Menstrual Irregularities & PMS

Hardy Waterlily (Nymphaea) ‘Almost Black’. Nymphaea is a genus of aquatic plants in the family Nymphaeaceae. The common name, shared with some other genera in the same family, is water-lily or waterlily. The name Nymphaea comes from the Greek term “nymph”, meaning supernatural feminine beings associated with springs. The genus Nymphaea is closely related to Nuphar, another genus commonly called “lotus”. Differences are in size (petals vs. sepals). It contains the active alkaloids and is a sedative and an aphrodisiac/anaphrodisiac. Although roots and stalks are used in traditional herbal medicine along with the flower, the petals and other flower parts are the most potent. Image is captured in 12 bit RAW and processed in Adobe RGB color space.

Although premenstrual Syndrome and Menstrual Irregularities are modern Western disease categories, Chinese doctors have been treating what they call “menstrual movement diseases” (PMS) and “menstrual diseases” (menstrual irregularities) for millennia.

  • “Menstrual Diseases” consist of menstrual cycles where the “period” or menses are coming “late”, “early, or “at no fixed date”.
    • Menstrual diseases also include situations where there is heavy uterine bleeding during the time of the period and/or continuous uterine bleeding at irregular intervals (menorrhagia/ metorrhagia); absence of periods (amenorrhea); painful periods (dysmenorrhea); ovarian cysts; PCOS (Poly-cystic Ovarian syndrome) and endometriosis.
  • “Menstrual movement diseases”, aka, PMS, is best characterized by the array of possible symptoms that may accompany “this time of the month” such as:
    • Nervous tension and Fatigue
    • Breast Distention, Pain & Lumps
    • Abdominal Distention and Pain
    • Headache & Body Pain
    • Diarrhea, Vomiting and Nausea
    • Constipation, Bloating
    • Nosebleed, Bloody stools &/or urine
    • Fever, Asthma or Recurrent Colds
    • Rashes & Acne
    • Changes in Appetite & Cravings
    • Changes in Emotions & Irritability
  • According to Chinese medical theory, there are very definite mechanisms accounting for each and every one of these premenstrual symptoms, as well as, for the “menstrual disease situations”, mentioned above.
  • There are time-tested treatments for each of these. These may include acupuncture &/or Chinese herbal medicine.
  • Treatment for the “menstrual movement diseases”/PMS and for the menstrual irregularities will begin starting somewhere during the woman’s 28-30 day menstrual cycle, and is dependent on how her symptoms are manifesting.
  • These treatments are combined with nutritional and dietary recommendations, as well as, exercise and lifestyle modifications.
  • Typically, the traditional Chinese medical course of treatment for PMS and menstrual irregularities spans 3-4 menstrual cycles (= 3-4 months) but can also span 6-12 months (depending on severity of situation), with the number of days each month requiring treatment declining with each cycle.
    • Another ultimate goal of this therapy, is to teach the woman what foods to add and avoid and how to arrange her life so as to help manage her own condition(s) and help avoid any recurring PMS symptoms.
    • In addition, using the theories and diagnostic methods of Chinese Medicine, combined with Functional Medicine, we will be able to advise each woman on what vitamins, minerals & nutritional supplements to use to make her therapy even more effective.
  • Such treatment does not merely suppress symptoms and regulate menstrual cycles, but rebalances the entire body’s mechanism, thus resulting in vibrant good health and a renewed sense of poise and harmony.
  • The aim of Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, to regulate the woman’s menstrual cycle and resolve unwatned symptoms by addressing the underlying causes for both the irregular menstrual cycles and or symptoms.  Chinese Medicine does this by improving blood flow and circulation in the reproductive organs, as well as, bringing appropriate balance to the endocrine system, thereby balancing hormones specific to reproductive function.
  • Western medicine describes the mechanisms of PMS and Menstrual irregularities in terms of hormones, prostaglandins, and neurotransmitters. While all of these are true and valid, such biochemical descriptions do not enlighten and empower women.  We as Chinese Medical practitioners must understand the Western bio-medical mechanisms of disorders/disease in order to effectively help our patients, as well as, possess the ability to explain to our patients the workings and imbalances of their bodies from both the Western and Chinese Medical paradigms.  That being said, the Western-biomedical information and results “informs” our Chinese Medical diagosis and treatment plan versus “dictating” it.
  • Chinese Medicine will look at and review all systems in the body to understand how effectively or ineffectively the body and its systems are working together.  A Patient’s Chinese Medical diagnosis and thus treatment plan, will be dependant on the “pattern” formed by a combination of the patient’s presenting signs and symptoms and the Physician’s observation of the patient (tongue and pulse examination, complexion appearance, abdominal diagnosis, etc.)
  • Although Chinese medicine contains and utilizes concepts such as – “Qi and Blood, Yin and Yang, the five elements, and twelve organs and bowels” which may appear primitive and unscientific, they nonetheless have proven their value in professional clinical practice for over 100 generations.  These names correlate to specific functions of the body.  That is it!
  • Using these concepts in combination with explanation and correlation of the western, bio-medical aspects, women are enlightened and empowered on a very practical human level.  

*For additional information on any of the above or related conditions, please contact:



  • Blue Poppy Press
  • Liang, L. Contempory Gynecology – An integrated Chinese-Western Approach, 2010
  • Lyttleton, J, Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine, 2004
  • Maciocia G. Obstetrics and Gynecology in Chinese Medicine.  Edinburg: Churchill Livingston, 1998
  • Marchment R. Gynecology Revisted – Obstetrics and Gynecology for practitioners of Chinese Medicine.  Elsevier Australia: Churhill Livingston, 2007.