Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and yoga (part I)

article by Suzana Panasian Certified Yoga Teacher

Yoga and its medical branch Ayurveda are teaching us that every health condition is a consequence of the wrong life style or the wrong diet. Like any other health problem, the pre-menstrual syndrome should be looked at and treated through a holistic approach and through a deep understanding of the cause that generated it.

The pre-menstrual syndrome can be easily identified with the difficulties associated to the menstruation such as: early menstruation, headaches, aching in the abdomen and lower back up to three four days before the bleeding itself. Some women experience swollen breasts, constipation and a general bloated feeling. The worse aspects are the emotional and nervous problems like irritability, depression, anxiety and rapid shift of moods. The PMS is primarily a psychological or nervous condition and it is often associated to a specific emotional problem or blockage.

Before getting into more specific suggestions for reducing the PM Syndrome, it is important for us to know some of the general considerations relative to what actually may cause the syndrome to occur:

  • It is very important to understand that asanas, and exercise alone cannot fix the problem. The Yoga body postures will ease the condition for it works on the flexibility of the body and improves blood circulation that in time will benefit the body globally. However, without the proper diet and life style changes, one cannot really get to remove the main CAUSE of the problem. Diet and life style are essential in the therapy of any disease or health condition ...
  • The healing happens as well through a deep understanding of who we are and what are the difficulties we have to deal with in our emotional life. Without this, simply taking the pills or doing yoga postures will only remove temporarily the effects, but not the cause.
  • One should also understand that Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy, contrary to the Western traditional medicine, consider that the same treatment cannot and should not be recommended to all. We are all different and we all have different constitutions and weaknesses. For instance a person who is very emotional and sentimental, attached and very dependent on the partner will most likely develop a certain type of the PM syndrome. In the same time, a person that is very controlling, very aggressive, highly critical on others can also develop the syndrome, but of a different kind. This is why the best treatment in this case is a PERSONALISED treatment. Of course, there are general rules that anyone can follow to ease a bit the condition and I will mention them a little bit later.
  • Another important aspect to be known is that changes in our body and in all bodily systems happen in time. We should not expect fast and miraculous results. It takes months for a certain diet change, or a specific yoga therapy method to bring fruit and to have visible effects. One should not give up the practice because the desired change has not yet produced. Yoga states that it is only through a constant and perseverant effort directed towards our aim that we can reach it !
  • Beside the individual differences, one should also understand and look into the external influences: the society, the values, the stress. The wrong values of a society influence drastically the life of a woman. Yoga and Ayurveda both state that the nervous system of a woman is extremely sensitive, highly respondent to high emotional factors such as love and contentment and able to express creativity and nourishment, but it is in the same time very responsive to stress factors and fatigue. In other words, women need to be properly rested and to take proper care of themselves and their body. The western world rhythm is too accelerating. The women tend to spread their energies all directions between carrier, children, and family duties and to keep up with the same rhythm as men. I am not against the expression of women, I simply state that women should carefully revise their role in their families and their homes. The stress, the fatigue, the long hours at the office, the bad eating habits (always eating on the run, the fast food, the cold dry diet they impose on themselves for the sake of the "look") they are all damaging to the reproductive fluids and system, and therefore this part of the body would be the first one to be affected by diseases.
  • In general, the causative factors include poor nutrition, stress, overwork, suppressed emotions and difficulties in relationship.

We are all subjected to the limits of our life circumstances, our jobs, but there is always a WAY ... and one of the most important factor in finding out a way for the condition to be eliminated is the WILL to do so ...