Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome aka Hostage to The Rages

I am fortunate enough to say that I have been largely unaffected by the scourge known as PMS. On a month to month basis, I rarely feel the hormonal changes that turn some of my friends into beasts, nor do I experience the cycle of cramps that can knock a girl out and render her debilitated for the day or week. HOWEVER, every now and again, some kind of ugly rears its head in my direction, and I have to lock myself away to avoid the potential of carrying out the homicidal urges that overcome me.

Why, I ask? WHY???

One of my best friends would have fits of vomiting right before her periods, another would have to take two to three days off to do nothing but lie down in fetal position with a hot pad, and yet another one of my friends would have the overwhelming urge to cry about anything and everything only during the week before. I always thought that PMS must be a fluke of poor design. Why would nature program into our bodies this pseudo-self-destruct mode? I don't buy into the whole "it reminds us that we are women" bit, because there are plenty of reminders in our day to day that don't require bringing on the pain.

I'm guessing that 70% of our readers understand what I'm talking about, and the other 30% have been and will remain clueless for eternity. Anyway, what I'm saying is, how can we work with this in order to benefit all of humanity?

Like almost any other state of dis-ease, the best way to alleviate the symptoms of PMS is through diet and exercise. If you find yourself already in the thick of it, meditation and stress management will help to relax all the muscles in your body, including the ones that are cramping, and will increase the proper flow of qi and blood throughout the body. If you are too debilitated to do anything yourself, enlist the help of a friend and try this:
  • Massage SP6 三阴交 San Yin Jiao, on the inside of the lower leg about 3 inches above the ankle
  • Massage SP10 血海 Xue Hai, at the meatiest part of the thigh, right above the kneecap on the inside of the leg
  • You can also massage anywhere along the lower leg, pinching both sides of the shin bone as you go up and down
If you have an acupuncturist handy, s/he can provide a more complete treatment for your particular needs. S/he can also provide you with moxa, which is a processed form of the herb Ai Ye 艾叶 used to regulate the blood. A moxa stick is burned like incense and held a few inches above the skin. Treatment with a moxa stick over the abdomen for at least 15 minutes can alleviate some of the most monster of cramps. You can get a moxa stick from your acupuncturist and, with easy instructions, do this yourself at home when needed!

Of course, sometimes nothing works, and you just have to resort to telling your loved ones to take cover.

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