Acupuncture for Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) - Treatment Protocols

General Approaches

Acupuncture For Premenstrual Syndrome (Pms) - Treatment Protocols

Acupuncture treatment protocols are generally directed towards the deeper root of a persons set of health issues, not at each individual issue. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, treatment is generally directed towards the individuals diagnostic pattern(s) and their primary issue is only a part of the information required to approach the correct patterns to treat (see "treating the cause vs. the symptoms" for an introduction to this process.).

In designing an acupuncture protocol for premenstrual syndrome (pms), one might find one or a combination of the following patterns: heart qi deficiency, kidney yang deficiency, kidney yin deficiency, liver blood deficiency, liver qi stagnation, liver yin deficiency, phlegm fire, spleen qi deficiency, spleen yang deficiency among many other possibilities and possible combinations.

Below you will find some of the more common tcm diagnoses and acupuncture treatment protocols for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). There are many ways to approach the treatment of this condition within TCM. Our presentation describes foundational approaches that would need to be further tailored in most cases to be effective for a given individual.

PMS most commonly manifests with the physical components of fatigue a/or edema as well as the mental components of depression, irritability, sensitivity a/or insomnia.

  • Etiology & Pathology:
    • Differentiation:
    • LV Qi Stagnation
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Headache, breast tenderness, depression, irritability.
        • Tongue: Normal or purplish
        • Pulse: Wiry
      • Treatment Principle:
        • Harmonize LV Qi
      • Treatment Points:
        • Valaskatagis Point Selection:
        • UB 18 - LV Shu
        • UB 19 - GB Shu
        • LV 3 - harmonize LV, smooth emotions
        • SP 6 - tonify Qi, reinforce LV 3
        • Giovanni Point Selection:
        • Differentiated as LV Qi Stagnation leading to LV Fire Rising - abdominal distention, breast tenderness before menstruation, irritability, clumsiness, moodiness, depression.
        • LV 3 - harmonize LV, smooth emotions
        • GB 34 - move Qi in costal area, support LV 3
        • GB 41 - move Qi in costal area
        • SP 6 - tonify Qi and Blood
        • TH 6 - works w/GB 34 to move Qi in the costal area
        • PC 6 - works w/LV 3 to benefit the emotions
    • SP/KD Yang Deficiency
    • HT/SP Deficiency
      • Signs & Symptoms:
      • Treatment Principle:
        • Tonify SP
        • Tonify HT
        • Calm the Spirit
      • Treatment Points:
    • Phlegm Fire Rising Upwards
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Strong symptoms w/emotional component, agitation, slightly manic, depression, aggresiveness, red face.
        • Tongue: Red w/greasy tongue coat
        • Pulse: Slippery, rapid
      • Treatment Principle:
        • Resolve Phlegm
        • Clear Heat
        • Calm the Mind
      • Treatment Points:
    • LV Blood Deficiency
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Often seen combined with LV Qi Stagnation.
        • Depression, weepiness before menstruation, breast tenderness possible, fatigue, pale/dull complexion, dizziness, depression, scanty periods.
        • If the HT is involved - poor memory, insomnia a/or disturbed sleep.
        • Tongue: Pale or slightly pale on the edges
        • Pulse: Thin or choppy, possibly wiry in the LV position
      • Treatment Principle:
        • Harmonize LV
        • Tonify Blood
        • Tonfiy SP
      • Treatment Points:
    • LV/KD Yin Deficiency
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • More common in perimenopausal women.
        • Slight breast distention, irritability, sore back a/or knees, dizziness, blurred vision, dry eyes a/or throat, heat in the 5 palms.
        • Tongue: Red w/no coat
        • Pulse: Floating, empty
      • Treatment Principle:
        • Tonify LV Yin
        • Tonify KD Yin
        • Harmonize LV
      • Treatment Points:

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience. The following lecture notes were consulted within this section:

  • St. John, Meredith: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes
  • Valaskatgis, Peter: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes

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