Premenstrual Syndrome includes a variety of symptoms before a woman’s period. Symptoms may be mental or emotional, such as depression, irritability, sadness, anxiety, or poor concentration. PMS may also involve physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness, abdominal cramping, headaches, or loss of libido. Symptoms can vary widely in terms of severity, and may change from month to month.

Within the framework of modern medicine, problems associated with PMS are treated as any other disease. These “symptoms” are treated with over-the-counter or prescription drugs or hormones.

In Chinese medicine, severe PMS is considered an indicator that an underlying imbalance exists. Treatment is focused on correcting the imbalance, or the source of the problem, not just treating outward symptoms.

Imbalances can arise from a variety of factors, including poor diet, overwork, physical or emotional trauma or stress. These imbalances ultimately cause a blockage of Qi or blood in one of the body’s organs or energy pathways. When Qi and blood become blocked, they stagnate and are unable to properly nourish the body. This stagnation frequently manifests in women in the form of PMS.

Karen uses a variety of modalities to treat PMS, including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, dietary therapy and recommendation for lifestyle changes.