By Breea Johnson, MS RD
PMS is not something that any woman wishes for - as it can be extremely uncomfortable to experience the common symptoms of backache, bloating, cramps, fatigue, headaches, joint pain and insomnia. Not to mention the psychological symptoms such as mood swings, depression, personality changes and nervousness that plague many women. But, can PMS actually be a good thing? It's true, listening to these symptoms and your body and re-connecting to your internal cycle can put you on a path to greater health affecting everything from your mood to your fertility!
The first thing to understand is that PMS symptoms are a result of your body being out of balance - it's not a "disease" that can only be treated with medications, rather it's a sign that your body needs nurturing - on Physical, Mental and Spiritual levels.
Nourishing the Physical: We all know that a great diet is important for great health. But when we focus on calories instead of nutrients we can leave our bodies devoid of essential nutrients for optimal hormone health and balance. Fill your body with greens, whole grains and clean sources of protein and you'll likely notice a difference in how you feel prior to menstruation.
Conquering the Mental: The most annoying aspect of PMS for many women (and their roommates or partners) are the mood changes. Many women turn to anti-depression or anti-anxiety medications thinking that it must be a problem in their mind rather than in their bodies. Feeling down in the dumps becomes the normal. Remember, the mind-body connection is crucial, when we are properly nourishing our body through good nutrition, exercise and sunshine, our mind benefits. We feel better and think more clearly. So don't forget to feed your body to nourish your mind.
Soaking up the Spiritual: Experiencing PMS symptoms gives you the chance to sit and listen to your body. Maybe you are feeling out of balance because you're not listening to your inner self and following your life's dreams and passions. Maybe you are not letting yourself rest and relax as much as you need to decompress from your busy life. Maybe you aren't nurturing yourself and demand a lot out of yourself. Maybe your life isn't as fulfilling as you wish it was. Take the time to turn inwards, listen to your body and examine your life in a spiritual manner and it may help bring you into further balance.
If you are interested in learning more about PMS and how to bring your body into balance naturally, please join us at our exciting event PMS Primer: Holistic Survival Strategies. This 2-hour class will be taught by a nutritionist, an acupuncturist and a yoga teacher and provide you with the tools to manage – and potentially even eradicate – the headaches, bloating, mood swings, anger, cravings and general foulness that many women experience just before menstruation. To register please call (312) 321-0004 or visit www.pullingdownthemoon.com. Class cost is $25.