Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the name given to the physical, behavioral and psychological symptoms that can occur two weeks before woman’s monthly period. It is also known as premenstrual tension (PMT).
Nearly all women of child-bearing age have some premenstrual symptoms. However, it gets classified as an illness that needs treatments only when the symptoms are so overpowering that they disturb one’s life and day today functioning. These symptoms usually improve when the period starts, and they disappear a few days afterwards.
What are the symptoms of PMS?
• Fluid retention and feeling bloated
• Pain and discomfort in your abdomen
• Headaches, backache and joint pain
• Breast tenderness
• Mood swings/feeling emotional/tearful/irritable
• Appetite changes or food cravings
What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?
A small number of women find that their symptoms are severe enough to stop them living their normal lives. This is due to a more intense type of PMS known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
• Feelings of hopelessness
• Persistent sadness or depression
• Extreme anger and anxiety
• Decreased interest in usual activities
• Sleeping much more or less than usual
• Very low self-esteem
• Extreme tension and irritability
What is the role of yoga in preventing PMS?
The role of yoga is in helping to reduce and prevent the symptoms of PMS. Yoga is beneficial in improving general health and helps relieve nervous tension, anxiety, blood circulation, maintaining muscle tone, weight control and increasing the levels of mood-regulating chemicals in the brain, decrease in fluid retention and increase in self-esteem.
Yoga helps through a gradual process of fine-tuning the endocrine organs of the body to reach a state of balance. By the regular practice of these specific set of asanas, pranayama, meditation – the body and the mind experience a deep state of physiological rest. Now when the body and mind are in such a relaxed state that communication between the various endocrine glands of the body is in perfect synchrony and the signals of PMS are kept under control.
Going for a brisk walk everyday in the morning for an hour is one effective regimen. Combine yoga and walk with a healthy balanced yogic diet for further benefits.
What yoga practices are useful and when to begin them?
1. Stop doing all backward bending poses one week before the expected date of periods.
2. Increase the duration of inverted posture such as viparithkarani( legs against wall) and sarvangasana( shoulder stand).
3. Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana II
4. Shashank asana (moon pose)
5. Baddhakonasana.( bound angle pose)
6. Kapalabhati( forceful exhalation) in viparithakarani ( legs against wall)
7. Bhramri ( humming)
8. Nadisuddhi (alternative nostril breathing) followed by Seetkari( teeth hissing breathing), repeat it 3 times a day.
9. Deep relaxation
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