Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is the name for the vast range of both physical and emotional symptoms that most women experience in the days preceding menstruation. While the symptoms generally resolve once the menstruation beings the effects of PMS can be excruciating.
The wide symptoms of PMS can include but are not limited to:
- Depression or Sadness
- Digestive concerns
- Lowered self-esteem and confidence
- Changes in sexual desire
- Food cravings
- Migraines or headaches
- Increased sensitivity in audio, visual and tactile sensory
- Irritability and mood swings
- Lack of anger management
While there is no cure for PMS, the symptoms can be managed with a variety of different treatments.
PMS is reduced with a lifestyle that includes regular exercise, limited caffeine and alcohol in the 2 weeks preceding menstruation, not smoking cigarettes, getting adequate sleep and maintaining a healthy diet. Stress management is also vital, from painting to rock climbing or when needed, seeking professional help to reduce and manage stress.
Whilst premenstrual women may crave foods high in fat and sugar these foods can intensify the symptoms. Women should eat small well balanced meals and reduce their intake of salt. Healthy and tasty snacks need to be kept close at hand. A lack of magnesium during menstruation can cause women to crave chocolate. A great healthy alternative is to make your own chocolate.
Coconut Oil Chocolate:
1 cup of organic coconut oil
1 cup of raw organic cacao powder
1/3 cup of organic maple syrup
Melt coconut oil in a saucepan remove from heat and stir in cacao and maple syrup. Pour into a dish lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until hardened and then cut into chunks. (Optional: add 1/3 cup of your favourite nuts or dried fruit for variety).
Aromatherapy treatments are an ideal way to cope with PMS. From an aromatic bath to a massage their heavenly fragrances and therapeutic properties can help women tremendously in relieving the symptoms.
Relax in a warm PMS Bath of 6 drops of roman chamomile, 3 drops of lavender, 2 drops of marjoram and 2 drops of rosemary. For a bloating relief massage oil combine 3 drops of both juniper berry and lavender and 2 drops of patchouli in a carrier oil such as coconut oil and massage the abdomen clockwise.
A brilliant way to lessen symptoms is to get active. Whilst you may feel sluggish and uninspired to exercise riding a bike or taking a yoga class can release endorphins that minimise headaches and fatigue.
Some women become very emotional during PMS. A very simple way to let the emotions happen without taking over is to watch sad DVD’s. The Notebook or even Seabiscuit are acceptable movies to cry over with own homemade chocolate.
Many women benefit from complementary therapies such as acupuncture or naturopathy to treat the symptoms of PMS. Ensure you see a qualified practitioner. If your symptoms are not eased with any of the above natural treatments please seek professional help from your regular doctor.