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How To Reduce PMS Symptoms Naturally

If you’ve been struggling with severe PMS symptoms, you’re not alone. Until about ten years ago, I was in the same boat, dealing with intense discomfort that disrupted my life every month. However, through emotional healing and adopting a non-toxic lifestyle, I managed to turn things around completely. Today, I’m free from those symptoms.

In this article, I want to share my journey and the natural, holistic methods that helped me. You’ll find practical tips on how to reduce PMS symptoms naturally – from nutrition, herbal remedies, lifestyle changes, and the importance of energy and flow in maintaining balance. Let’s explore how these approaches can help you find relief and improve your well-being.

Understanding PMS Visual Chart

What is PMS?

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a mix of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that show up in the one to two weeks before your period. You might experience mood swings, bloating, fatigue, irritability, and tender breasts. These symptoms can really mess with your day-to-day life, but here’s something to consider: PMS doesn’t have to be a given.

Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle are often blamed for PMS. Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone can affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, which can impact your mood and emotions. However, I believe that PMS isn’t just “part of being a woman.” Instead, it might be our bodies’ way of telling us something is off balance.

Prevalence of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

The most common PMS symptoms include:

  • Psychological symptoms like irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and depressed mood
  • Physical symptoms such as abdominal bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and fatigue

It’s important to note that the prevalence can vary depending on the criteria used to define PMS and the study methodology. However, the overall consensus is that PMS symptoms are very common, affecting the majority of menstruating women to some degree, with a smaller percentage experiencing more severe symptoms that interfere with daily functioning.

The Holistic Health Perspective

When it comes to tackling PMS, a holistic approach looks at the whole picture—mind, body, and spirit. It’s not just about managing physical symptoms. It’s about how our emotions, mental health, lifestyle, and spiritual practices all intertwine to shape our experience of PMS.

A big part of this holistic view is understanding energy and flow in the body. Traditional healing practices, like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, teach that our body’s energy, or life force, needs to move freely to keep us healthy. If this energy gets blocked or imbalanced, it can lead to issues like PMS. Practices such as acupuncture, yoga, and meditation can help get this energy flowing properly again, easing PMS symptoms.

We also have to consider our modern lifestyle. Today’s fast-paced world stresses out our nervous systems and pulls us away from our natural rhythms. This constant stress and disconnection from nature can make PMS worse. By reconnecting with our natural rhythms and finding ways to reduce stress, we can lessen the discomfort of PMS.

Disclaimer: I want to make it clear that I’m not a medical doctor. The insights I’m sharing come from my personal journey and experiences with holistic health practices. While these methods have worked for me, it’s important to explore and find what resonates with you. Personally, I’ve found more relief through holistic and traditional approaches than conventional Western medicine, but everyone is different, and it’s important to find what works best for you.

Balanced Diet

As a holistic nutritionist, I can’t emphasize enough the power of a nutrient-dense diet in combating PMS symptoms. Eating real, whole foods can make a huge difference. Think of your meals as vibrant palettes filled with colorful fruits, fresh vegetables, hearty whole grains, and lean proteins.

  • Magnesium-Rich Foods: Load up on leafy greens like spinach, crunchy almonds, and yes, even some dark chocolate. Magnesium is a hero when it comes to easing cramps and boosting your mood.
  • Calcium and Vitamin B6: Incorporate dairy or fortified plant-based milks, bananas, and chickpeas. These nutrients act like mood stabilizers, helping to keep you balanced and less irritable.
Premenstrual Syndrome

Hydration

Hydration is crucial for keeping your energy levels up and reducing bloating. Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day. Herbal teas, especially chamomile or peppermint, can be a soothing and tasty way to stay hydrated.

Avoiding Triggers

Certain foods can make PMS symptoms worse, so it’s wise to steer clear of them:

  • Reduce Caffeine: Cut back on coffee, tea, and soda to help decrease anxiety and irritability.
  • Limit Sugar and Processed Foods: High sugar can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, leading to mood swings and fatigue. Processed foods often contain high sodium levels, which can increase bloating.
  • Alcohol and Salt: Limiting alcohol can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, while reducing salt intake helps minimize bloating.

By embracing a nutrient-dense, whole foods diet, staying hydrated, and ditching common dietary triggers, you’re not just managing PMS—you’re setting yourself up for a life of vitality and balance. Imagine feeling more energetic, happier, and in sync with your natural rhythms. It’s amazing what a little mindful eating can do for your body and soul.

Herbal Remedies For PMS

Nature has provided us with some amazing herbs that can help alleviate PMS symptoms. Three herbs that have made a significant difference for me are chasteberry, evening primrose oil, and ginger.

  • Chasteberry: Known for its ability to balance hormones and reduce symptoms like irritability and breast tenderness.
  • Evening Primrose Oil: Helps reduce inflammation and can alleviate breast pain and hormonal acne.
  • Ginger: Excellent for reducing nausea and cramps due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Natural Supplements For PMS

While I’m not a huge fan of the supplement culture, I do believe that certain natural supplements can be beneficial when used thoughtfully. Here are a few that have helped me:

  • Magnesium: Helps with muscle relaxation and can reduce cramps.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These have anti-inflammatory effects and can help with mood regulation.
  • Vitamin E: Known to reduce breast tenderness and other PMS symptoms.

Consultation

Before diving into any new supplement regimen, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider or a qualified herbalist. Supplements can interact with other medications or conditions, and it’s important to ensure they’re safe for you.

Woman doing a yoga pose during period

Lifestyle Modifications

Exercise and Movement

We all know that exercise is good for us, but we often underestimate just how powerful movement can be as true medicine, especially for PMS. Regular physical activity boosts endorphins, those feel-good hormones that help improve our mood and energy levels. Plus, it enhances the flow of energy throughout our bodies, keeping us balanced and vibrant.

