Autoimmune Disorders ·
Pregnancy related conditions ·
Skin Disorders ·
Case History for Treatment of Severe PMS
By Netta M. Hart
Licensed Acupuncturist, NCCA
Sarah called me to ask if I knew how to treat PMS. She wanted me to let her know if I could not successfully treat this condition because she had recently seen three physicians without improvement. Sarah said that she prided herself in her parenting and coping skills, but for the past six months, she had been feeling out of control with PMS symptoms that were steadily worsening. She would become extremely irritable, even rageful toward her family. Though aware in the moment that her behavior was irrational, she felt powerless to stop herself, which then lead to feelings of remorse and self-recrimination. Sarah was desperate and looking for a “cure, not a band aid”.
I assured Sarah that I would not waste her time and to please book an appointment for an acupuncture evaluation as soon as possible. She was in my office within the next few days.
Sarah’s PMS was a classic case of what we call in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) “liver blood deficiency”. Sarah had a history of excessive blood loss during her last delivery and it was after she stopped breast-feeding that the PMS developed. She was tired and craved sweets that lead to irritability and more fatigue. She follows a vegetarian diet. Although her blood workup was within normal limits, Sarah’s tongue was pale and purplish in color, and her pulses weak and thin. These diagnostic signs reveal “liver blood weakness” accompanied by “blood stagnation” responsible for the extreme irritability during her menstrual cycle. I sent Sarah home with two Chinese herbal formulas and dietary adjustments to address her disharmony. We began a course of acupuncture treatment the following week.
"Within one week of treatment, I felt significant change. It’s been about three months now and I no longer fear losing control of myself each month. I’m still aware of my PMS tendencies so I monitor my diet, exercise, take the prescribed Chinese herbs, and get acupuncture treatment on a regular basis. The difference between then and now however, is like night and day. As grateful as I am for the treatment I have found, I am equally frustrated that other doctors I spoke with never mentioned or suggested I consider acupuncture treatment."
Sarah was able to gradually end her treatments. She continues to feel well.