A Holistic Acupuncture and Wellness Center serving the Frisco/Breckenridge Area since 2004.


The severity of PMS varies widely, but I have found most of the female population accepts these symptoms as an unavoidable part of being a woman.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Chinese Medicine is adept at treating many gynecological complaints and PMS is high on that list. The key is to give it sufficient time to discern if it is working for you. In my experience, women 25 and younger generally respond pretty quickly while women in their 30s-40s need to have more patience.

The reason for this is the longer symptoms have been present the longer it takes to treat them. Overall, in the worst case scenario, improvement should be experienced within 2 months of weekly treatments. Keep in mind that most likely you will get deeply relaxed from the first treatment.

A common Chinese diagnosis for PMS is involvement with the Liver.

The Liver keeps energy (Qi) and blood circulating smoothly. When energy (Qi) and blood are stuck, specific shifts during the cycle highlight this stagnation causing the discomfort of PMS.

The root cause of this is emotional in nature. The Liver is associated with anger and frustration. Feeling stuck and confused in life and being unable to express ourselves creates anger and frustration over many years. Sometimes this is turned inward beyond awareness of our conscious minds. Remember that our bodies will speak our minds when we can’t. In this case the body speaks through monthly PMS.

The severe cramps that plague some women at the start of the period are due to Liver blood stagnation. What I have found in my practice is that many women with this issue have experienced abuse at some time in their lives. This abuse can be in the form of physical, sexual, or verbal and many women have confided to me that intuitively they know this. Recognizing this is the 1st step to improving the symptoms.

You don’t have to dread this time period in your life every month!

This is not hard to treat because acupuncture and Chinese herbs are amazing for moving energy (Qi) and blood. Physical and emotional symptoms improve when these blockages start to flow again. Chinese herbs are very helpful in concert with acupuncture.

Although you will have the best success under the guidance of a trained practitioner below are some formulas that can help PMS:

Xiao Yao San: This formula treats mild to moderate cramping, mood swings, bloating and fatigue.
Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang: helps when cramping is more severe especially when a heating pad helps.
Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan: used with cramping, endometriosis, cysts and fibroids. This formula warms the uterus and dissipates blood and phlegm accumulations.

Nutrition goes a long way to healing PMS. Here are some simple starting points:

  • Avoid refined sugar and carbohydrates.
  • Eat an organic diet of whole foods and hormone/antibiotic free meat.
  • Stay away from coffee. Coffee specifically worsens PMS and fibrocystic issues. Coffee irritates the liver and colon. Caffeine free coffee is also problematic.
  • Make sure you get plenty of exercise which means at least 20 minutes a day 5 days a week. Exercise helps to open up and circulate energy (Qi) and blood.
  • Meditation and yoga are also great ways to reduce PMS symptoms.

Hopefully you feel excited that you can have an easy flowing month without moodiness, cramps or other uncomfortable symptoms! It is truly possible and I have witnessed it time and again in my clinic.

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How To Thrive In The Modern World: A Layperson’s Guide To Chinese Medicine



Kathy Castrigno, L.Ac., MS is a licensed acupuncturist and coach who has helped hundreds of people with chronic pain, stress and emotional blockages, and deeper life challenges.

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Frisco Acupuncture's Kathy Castrigno would like to welcome you to her website.


Kathy Castrigno L.Ac. MSOM

(970) 333-9027
1000 N. Summit Blvd. Suite 200
Frisco, Colorado 80443
(located in the Bank of the West
building upstairs, nearby the Safeway)

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