Relieve PMS – that’s the goal of Sis and her founding partner Margaux. Together, with their startup Circles, they want to help menstruating people have a pain-free and harmonious period. But what actually is premenstrual syndrome (PMS), what are the symptoms of PMS and how can they be eased? In our interview with Sis, we learned not only a lot about her startup, but also about PMS.
Can you introduce you and your start up?
Circles’ mission is to give women and menstruating people to experience harmonious cycles and to alleviate menstruation and hormone related symptoms like PMS, period pains or skin problems naturally. The founders are my co-founder, Margaux Aliamus and myself, Sis Timberg.
How did you come up with the idea for your start up?
We both have a very long and complex history with menstrual issues. After Margaux came off the pill, she had to deal with acne, hair loss, irregular and very painful periods for a long time. I (Sis) have always had very intense pain during my periods, I swallowed painkillers so often that they stopped having an effect. After the birth of my daughter, I started having acute PMS symptoms before my periods. It was to the extent that I was basically not myself half the month.
We both felt very lonely with our symptoms, we didn’t really get a lot of support from doctors, and besides that not many people really speak openly about this topic. It’s still heavily taboo. It eventually became clear to us that it could not go on like this, and we decided to do something about it and create a solution that we’ve been looking for all these years. Through a lot of research and exchange with naturopathy experts, we came to the conclusion that nature has it within itself to solve this problem. Our PMS symptoms actually disappeared, and that was the “aha-moment” when we realized, “Wow, all women and menstruating people should know that there are alternatives to pain and hormone issues – you can relieve PMS symptoms!” That’s how Circles came to be.
Why do menstruating people have PMS?
PMS can come from an imbalance of hormones in our body. During your cycle, your body goes through hormone fluctuations: when experiencing imbalances, this transition doesn’t go as smoothly as it should. In addition, excessive or a deficiency in certain hormones can also trigger symptoms, which as studies show, is something the majority of menstruating people suffers from.
How does PMS affect your body?
Altogether there are about 150 different symptoms associated with PMS, like
- breast tenderness
- depressive mood
- mood swings
- weight gain
- migraines and more
We find that pretty crazy! Since nutrition, stress, sleep, trauma etc. can also play an important role in those kinds of symptoms, and hormonal symptoms can be an intertwined issue, a lot of people don’t notice the connection to their menstrual cycle until many years later.
What’s your personal experience with PMS?
I (Sis) have always had mood swings before my period. After the birth of my daughter it got worse. I would be totally “down” for an entire week, sad for no real reason, extremely self-critical. I couldn’t concentrate and was very “worn out”. A lot of times I had the feeling as if no one understood me. On top of that, I also had physical PMS symptoms like water retention, breast pain and nausea. I felt like I was about to explode. And I felt like that for about ten days, every month! There weren’t any pain medications for that …
What products are you developing, and how do they relieve PMS?
Altogether we’ve developed three products against PMS, hormonal acne and period pain; they address three hormonal “profiles”. Balance is our product against PMS: It’s a dietary supplement that has ingredients like vitex and black cohosh that are known for their hormone balancing properties. It also contains rose root and ginkgo which are good for the psyche, sleep and concentration. Magnesium and Vitamin B6 work to calm stress, alleviate inflammation, breast tenderness and cravings. In the end, all the ingredients are versatile: they do not only act specifically against one symptom, but generally help against the different triggers and relieve PMS.
The effect of all the ingredients in our products has been confirmed by medical research over the last 50 years, only there has been no comprehensive approach that has used this knowledge.
Why is educating about PMS so important?
PMS, like everything that has to do with menstruation, was – and still is – a taboo topic. Neither doctors nor those affected really know a lot about it, mothers rarely educate their daughters about menstrual cycles because they themselves don’t even know! We still hear, “It’s normal” to suffer from mood swings, pain, cravings etc. But that’s not true, those are all symptoms of hormonal imbalances that you can work on balancing.
A huge part of our mission ismission, is that this topic should no longer be taboo. Only then improvements can be made. Secondly, it’s important to know: our lifestyle, our nutrition, stress etc. all have a huge influence on our PMS and overall cycle health. That means anyone can improve their PMS themselves. We know the power of medicinal herbs and nutrition can have on our cycle. We get messages daily from menstruating people who cannot believe they suddenly get to live a symptom-free life.
Relieve PMS: Circles Tips for PMS Symptoms
As a first step, we suggest tracking your cycle; when and which symptoms show up. Adjust your diet a bit to see if foods like dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol or caffeine are possible triggers for your symptoms. But it’s very important to us that we don’t present a dogmatic opinion: we also enjoy eating pizza or drinking a glass of red wine and sometimes too much coffee. However, to be able to recognize that these things influence our cycle can be a true path to “empowerment”. With this knowledge you can decide if, when and how much of it you want to consume.
If you’re looking for more tips, our ebook, “the 28-day method” is just right: 150 pages that give a clear explanation of how menstrual cycles work, which imbalances there are and how you can get a grip on your symptoms with exercise, diet and stress management.
The journey to a symptom-free period
Before we started on this journey, we too were somewhat skeptical that one could have a symptom free period. It was so freeing to experience that ourselves. Even the smallest changes can lead to dramatic improvements and help us live more harmoniously with our own bodies. Try it yourself!