Painful periods is very common and in fact many women think that it is normal to have period pain. Acupuncture for painful periods has been used for centuries and in Chinese medical terms is certainly not regarded as being normal. The pain can be before, during or after the period. The location of the period pain is also an important distinguishing factor as to determine the cause of the problem according to a traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis. Also the nature of the pain is taken into account, for example, a sharp stabbing pain can mean something completely different to a dull throbbing ache.
Endometriosis as well as fibroids and pelvic inflammatory disease may be the main contributing factors causing the period pain and acupuncture can be used to help these conditions as well. Many women do not like having to take strong pain killers and acupuncture for painful periods is a safe and natural alternative.
The University of Maryland Medical Center says it can help
The University of Maryland Medical Center also endorses acupuncture for painful periods as research has confirmed its efficacy.
In fact, period pain is commonly treated by many members of Acupuncture NZ. The cause of the problem from a traditional Chinese medicine point of view needs to be diagnosed in order to be able to administer the correct and appropriate treatment.
The liver according to Chinese medicine can cause period pain
Commonly though, the liver is often the cause of period pain. If you think of the liver as being just a big bag of blood you will understand how the liver is so important in regulating the menstrual cycle. There is a view in Chinese medicine that if the blood flow becomes congested then there is pain. The liver is influenced by the emotions of anger, impatience and irritability and sometimes it is hard to ascertain what came first. Did the imbalanced liver lead to the person feeling more irritable or did life circumstances lead to more irritability and cause a liver problem.
The liver also controls the tears of the eyes. This is why many women experience tear-fullness before the bleeding begins because the liver energy is blocked.
Can the incorrect diet cause period pain?
There are of course other reasons why period pain can happen. Serena Joe, a Wellington based acupuncturist who specialises in treating women’s disorders says “Many women eat too many cold, damp and raw foods which causes cold to accumulate in the uterus leading to period pain. These women are naturally drawn to use a hot water bottle on the tummy to help provide relief. Moxibustion on the acupuncture points on the abdomen actually disperses the cold and is much more effective and gives a long lasting healing result”.
Scott Pearson of the Newtown Acupuncture Centre opposite the Wellington hospital, says “Pain is the most common complaint that results in people visiting this clinic and menstrual pain is no exception. Many women in pain literally just walk in out of desperation and often improvements are noticed straight away. I try to encourage having a course of treatment to address the underlying imbalances“.
Scott goes on to say ” Where there is blockage, there is pain. Acupuncture aims to unblock stagnant areas of energy in the meridians which then helps reduce pain“.