Shiatsu Massage: Massage Treatment in PMS and Menopause

Shiatsu Massage Treatment of PMS

Diagnosis of PMS

Premenstrual syndrome is a western view of a common gynaecological problem. Syndrome means it is a group of signs and symptoms which typically occur together but for which there is no satisfactory explanation or known cause. However, shiatsu massage and TCM not only recognize this group of symptoms as a particular pattern of energy imbalance called liver energy stagnation, but also defines an aetiology for it, namely emotional stress as well as a treatment based on meridian theory.

From a western medical point of view, the diagnosis of PMS is problematic. Over 150 symptoms have been isolated but there is no agreement on these and no definitive tests to confirm diagnosis. To further complicate diagnosis, many of the symptoms are psychological. To rule out the possibility that the symptoms are psychological or psychiatric in nature as well as rule out the risk of misdiagnosis and mistreatment, the symptoms must be restricted to the second half or luteal phase of the cycle. As there is no significant difference in hormone levels between women with and without PMS, PMS seems to be due not to an hormonal imbalance but to a reaction to normal hormonal changes during the cycle.

Symptoms

Psychological and Behavioural Symptoms

  • Depression and mood swings
  • Weepiness or feeling low
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Tense or uneasy
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Poor co-ordination and clumsiness
  • Easily distracted
  • Changed interest in sex
  • Altered sleep patterns
  • Food cravings
  • Emotional lability

Physical Symptoms

  • Breast and nipple distention and tenderness
  • Feeling bloated or swollen
  • Face, abdomen or fingers becoming puffy
  • Gaining weight
  • Headaches
  • Changes in appetite
  • Skin changes or acne
  • Diarrhoea, constipation or swinging between the two
  • Joint and muscle pain or stiffness
  • Aches and pains, particularly backache
  • Stomach pain and cramping
  • Migraine, epilepsy, rhinitis, urticaria or asthma becoming aggravated

As shiatsu massage alleviates stress and harmonizes both body and emotions, it treats liver energy stagnation and the gynaecological problems issuing from it.

Shiatsu Massage Treatment of Menopause

Shiatsu massage can help with the unpleasant symptoms related to premature menopause (premature ovarian failure or POF), perimenopause or menopause. The main pattern of imbalance here is liver blood-kidney yin deficiency. However, as there are several patterns of imbalance giving rise to menopausal symptoms, a number of different symptoms can be experienced such as hot flushes, sweating sleep disturbances, increased risk of heart disease and stroke, osteoporosis, thinning of skin, vaginal dryness, changes in the intensity of orgasms and libido, painful intercourse and having to empty the bladder more frequently.

Shiatsu massage practice is based on the oriental medical principle that mind and body is regulated by energy flowing along a network of meridians. According to this principle, the energy responsible for the functioning of mind and body flows through these meridians and a person becomes unwell once this natural flow of energy is disturbed. If this natural flow is restored, then the natural healing power of the body returns the person to good health.

These disruptions may stem from emotional factors, climate, lifestyle or other causes including stress, the presence of impurities in the environment or the body and physical trauma. These disturbances follow well-known patterns and can be corrected during shiatsu massage by applying pressure along the meridians with an emphasis at relevant pressure points. As there are patterns of imbalance associated with menopause, these patterns can be treated with shiatsu massage which will help alleviate the menopausal symptoms. Herbal therapy can also be combined with the shiatsu massage treatment to strengthen its effectiveness.