Latest Research Shows Hope For PMS


As women we all know the truth about our monthly cycle. It is often accompanied by it’s little sister, premenstrual syndrome. The rise in our hormones throws our body, mind, and spirit out of rhythm.  Symptoms range from bloating, cramps, migraines, joint and muscle pain, to fatigue, acne flair ups, constipation, tension, anxiety, depression and changes in appetite.  Many of us have learned all we can do is throw in the towel and accept that there is not much we can do to avoid these awful side effects. You may find yourself canceling plans, throwing on the over sized sweats, shutting out the world, and curling up on your couch with some chocolate for a few days until PMS passes. Ladies, you’re in luck! Studies are showing that massage therapy can greatly reduce the side effects of PMS and help make this inevitable time of the month be a much smoother ride.

First and foremost, massage therapy helps relieve pain in cramping muscles. While you may think massage therapy only aids in soothing skeletal muscles, lucky for us it also helps with interior muscles. The natural pain relieving endorphins released during a massage will help soothe and calm the cramping most women experience.  Massage therapy will loosen the tight muscles that cause the uncomfortable achy feeling many of us experience during our time of the month. According to a study done by University of Maryland, there are many acupressure points that relieve menstrual cramps. For example, the “bigger rushing point” located between the big toe and the second toe. There is also the “sacrum point.” When pressure is applied to the sacrum it relaxes the uterus causing the cramp-like pain to subside. Many women experience low back pain and can find relief in a lower back-focused massage. Massage therapy increases blood circulation which will further aid in relieving those nagging aches and pains. The increased circulation will also help keep crazy hormonal acne outbreaks from getting too extreme. Another added benefit of increased circulation is relieving water retention. Most women notice bloating and water retention during this time of the month. Clothes don’t fit quite right and you wouldn’t dare to be caught in a bikini at this time. Massage therapy will help drain the retained water helping you return to your normal happy weight. Thankfully, our muscles don’t have to suffer during PMS, so when you start to feel those cramps creeping in make sure you find time to squeeze in a massage and keep the pain at bay.

On the other side of the spectrum we have the unavoidable mood swings and irritability. In the week or two before the menstrual cycle it is common to feel overwhelmingly sad, anxious, depressed, with no real cause or justification for the feelings. This gets frustrating and makes daily life harder to get through. During these times our bodies have a low level of our happy and feel good hormones, serotonin and dopamine, while our stress hormone, cortisol, is increased. Massage therapy is proven to increase the feel good hormones and lower the stress hormones. You will begin to feel better immediately. According to an article on The American Massage Therapy Association in a study it was shown that cortisol levels were significantly lower after just 10-15 minutes of massage therapy! Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and treat your mood swings with massage therapy before they ruin any more of your days.

As women we have come to accept our monthly cycles as part of life. If you remember to incorporate massage therapy into your routine, you do not have to accept suffering as of part of your life. Massage therapy will reduce the physical pains, emotional and mental pains, and keep the crazy hormonal side effects at bay. Always remember to treat yourself gently and be kind to yourself during the trying times of the month and ice cream is always a good idea.