Menstrual cramps, which is medically termed as dysmenorrhea, affects an astounding 95 percent of women who have monthly periods, according to the journal Human Reproductive Update. Also known as period pain, this level of discomfort varies from the annoying to severely painful, which could disrupt a woman’s activities.
The causes of menstrual cramps are different with every woman. Some may experience this pain without any underlying conditions (primary dysmenorrhea) while others have dysmenorrhea due to health issues like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease.
Why Should You Try Traditional Chinese Medicine for Period Pain?
Acupuncture has been around for centuries. It’s based on the idea that pain, discomfort, and illnesses are caused by an imbalance and blockage in the flow of the body’s energy known as “qi.”
This form of TCM inserts acupuncture needles into the skin to restore balance and treat various ailments. Acupuncture has little to no side effects. It is completely safe and natural, so if you have period pains and want to find an alternative form of treatment, you should get in touch with a specialist in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.
Get Relief from Menstrual Cramps Through Acupuncture
A few ways of getting relief from menstrual cramps include taking pain medications, using hormonal birth control pills, exercises, a hot bath, or rest. If your menstrual cramps happen every monthly period and can interfere with work, social activities and daily routines, then a visit to an acupuncturist might help.
In fact, there are already several scientific studies that recognize the benefits of acupuncture in relieving menstrual cramps.
How Effective is Acupuncture for Menstrual Cramps?
Acupuncture is widely known for its amazing pain relief benefits. It’s not only effective in treating muscle pain; acupuncture can also relieve menstrual cramps. Many studies have arrived at promising conclusions on the benefits of acupuncture for patients with menstrual pain.
Findings from a study conducted by Obstetrics and Gynaecology experts in Australia revealed that acupuncture can significantly reduce menstrual pain and duration in women who have undergone the traditional Chinese medicine procedure over three menstrual cycles. The beneficial effect can last up to one year regardless of timing and technique used (manual or electro-acupuncture).
Moreover, the study has shown that manual acupuncture also relieves secondary symptoms of dysmenorrhea, such as headache and nausea, and reduces the need for taking pain relievers.
Another study in the journal of Medicine suggested that acupuncture may help with relieving menstrual pain more effectively than taking NSAIDs. The study concluded that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for primary dysmenorrhea.
Benefits of Acupuncture for Menstrual Cramps
One of the best reasons for undergoing acupuncture for menstrual cramp relief is the absence of unwanted side effects that usually arise from other types of treatment. A skilled acupuncturist may also help the patient find the actual cause of why the pain keeps coming back and then treat this as well, apart from simply treating the symptoms.
This traditional Chinese medicine also works to:
- Promote optimal blood flow in a woman’s reproductive organs
- Improve hormonal imbalance
- Eliminate the pathogens that bring disharmony in the person’s body and mind
- Relieve the stressors in the body by releasing natural chemicals called endorphins
- Minimize inflammation, which is known to be one of the symptomatic causes of period pain
Consistent and regular acupuncture for menstrual cramps may also take away the fatigue and hormonal acne that manifested during a woman’s menstrual cycle. It may also regulate sleep and alleviate mood swings as the body and mind’s energy reconnect.
At best, women with severe menstrual cramps might see the results of acupuncture if this is done weekly in the first few months. Over time, the patient will experience a more regular cycle and better menstrual flow, along with the absence of period pain.
Is it OK to get acupuncture while menstruating?
Yes, you can get acupuncture treatment during your period. A study has revealed that menstruation is not a contraindication to acupuncture. As long as the acupuncturist carefully selects the acupuncture points, uses appropriate needle manipulations, and avoids intense stimulations, you can get acupuncture during your period.
Can acupuncture affect the menstrual cycle?
Yes, it can! Acupuncture not only treats menstrual pain; it can also regulate the menstrual cycle in women who have irregular periods. This traditional Chinese medicine technique affects the menstrual cycle in 5 ways:
- It promotes a balance in the hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle.
- It increases blood flow to the reproductive organs.
- It facilitates the shedding of the endometrial lining, which helps relieve menstrual cramps.
- It keeps the uterus and ovaries well-nourished so they can function efficiently.
- It promotes ovulation and supports the maturation of egg cells.
The menstrual cycle happens because of the complex interaction among the body’s hormones. Acupuncture can increase the secretion of these hormones, depending on when you choose to get treatment in your menstrual cycle.
When in Your Cycle Should You Have Acupuncture?
You can have acupuncture treatment any time during your cycle. The effects of this traditional Chinese medicine for period pain depends on what you are trying to achieve.
A woman’s menstrual cycle has 4 phases: menstruation, follicular, ovulation, and luteal. Acupuncture effects differ, depending on when you get your treatment:
During the menstrual phase, the lining of your uterus is shedding, and you experience the flow of menstrual blood.
Getting acupuncture during the menstrual phase stimulates the body to increase circulation in the reproductive area. The increase in blood flow facilitates the shedding, reduces menstrual cramps, and relieves secondary symptoms such as headache, nausea, and loose bowel movement.
During the follicular phase, the body’s estrogen level increases, which leads to the thickening of the lining of the uterus.
Acupuncture therapy during this phase increases the blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, which leads to further thickening of the endometrial lining and the development of egg cells.
During ovulation, a woman is fertile. The body temperature rises, the cervical mucus increases, and the ovary releases a mature egg cell.
Getting acupuncture treatment during the ovulation phase further increases the body’s temperature and facilitates the release of the egg cell.
During the luteal phase, there is an increase in progesterone hormone, which further thickens the uterine lining. The body is preparing the uterus for implantation in case the egg cell gets fertilized.
If you are trying to get pregnant, our world class acupuncturist in Gainesville, Fl will focus on facilitating successful implantation. Otherwise, the treatment will focus on relieving premenstrual cycle symptoms and directing the flow of the body’s energy in preparation for another menstrual cycle.
Treat your menstrual cramps with acupuncture in Gainesville
If you are considering an acupuncture treatment and don’t know where to start or what to expect, our trained and friendly acupuncturist in Guan Acupuncture, Gainesville, Florida can help you ease your anxiety and answer all of your questions.
Dr. Weiwei Guan owns one of the most recognized acupuncture and physical therapy clinics in Gainesville Fl. Through her high-quality services, she has helped many patients become pain-free and enjoy better quality of life.
Talk to our world-class acupuncturist and traditional Chinese medicine expert in Gainesville, Fl. to get the best assessment and acupuncture options for your health needs. For more information, please Contact Us or call us at (352) 353-0288.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.