Shiatsu Self-Treatment for PMT (PMS)

Premenstrual Tension (PMT) is a combination of various physical and emotional symptoms which occur in women one or two weeks before the onset of menstration.

For a long time PMT was thought to be a pychological condition women used to gain sympathy. Indeed even some dim-witted individuals still think this! However, it is recognised and defined as a ‘dis-ease’ and there are MANY theories about its cause. Obviously hormonal changes clearly influence PMT.

Another possible cause for PMT is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which is promoted by an unbalanced diet. Too much fat in yr diet puts pressure on yr liver, and excess salt promotes fluid retention, leading to bloating. If this is the case, it would be helpful for you to concentrate on establishing more regular eating habits. A good way to do this is to eat small meals throughout the day. Caffeine and sugar deplete yr body of the B vits needed to keep yr nervous system healthy and to stablise yr emotions. So try to exchange yr triple grande non-fat vanilla latte for herbal tea. (Chamomile and mint, blended together is also great for cramps!) Also, in my personal opionion remove meat, dairy, and eggs from yr diet alltogether.

Yet another cause for PMT might be an imbalance of postaglandins, causing the uterus to go into painful spasams (cramps). If there is an imbalace, yr circulation will slow down and you will feel chilly and exhausted w/ pain and numbness in yr hands and feet.

PMT is usually synonymous w/ mood swings, and the most common emotional symtoms include: irritability, tension, anger, depression, and sleepiness. It will often also affect yr self estem and you might feel low, lacking concentration and control of yr actions. Physical symptoms might inlude headache, backache, lower ab pain, and breast tenderness.

From the TCM viewpoint, PMT symptoms are a sign of blood and chi stagnation. Chi is the ‘commander’ of blood – when chi is stagnant, blood coagulates. This build up of tension w/in leads to all the diff symptoms listed above.

The organ in charge of ensuring a smooth chi flow throughout, is the Liver. Its influence extends all over the body, to yr intestines as well as yr uterus. Moreover, it has a great influence on yr emotional state: the smooth flow of Liver Chi ensures a ‘smooth flow’ of yr emotional life. So when you are walking around, feeling frustrated and angry, it is a sign that yr Liver Chi is stagnant. If the Liver is funtioning well, and its chi is flowing smoothly, yr emotional life will be happy and relaxed and your will find it easy to express yr emotions and feelings.

How do you get to this state of being and how can you stimulate yr liver engergy? Physical movemetn is any form is very beneficial, as the chi gets stagnated in the joints and tendons very easily. You can choose to do some stretching to activate yr LV meridian or dance to some music to release general stagnation. Kicking will help release tension in the hip area (an area which holds feelings like frustration and anger), as will hip rotations. Use yr voice to express yrself vocally in combo w. yr physical movements, create sounds to release inner tension and free up yr energy systems.

The Native Americas beleive that women are most relective and creative just prior to menstration, so this is the time of the month to give the artisitic part of u, a change to emerge and develop.


To disperse the Liver and regulate the chi, use the following points: GB 34, LV 3/13/14, TB 6, & HG 6.

1. Liver Meridian Release: GB 21 -> GB 29, 31, 34, 40 GB 40 -> 30
2. Ab Release: BL 23-> CV 14, 12, LV 14, ST 25 ST 25-> SP 13, GB 34, ST 36, SP 6, LV 3
3. Pelvic Release: BL 26 -> CV 6, SP 13, ST 30, BL 54 BL 54 -> BL 36, 40, SP 9, ST 36, SP 4

Important Golden points include: ST 25, 36, SP 6, 13, K 6.

During my treatments for PMT and dysmenorrhea, I use a lot of sacral points as well as sacral traction, and also use moxa to increase the point stimulation. [NOTE: only use live moxa if you have been properly trained.] For those w/o training there are moxa patches that can be applied like a bandaid, and are avail at most chinese pharmacies.

Another self technique that has proved to be helpful is activating those sacral points by sitting on yr hands. Put yr hands together, one on top of the other, and slide them (supine side up) under yr bum, so that the triangle shape of yr sacrum is matched by the trianglish shape of yr hands.

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