Acupuncture for Period Pain
Painful periods are a very common problem that many women around the globe have unfortunately had to experience.
The pain associated with the menstrual cycle is certainly not abnormal or isolated. In fact, a study out of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit of the Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Policlinico of Modena in Italy found that over 84% of women report experiencing menstrual pain also known as dysmenorrhea. Although there are plenty of affordable pain relievers available on local stores shelves, chronic use of these products can have an adverse effect.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) takes a different approach when it comes to the treatment of period paid. Rather than simply treating the symptoms of pain with commonly used pain-relieving drugs, TCM practitioners strive to improve the patient’s circulation, bring balance to hormones, and provide nourishment to the female reproductive organs.
The ancient practice of acupuncture has been shown to be an effective, drug-free treatment that can bring relief from menstrual cramps. To learn more about acupuncture for period pain, read on.
Can Acupuncture Help with Period Pain?
Used in TCM for thousands of years, acupuncture is the insertion of tiny needles in the skin to bring balance to the energy flow known as Qi. It has been shown in studies to be an effective treatment for menstrual cramps.
Studies have demonstrated that acupuncture for menstrual cramps has the ability to clear both phlegm and heat as well as invigorate the blood to clear stasis. This provides relief from menstrual cramps with the added benefit of also normalising period flow. Patients have even reported relief from their painful periods for an additional six months after discontinuing acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture for Period Pain Success Stories : What does the research say
The National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University in Australia used acupuncture to treat 74 women complaining of menstrual cramps.
37 of these women received 12 treatments over a three-month period. These women were treated once a week, while the other 34 women were treated three times a week during their periods. Following the completion of their treatment, the group was evaluated again nine months later. Both study groups reported a statistically significant decrease in period pain. Women in both groups reported significant improvements in a variety of other quality-of-life indicators, including vitality, social function, and bodily pain.
When is the Best Time to Try Acupuncture for Menstrual Cramps?
Women who are seeking relief from dysmenorrhea have some options as to when they should receive acupuncture treatment. Many women have achieved relief from their period pain by receiving treatment during their periods. When visiting a skilled TCM practitioner who takes care to use the appropriate acupoints as well as proper needle manipulation, receiving treatment during menses is not only effective, but it is also perfectly safe.
Though receiving treatment during menstruation has been proven to be successful, receiving treatment prior to the onset of menses can also help women to achieve relief from period pain. To achieve the best results, discuss when to have acupuncture with a TCM practitioner.
Acupuncture’s Effect on the Menstrual Cycle
The reduction in menstrual cramps is the primary goal, relief from period pain is not the only positive side effect that women can achieve from treatment with acupuncture. Some additional examples of the benefits of acupuncture include:
- Bringing balance to hormone levels: Acupuncture not only relieves menstrual cramps, but it can also help to bring balance to hormones. This is due to its ability to regulate neuro-endocrine activity along with the regulation of progesterone levels.
- Regulating the menstrual cycle: Women who experiences periods that are longer or shorter than average, too light or too heavy in flow, or simply just irregular can also benefit from acupuncture. Its ability to invigorate blood flow can have a positive influence on many aspects of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
- Provides nourishment to the uterus: Because acupuncture helps to regulate blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, the uterus receives additional needed nourishment. This helps to thicken the wall of the uterus and can even result in improved fertility.
- Facilitates the shedding of the endometrial lining: After ovulation, women experience a drop in progesterone levels. This drop causes the endometrial lining to shed in order to prepare for the next cycle of ovulation. Since acupuncture helps to regulate progesterone levels, treatment may help to promote shedding of the endometrial lining.
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When it comes to menstrual pain, the unfortunate truth is that most women are not alone.
Acupuncture for period pain has been shown to be a safe and effective method of relieving menstrual cramps. Women who received treatment during their periods as well as prior to menstruation reported less pain. Acupuncture for period pain has been shown to balance hormones, regulate the menstrual cycle, nourish the uterus, and aid in the shedding of the endometrial lining in preparation for the next cycle, in addition to pain relief. If you want to relieve the pain of your period, consult with a TCM practitioner about acupuncture.
For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you with period pain, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.