Acupuncture reduces the severity of PMS
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PMS most often occurs in women with normal menstrual cycles. During the normal menstrual cycle, the ovaries make two main hormones, calledestrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is made by the ovaries throughout the entire menstrual cycle. It reaches its highest levels during the second and third weeks and declines during the last week. During the last two weeks of the cycle the ovaries also make progesterone. The last two weeks of the menstrual cycle is called the luteal (secretory) phase.

The exact cause of PMS is still not known, but researchers believe that PMS symptoms occur because progesterone and estrogen cause changes in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The most likely neurotransmitters affected are:
1) Serotonin: Women with PMS have fluctuations in serotonin levels. These changes may cause depression and carbohydrate cravings. Serotonin is made by the body from the amino acid tryptophan. 
2) GABA: GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid. This neurotransmitter is important in feeling calm. 
3) Endorphins: Endorphins are important in the experience of pain and pleasure. Estrogen and progesterone change endorphin levels. 
4) Norepinephrine: Norepinephrine and epinephrine are also neurotransmitters that influence mood. In addition, these substances play a role in blood pressure and heart rate. 

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs, can help dramatically reduce the severity of PMS. Chinese medicine helps regulate imbalances in hormonal cycles and promotes relaxation to combat symptoms worsened by stress. PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) or PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) occur approximately one week before a woman begins her menstrual flow, and can result in a variety of symptoms. These include: bloating, acne, headaches, moodiness and crying, digestive upset, food cravings, irritability, weight fluctuation, breast tenderness and swelling, cramping, pelvic pain and sleep problems. PMS symptoms can vary in range from mild to so severe that they significantly disrupt a woman’s life. Continue to read TCM Treatment Evaluation for Painful Menstruation.
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