  • Regular Physical Activity: Aim for consistent exercise to keep those endorphins flowing. It doesn’t have to be intense—just moving regularly makes a big difference.
  • Gentle Exercises: Incorporate yoga, walking, and stretching into your routine. These gentle activities not only boost your energy but also calm your mind and reduce stress.

Stress Management

Managing stress is another key component of alleviating PMS symptoms. Stress can wreak havoc on our hormonal balance, so finding ways to relax and unwind is crucial.

Interesting Fact

A meta-analysis of 48 studies found that 44% of the studies showed stress as a predictor or risk factor for developing PMS or having more intense symptoms. Women with higher stress scores had a greater likelihood of developing severe premenstrual syndrome.

  • Meditation, Deep Breathing, and Mindfulness: These techniques are incredibly effective at reducing stress and calming the nervous system. Set aside a few minutes each day for these practices.
  • Quality Sleep and Relaxation: Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep and regular relaxation. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night and find time to unwind, whether it’s through reading, taking a warm bath, or simply spending quiet time alone.

I know, these things seem so obvious, right? But they are deeply connected to healing PMS because they address the root causes—stress, hormonal imbalance, and disrupted energy flow. By making these lifestyle changes, you’re not only addressing your PMS symptoms but also laying the groundwork for a more balanced, energized, and harmonious life.

Non toxic living

Non-Toxic Living

It’s not just about what we eat—our environment plays a huge role in our overall health and well-being. Adopting a non-toxic lifestyle can significantly reduce PMS symptoms by minimizing exposure to harmful chemicals and stressors.

  • Clean Personal Care Products: Switch to natural, organic personal care items. Many conventional products contain endocrine disruptors that can mess with your hormones.
  • Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products: Use green cleaning products to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals that can affect your hormonal balance.
  • Reduce Plastic Use: Plastics can leach harmful chemicals into your food and water. Opt for glass, stainless steel, or other safe materials for storage and consumption.
  • Air Quality: Improve indoor air quality by using air purifiers, keeping plants, and ensuring proper ventilation. Clean air helps reduce overall stress on your body.

By incorporating these non-toxic living practices, you create a healthier environment that supports your body’s natural balance and helps alleviate PMS symptoms.

It’s all about flow—your period flow, energy flow, and emotional flow. When these flows are in harmony, your body feels better and PMS symptoms can diminish.

Energy Healing Practices

Energy healing practices like acupuncture and acupressure help balance your body’s energy flow, reducing PMS symptoms. Reiki and similar techniques also promote relaxation and emotional balance, allowing your energy to flow freely.

Flow and Emotional Well-being

Your emotions are tightly linked to your physical health. Addressing emotional blockages is crucial for maintaining balance. Journaling, therapy, and support groups are great ways to release pent-up emotions, helping your mind and body stay connected.

By focusing on the flow within your body—whether it’s your period flow or emotional flow—you can achieve a deeper sense of well-being. Embrace these practices to transform how you feel every month.

Establishing daily and monthly routines is essential for holistic well-being. Consistency helps your body and mind stay balanced.

  • Daily Routines: Start with simple practices like morning stretches, a balanced breakfast, and regular exercise.
  • Monthly Routines: Track your cycle and symptoms to identify patterns. This helps you anticipate and manage PMS more effectively.

Personalized Plan

Everyone is unique, so it’s important to tailor your strategies to fit your individual needs and lifestyle.

  • Tailoring Strategies: Experiment with different foods, exercises, and relaxation techniques to see what works best for you.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: Be willing to adjust your plan as you learn more about what your body responds to. Flexibility is key to finding what truly works for you.

By setting up a routine and really tuning into how you feel, you can make tweaks that help you feel more balanced and in control, no matter where you are in your cycle.

Embracing Your Cycle A Holistic Journey

As we conclude this exploration of natural PMS management, remember that your menstrual cycle is not a burden, but a powerful indicator of your overall health and well-being. The holistic approaches we’ve discussed – from nutrition and herbal remedies to lifestyle changes and energy practices – work together to create balance in your body, mind, and spirit.

Embarking on this journey requires patience and self-compassion. Change takes time, and every small step you take is a victory. Listen to your body, for it holds deep wisdom. As you integrate these practices, you may find that your cycle becomes a source of insight and even empowerment.

Remember, this is your unique journey. Experiment with different strategies, be flexible, and find what resonates with you. Don’t hesitate to seek support from like-minded individuals or professionals when needed.

Take the first step today. Choose one practice that speaks to you and incorporate it into your life. As you do, you’re not just managing PMS – you’re nurturing a deeper connection with yourself and paving the way for a more balanced, vibrant life.

Your body has the innate ability to heal and find balance. Trust in this process, embrace your cycle, and watch as you transform not just your monthly experience, but your entire approach to health and well-being. The power to thrive is within you – it always has been.

Sources

  1. Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).” Womenshealth.gov
  2. Mayo Clinic. “Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).” Mayo Clinic
  3. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).” ACOG
  4. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. “Traditional Chinese Medicine: In Depth.” NCCIH
  5. National Institutes of Health. “Ayurvedic Medicine: In Depth.” NIH
  6. Magnesium-Rich Foods and PMS Relief
  7. Benefits of Calcium and Vitamin B6 for PMS
  8. Hydration and Its Role in PMS
  9. Impact of Caffeine and Sugar on PMS
  10. Exercise and PMS Relief
  11. Meditation and Stress Reduction
  12. Importance of Sleep for Hormonal Balance
  13. Definition of Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  14. Premenstrual Syndrome Prevalence and Fluctuation over Time