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Help for PMS & Menopause

by Dr. Diane DiBargo, ND


Have you ever felt bloated, cranky, and generally out of sorts? Or, do you know a friend who periodically suffers from these and other symptoms to include: headaches, irritability, skin eruptions, backache, tenderness, cramps, depression, food cravings, fatigue, joint pain, insomnia, water retention, hot flashes, night sweats, etc. Well, whether PMS related or menopausal, this broad spectrum of symptoms affects every system of the body and needs to be addressed.

The most direct approach when these symptoms start percolating is to try some music therapy. If you play an instrument, try a G# major pentatonic scale (G#, A#, B#, D#, E#). Let the repetitious playing of this scale hypnotize you and sync up with your heartbeat. Relax in the sound. Listening to mellow music in the Key of G# can also be therapeutic. There are even G# tuning forks that you can conveniently carry for instant therapy.

In chromotherapy (the use of color), the musical tone G# governs the uterus and corresponds to the color bright orange. Try accessorizing with this color during hormonally stressful times. Add an orange scarf, sweater, or jewelry and watch your mood change. Let music and color help heal your spirit.

The key of C# is used to combat severe mid-life crisis—which many times symcs up with hormonal conditions. Turquoise accessories complete the C# therapy but I usually recommend any shade of blue for these cases.

Blues increase vitality, energy and help relieve nervous irritability.

The holistic approach to female problems can take from two to six months to work, as your body adjusts to nutritional changes. It is time well spent since attention to PMS related issues in your early years helps later down the line as you transition to menopause.

DIET

The suggestions I give here for diet are very general and by no means a complete list of the good/bad foods for women’s issues. You can research that on the Internet by typing in the particular condition you suffer from, i.e., PMS or menopause.

Strive for a diet consisting of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy, fish or chicken (depending on your source of protein.) Consider raw pumpkin seeds as they aid physical and mental stress (also recommended for preventative prostate health) as well as metabolic processes. Yams and soy are other smart choices as they contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens). Wild yam cream, available at health food stores, contains natural progesterone-like compounds that relieve hormone-related symptoms when rubbed into soft tissue areas on the body.

Avoid or at least begin to limit your intake of all processed and fried foods, carbonated drinks, alcohol, cigarettes, white sugar, regular table salt (try replacing that with sea salt available at health food stores), and caffeine (which includes chocolate and many sodas).

One last tip: Try edamame (a Japanese vegetable soybean pod). Edamame, rich in protein, amino acids, fiber and isoflavones, is a highly nutritious snack—that feels like a treat. Found in the frozen food section of your health food store.

VITAMINS

Just as with prostate concerns, hormonal imbalances are at the root of your female issues and the essential fatty acids (EFAs) nourish the hormonal system of the human body. (Perhaps you can make this a husband/wife togetherness vitamin project.) The EFAs are also the beautifying oils---great hair, skin, nails--- so enjoy sources of these good fats like salmon, walnuts, mackerel, flaxseed, primrose oil, fish oil, etc. If you don’t get EFAs through your diet, you need to supplement, as the body can’t make them.

Women also need to make absolutely sure their multi-vitamin has the complete range of B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, biotin, choline, inositol and PABA. I also recommend a Tri-B Complex (B6, B12 and folate) (in addition to your multi-vitamin) for extra protection for the female organs, as well as, to help deal with stress and depression that may accompany many hormone-related reactions.

Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and boron are also important. See a healthcare professional for a complete and personal vitamin workup.

HERBS

Here are a few effective herbal/homeopathic treatment options. An experienced naturopath or homeopath can help you decide the correct remedy and dosage.

The Native American herb Black Cohosh has been proven effective for menstrual problems and menopause.

Dong Quai is a Chinese herb, known as the “female tonic,” that is used to treat hormone imbalances.

Chasteberry is the favorite herb in Europe, where people say it owks wonders as a tonic for the reproductive organs.

HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES

If your period is early, profuse and long lasting with bearing down pains, try the homeopathic remedy Calcarea Carbonica. Use Magnesia Carbonica if your flow is worse at night. If abdominal cramps are on the left side and make you double up, then Colocynthis is for you.

Aconitum Napellus is indicated for physical and mental restlessness in mid-life accompanied by sleeplessness with tossing, turning and nightmares. Sepia is available for hot flashes, which leave you nauseated, worn out and depressed. Pulsatilla works for “indoor” hot flashes; Belladonna aids hot flashes that concentrate in the face with palpitations.

For the homeopathic remedies mentioned here, potencies of 30c/30x or below are suggested.

PHYSICAL THERAPIES

I encourage my patients to walk, enjoying nature every chance they can. It is a great rejuvenator and offers a personal, contemplative time for the individual.

Even as the body changes, so must our vision of what is to come. We should be joyous in the prospects—not fearful.

This is by no means a complete and total program for either PMS or menopause but it is the beginning stages to holistic help for these conditions. And, from this day forward, if you see a fabulous female at a bus stop wearing orange socks and humming a tune in G#, recognize them as a friend on the same journey.

Blessings, “Dr. Di” drdibargo@earthlink.net


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