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PMS Medical mystery with unknown cause Maharishi Ayurveda can help

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					Healthnote 31.                    TOTAL HEALTH NEWS ONLINE: September 1998
(www.mapi.com)


PMS: Medical mystery with unknown cause: Maharishi Ayurveda
can help

Earlier this year, USA Today ran an article about a new scientific study, which
concluded, "PMS may result from a woman's abnormal response to normal fluctuations
of reproductive hormones, particularly estrogen." The article went on to say that while
doctors have suspected for years that changes in hormone levels before the monthly
cycle can cause sadness, irritability and anxiety "why this happens remains a "medical
mystery." For example, the Mayo Clinic web site flatly admits that the cause of Pre-
menstrual Syndrome or PMS is unknown and that "an effective treatment still remains
to be found." All of this illustrates that the human body is a delicate balancing act, and
never more so than during a woman's monthly cycle.

Fortunately, Maharishi Ayur-Ved offers a complete understanding of this balancing act.
Western doctors, such as Dr. Mary Evans of the Mayo Clinic, have started to recommend
behavioural changes such as getting regular exercise, getting enough sleep, reducing
stress, and eating a healthy diet. Maharishi Ayur-Ved concurs, but goes far beyond. This
ancient science of health understands a variety of root causes and offers a wealth of
techniques for re-creating balance, each targeted at specific situations.

However, a simple understanding lies at the basis of this comprehensive Ayurvedic
approach: menstruation is an opportunity, not a problem. It is a chance for a woman's
body to purify. Respect that opportunity, facilitate it, and you will feel greater comfort.

This understanding alone helps many women. Take the case of Ginger M. When was
younger, she didn't let her period slow her down. "I wasn't the type to take it easy," she
says. "Typically, I was out there doing everything I'd normally do." And she paid for it.
Her periods became more and more difficult, and finally she developed adnomysosis,
which involves a thickening of the lining of the uterus. Now she has a better
understanding of her monthly cycle and, because of her condition, has been forced to
approach it with greater respect.

Rest Brings Relief

For Ginger, that means staying at home as much as possible during menstruation. A
woman's body goes through lots of changes and works hard to eliminate toxins.
Nothing helps this process along more than simply taking it easy. She also tries to take a
relaxing and leisurely 15-30 minute walk. But Ginger is a writer living in a small town.
It's easier to stay around home for a day, easier to take a walk. It's not so easy for many
fast-track career women. Still, Ginger says, in her experience even if you have to go to
work you can make allowances for yourself -- not push quite so much, watch for
opportunities to be more inward, and make a point of resting when you come home.




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Rest. That's a key. Even western medicine is coming around to that point of view. And
diet is a second key.

Diet is Also Important

According to Ayurveda, a lighter diet will make everything go more smoothly. That's
Ginger's experience. "I find that it's a lot better if I eat light and easy-to-digest food --
even mushy or liquid food. There can be less cramping and less bleeding. While
Ayurveda gives useful guidelines such as more rest and a lighter diet, it also tells us
why.

These guidelines are based quite firmly on a science of balance, which identifies three
basic elements in the physiology --Vata, Pitta and Kapha --, and a number of sub-
elements. Health entails keeping Vata, Pitta and Kapha in the right balance.

In regard to the menstrual cycle, Vata needs special attention. Vata is the natural force
that governs movement. For the monthly cycle to be comfortable, healthy and even
beneficial, Vata must be in balance. Then there can be a smooth downward flow.
Avoiding over-stimulation is always helpful to soothe and balance Vata, which is why
there's an emphasis on rest. Vata is also soothed by a regular schedule. Ideal foods for
balancing Vata are warm, liquid dishes with a smooth texture, such as soups and
vegetable purees. Conversely, it's important to avoid raw or cold food or anything with
a rough texture.

In addition to these guidelines, Ayurveda also identifies natural herbs that help smooth
out the monthly cycle. These herbs are combined and prepared in a meticulous formula
named ladies Rasayana (MA347). This herbal formula helps supports digestion and
remove toxins throughout the month so that the body has less work to do during the
time of menstruation. This formula also promotes hormonal and emotional balance,
while nourishing the uterus and genito-urinary tract. Plus, it balances coagulation to aid
normal blood flow and avoid haemorrhaging.

How to Overcome PMS

Beyond the general recommendations for the menstrual cycle, Ayurveda helps with the
extreme discomfort of PMS. Sally Robinson, a mother and registered nurse who most
recently has been working as a holistic health professional, knows that extreme
discomfort well. In the days preceding her period she went through serious mood
swings: depression, irritability, anger, anxiety. "It was hard on my family," she says. " I
really couldn't be there for them at those times. I was too overwhelmed with all those
negative emotions." She found relief through the Ayurvedic approach. She adopted a
more regular routine and took advantage of a purifying treatment called panchakarma.
"When you take care of yourself, you're more able to take care of others," she says. Now
she feels that she has a more open heart and more energy. She feels lighter, happier,
more in the moment and more in tune with her body.




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Different Symptoms of PMS Can Indicate Different Imbalances

The varied symptoms of PMS can indicate different imbalances. In her book, "A
Woman's Best Medicine, " Dr. Veronica Butler identifies the range of symptoms and how
they indicate specific imbalances. She cites research that suggests that the symptoms
vary according to whether the underlying imbalance is in Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Typical
symptoms of a Vata imbalance during the pre-menstrual period are anxiety, nervous
tension, mood swings and feeling "spaced out." For Pitta imbalance, however, the mood
is more anger and irritation. A Kapha imbalance, as always, is typified by lethargy.

As one might expect, preliminary research shows that those with a Vata imbalance get
the best results from rest, meditation and a regular routine. Those with a Pitta imbalance
respond best to monthly internal cleansing and those with a Kapha imbalance find that
herbal supplements and a diet that reduces impurities have the best effect. An
Ayurvedic consultation may not only help identify the general type of imbalance, but
can even identify more subtle areas.

Dr. Mishra, our Director of Research, offers further insight. "American women are under
greater stress and pressure than other cultures." It causes an imbalance in the emotions.
And when the tender feelings are frustrated, it upsets the menstrual cycle and purity of
the blood, which can lead to PMS. So it's important to nurture the heart or Sadhaka
Pitta. It will help if you avoid emotional trauma and hot, spicy foods. "In my experience
the Blissful Joy (MA1402) herbal formula is very effective for balancing the emotions,"
says Dr. Mishra.

Dr. Butler says that there's no reason for the monthly cycle to be uncomfortable. "A
woman's life should be filled with joy and bliss every moment, including during the
menstrual cycle." And she again emphasises the importance of diet and rest. "Just taking
these few little steps to create balance will have a profound effect in the lives of women
and their families."
    .
Related Health Tips.
Try to avoid stress and get extra rest, especially during menstrual discomfort. Avoid
stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol. Add coconut, raisins and papaya to your diet.
Try to avoid fried food. Peace of Mind (MA1401) tablets balance the emotions. Blissful
Joy (MA1402) tablets help uplift sad emotions.




DISCLAIMER
The sole purpose of this newsletter is to provide accurate information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This
information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any
serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained
health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the
medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call our Health Educators or e-mail us for the number of a
physician in your area.



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