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Taipei City Hospital

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The premenstrual syndrome

       Ms. Chung, a 37-year-old female, easily experienced fatigue, breast swelling and breast pain before her period. She even became irritated and emotionally unstable with the increasing work pressure in recent months, which had a great impact on her interpersonal relationship and work efficiency. However, the symptoms had been significantly improved after conditioning with Chinese medicine and treatment with acupuncture.

       Dr. Yi-Shuo Huang, a physician of the Department of Chinese Medicine at Taipei City Hospital Yangming Branch, stated that the premenstrual syndrome is the most common problem among fertile women, affecting them physically and emotionally with an incidence rate of more than 50%. The physical symptoms include headaches, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, breast swelling, breast pain, constipation and fatigue; while emotionally, the patients experience irritability, anxiety, sleep disorders, forgetfulness and an inability to focus. However, these symptoms improve once the period comes, which is considered to be associated with the abnormality of hormones, like lutein and estrogen and the neurotransmitters in the brain, by Western medicine. In terms of treatment, it generally focuses on symptom relief.

       Acupuncture is a fast and convenient approach to reach clinical effectiveness, which has the effect of regulating the balance of blood and qi (the vital energy) as well as yin (the physical form of an object which has less energetic qualities) and yang (the functional aspect of an object which has more energetic qualities). The effect can be immediate and obvious after inserting and rotating the needles. Acupuncture is considered the safest and fastest treatment preferred for the non-drug treatments, and which has few side effects with the needle insertion.

       In addition to a regular lifestyle, creating exercise habits, and no cold foods during the period, it is recommended that patients with period pain be conditioned with Chinese medicine and treated with acupuncture. Acupuncture can even be used during the period to reduce discomfort, and the frequency of acupuncture can be increased after the period.