Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects one in 20 women of childbearing age. In some studies, it has even been reported that one in 12 women is an accurate estimate. There's a good chance that you know someone who lives with this disorder.
It is characterized by intense emotional and physical symptoms that can significantly disrupt daily life. Conventional treatments for PMDD often involve medications with potential side effects. However, many women are turning to alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, to find natural relief for their PMDD symptoms. Acupuncture offers a range of potential benefits for managing PMDD, including regulating hormones, reducing stress, and improving mood.
Understanding Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
PMDD is a cyclical, hormone-based mood disorder that occurs during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, the second of the two main phases of the menstrual cycle, and lasts anywhere from 10 to 16 days. It affects about 3–8% of menstruating women and can cause intense emotional and physical symptoms. Common symptoms of PMDD include:
- Severe mood swings
- Irritability and anger
- Depression and feelings of hopelessness
- Anxiety and tension
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Physical symptoms like bloating and breast tenderness
While the exact cause of PMDD is not fully understood, hormonal fluctuations and neurotransmitter imbalances are believed to play a significant role in triggering these symptoms.
Acupuncture for PMDD Symptom Relief
Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medical practice, involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to restore the flow of Qi (pronounced "chee"), the body's vital energy. Many women have reported positive experiences with acupuncture as a natural and effective way to manage PMDD symptoms.
Traditional acupuncture's stimulation of specific points related to the reproductive system may help regulate hormonal imbalances commonly seen in PMDD. By restoring balance to the endocrine system, acupuncture can potentially mitigate the severity of hormonal fluctuations, leading to a reduction in mood swings and emotional disturbances during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
Stress is our body’s emotional response to external stimuli, and it causes actual physical changes in our bodies, specifically within our nervous system. Maybe there’s a reason that they call it getting the “nerves”! When you experience stress, your body sends a message to your adrenal glands. These glands create adrenaline, a hormone that increases things like heart rate, perspiration, and breathing rates.
However, acupuncture has been shown to activate the body's parasympathetic nervous system, inducing a state of relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety. Acupuncture may provide relief from emotional tension experienced by women with PMDD by reducing stress levels, offering a natural and soothing approach to managing symptoms.
Traditional acupuncture's impact on neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine may help stabilize mood and counteract feelings of depression and hopelessness associated with PMDD. By promoting the release and uptake of these mood-regulating chemicals, acupuncture could contribute to a more positive emotional state and enhance overall well-being during the challenging premenstrual phase.
Alleviate Physical Discomfort
Acupuncture's ability to trigger the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, can offer relief from physical symptoms like bloating and breast tenderness that commonly accompany PMDD.
In addition, acupuncture encourages better blood circulation, potentially reducing discomfort and inflammation and supporting a sense of comfort and ease during menstruation.
For women seeking a natural and holistic approach to managing PMDD symptoms, acupuncture offers a promising alternative. With its potential benefits in regulating hormones, reducing stress, enhancing mood, and managing physical discomfort, acupuncture has become an increasingly popular choice for women experiencing severe PMS symptoms. Contact our office to start your holistic health journey and experience the time-tested techniques of acupuncture.
Have you never been to an acupuncture appointment?
Deanna Carell Acupuncture is welcoming new patients to our office. Our natural, acupuncture and facial microneedling treatments are tailored to your specific needs, and are used to create a healthy healing environment for your mind and body. For a consultation to meet with the acupuncturists please call our office or contact us through our online form