Period pain can be treated using acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Period pain in a nutshell

  • Period pain without an identifiable cause affects at least 50% of menstruating women in ‘western’ countries. Some women are so badly affected that they have to take time off school or work.
  • 55% or more of affected women use over-the-counter painkillers, typically NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen, to manage the pain.
  • Oral contraceptives and hormonal implants are widely prescribed in order to suppress ovulation and reduce the number of periods.

Many women think that having painful menstrual cramps is just something women have to suffer… 

But according to traditional Chinese medicine, period pain reveals there is an imbalance occurring in the body, which can be resolved.

The Chinese medicine approach to treating Period Pain (Dysmenorrhea)

In TCM there are several factors that contribute to a healthy menstrual cycle:

  • the condition of the blood
  • the level of energy (qi)
  • proper functioning of the liver and kidneys.

The cause of menstrual pain is qi stagnation and blood stasis. Stress and intense emotions, including anger and resentment, can easily result in the liver being depressed. Over time, the stagnation turns into ‘heat’, pushing the blood to flow out heavily with clots and pain. Many women also suffer from a condition in which ‘cold’ affects the uterus, causing severe menstrual cramps and pain.

Every woman has a different underlying set of conditions and is affected differently – therefore treatment is always specific to the individual and reflects the nature of the pain and other symptoms.  For example, some women experience the pain as cramping or sharp, other women as a constant dull pain. The pain may be in the lower abdomen or lower back, and may radiate to the legs. Other symptoms may include headaches, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, mood changes.

During the initial consultation

  • I check all the indicators in your body for balance and energy flow.
  • I check your pulses, your tongue, your eyes and skin condition.
  • We will look in detail at various aspects of your life and the specific nature of the period pain you experience.
  • I will prepare and discuss with you a specific treatment program for you, balancing the body and raising the vital energy levels.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help reveal the underlying causes of the body’s imbalance that is causing painful menstruation. The endocrine system may also be treated to help regulate hormones.

I have been treating period pain for more than 30 years with acupuncture supported by cupping, moxibustion, Chinese herbal medicine and nutrition.

Please contact me to make an appointment or discuss how this treatment could help you.

Treatment for period pain/dysemenorrhea using acupuncture and TCM

Is acupuncture/TCM effective for treating dysmenorrhea (period pain)?

Acupuncture and herbal medicine have been used to treat Chinese women for thousands of years. Among other effects, acupuncture is known to encourage the release of neurotransmitters including endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers) [1].

Other studies have revealed that:

  • Acupuncture can reduce period pain and its related symptoms by up to 50% [2]
  • Acupuncture is as effective as NSAID medication for reducing period pain [3] 
  • Moxibustion on Ren 8 is superior to oral analgesics for primary dysmenorrhoea, with safety advantages, fewer side effects and good patient compliance [4]