Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 2000
It happens every month. About eight to ten days before your period starts, you notice the symptoms. Maybe you cry for no apparent reason. Maybe you’re anxious or short tempered or depressed…Then your period appears and miraculously, your symptoms disappear—until next month, when you can look forward to a repeat performance.
Using what the authors call “informed self-care,” women suffering from Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) can apply various techniques to greatly reduce their monthly symptoms. Using a “journal of self-discovery,” the authors recommend that women track their observations while experiencing PMS. For symptoms to be considered part of the syndrome, they must appear on a monthly basis, they must disappear or diminish several days after menstruation begins, and they must interfere with some aspect of daily life.
The book’s advice is sound: The authors stress that aerobic exercise is one of the best tools for eliminating this condition. Walking is suggested for out-of-shape women, while the athletic are encouraged to row, run, and swim. Nutritional changes include removing caffeine from one’s diet, lowering sodium intake, and replacing red meat with fish and soy products.
Kallins, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at USC Keck School of Medicine, has included a description of the menstrual cycle and an outline of Premenstrual Syndrome, and provides sections on nutrition and vitamin use. Keeling, a fitness expert, has prepared the sections on mind-body wellness and fitness. She notes: “When I first began my mind-body trainings in Hawaii in 1980, yoga was still considered something strange and exotic…The fact that we included it, along with t’ai chi and meditation, in our professional training programs kept us from being accepted into mainstream fitness for many years…Yoga is now recognized as one of the most effective exercise regimes for health and longevity.”