. Quit smoking.
6. Cut down on coffee, alcohol, and other stimulants.
7. Go on a low-salt diet for 7-10 days before your period to offset water retention.
8. Eat foods rich in fiber to clear out excess estrogens. This means eating plenty of veggies, beans and whole grains.
9. Have a nutritious breakfast high in protein and vital nutrients.
10. Eat regular meals. Try to eat 3-5 meals per day at the same time every day.
11. Eat mindfully without distractions, such as TV, reading, working, etc.
12. Stop eating when you’re 70-80% full.
13. Eat your last meal at least 2-3 hours before going to bed.
14. Eat a low-glycemic diet. Learn why low-glycemic-index diet may be the answer to your menstrual problems.
15. Eat balanced meals. Check out My Little Guide to a Healthy and Balanced Diet.
16. Reduce stress.
17. Have a good night sleep. It helps to listen to some sleep-promoting music before bedtime.
18. Exercise regularly. Go for a 30-40 minute walk, 3-5 times a week.
19. Do some yoga. I love Maya Fiennes’ Kundalini Yoga: A Journey through the Chakras. I have her entire DVD set and I’ve been practicing at home for years. It has helped me a lot in balancing my moods, energy and charkas. It’s on my Must-Have List for PMS and emotional balance.
20. Stick to a schedule. Focus on what you need to do now to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
21. Clear out the cluster in your house, office and mind.
22. Speak your truth.
23. Learn to say no to people and situations that take energy from you. And say yes to those that give you energy.
24. Don’t take things too seriously. Try and see the humorous side of life.
25. Have a good support system. Join our community of women who listen and understand what you’re going through. Join the Cycle Harmony Community
26. Educate your partner about what you’re going through. Not when you’re having a PMS attack, but when you’re calm and happy.
27. Meditate 10-40 minutes every day. Even just 5 minutes a day can make a difference over time.
28. Practice deep belly breathing throughout the day.
29. Give yourself a home spa treatment once a week. Check out some simple homemade spa recipes.
30. Have lots of kisses and hugs. And allow yourself to relax into your lover’s embrace.
31. Play and have some fun.
32. Dance, sing, paint, or write. Express yourself.
33. Allow yourself to feel your emotions fully. Don’t resist. Let the emotion complete its cycle and pass through you.
34. Get in Touch with Your Menstrual Cycles. Track your menstrual cycles & PMS symptoms.
35. Keep a mood journal.
36. Learn to sync your menstrual cycles with the moon cycles.
37. Drink some rosemary tea. Many herbal experts believe that rosemary contains compounds that may bring hormone levels into balance and reduce PMS symptoms.
38. Try Nettle for a spring cleansing. Nettle cleanses your liver and enhances the liver’s ability to process estrogen more effectively, which reduces PMS symptoms.
39. Have a cup of rose tea. Beautiful roses are a Chinese herb that helps reduce stagnation and sluggishness. It’s also a wonderful mood lifter.
40. Or you can try Traditional Medicinals Female Toner, which contains many wonderful female tonics, such as spearmint leaf, rose hip, raspberry leaf, licorice root, strawberry leaf, lemongrass leaf, lemon verbena leaf, nettle leaf, ginger rhizome, angelica root, blessed thistle herb, chamomile flower, and cramp bark. It’s delightful, and helps promote hormone balance and overall vitality.
41. If you’re looking for a supplement that helps balance your hormones and reduce estrogen dominance, I recommend Nature’s Way Dim-Plus Capsules. DIM-plus contains diindolylmethane, a phytonutrient found in cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. It supports the activity of enzymes that improve estrogen metabolism.
42. Do a liver detox to improve your liver’s functions to metabolize estrogen. Himalaya Herbal Healthcare’s LiverCare has received many good reviews. I just ordered some myself. Looking forward to trying it out.
43. Try an essential oil blend to calm PMS mood swings. Check out some simple essential oil recipes for better moods.
45. Fish oil has great health benefits. And several studies suggest that fish oil can be effective in easing PMS symptoms. Read how fish oil can help with PMS.
46. Calcium and magnesiumare essential minerals for women’s health. Personally, I like capsules better because they’re easier to absorb.
47. Other important vitamins that help ease PMS symptoms include vitamin B-complex, especially B6 and B12, and vitamins A, D, E, and C. I find it easier just to take a good women’s multivitamin daily.
48. Free & Easy Wanderer is a traditional herbal formula for liver Qi stagnation – the most common cause of PMS symptoms, per TCM. I call these Chinese Happy Pills.
49. Try Chasteberry. I haven’t tried it myself, but many experts recommend it as the top herbal remedy for PMS symptoms.
50. Check out Evening Primrose Oil (EPO). We’ve had comments from many women sharing their experiences with EPO. Some find it helpful and some don’t. So you’ll have to find out if it works for you. Learn more about evening primrose oil.
There is a lot of information here, but don’t feel overwhelmed. Just pick a couple that you’d like to explore and start from there. Remember, you’re not alone. We’re here to support you on your journey to become the healthy, radiant, glorious woman that you’re supposed to be – that you are destined to be.