Menstrual pain – it’s horrible & we don’t deserve that.
Contrary to popular belief, menstrual pain is not a natural part of the menstruation process. Menstruation should be painless and accompanied by minimal pre- and post-menstrual signs and symptoms (PMS). It is entirely possible to eliminate pain and discomfort with acupuncture, Chinese medicine and a few adjustments to your lifestyle.
Chinese medicine and acupuncture have enjoyed a rich history in treating gynecological issues. Even today, many women turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for an array of women’s health concerns. Of which, Menstrual cramps and PMS usually respond very well to TCM treatments.
A German study of 201 women found that acupuncture does relieve menstrual pain, severe cramps and discomfort; with the majority of patients reporting at least a 33% decrease in pain after 10 acupuncture treatments.
How does acupuncture therapy work?
- Acupuncture excels at removing ‘qi’ and blood stagnation. The needles’ primary function is to disperse energy and promote blood circulation. By harmonising the flow of ‘qi’ in the liver meridian, an order is restored in the body and mind.
- Acupuncture stimulation increases blood flow to the uterus and elevates nitric oxide levels which dilate blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. This, in turn, relaxes muscles and reduces uterine contractions.
- Acupuncture alters the brain’s mood chemistry. It balances mood levels and increases neuropeptide Y levels, which helps combat pain and PMS symptoms such as irritability and mood swings.
- Acupuncture assists the endocrine system in keeping balance levels of estrogen and pro-estrogen in the body.
- It balances out the hypothalamic-pituitary axis (brain’s hormone-regulator). By regulating hormones, it can relieve symptoms ranging from pain to mood.
- It alters the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord. Neurohumoral factors are released when the nerves located in the muscles and other tissues are stimulated during treatment.
- Acupuncture treatments can counteract the pain-producing factors in the body by increasing the endorphin levels in our blood.
- It reduces inflammation by promoting the release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors.
Why acupuncture and not pills?
Acupuncture addresses the origin of the pain and uses the body’s own energy to naturally play with hormones and rebalance the system. TCM theory understands the cause of menstrual cramps and hence can treat the problem to give a lasting result. It is a natural, safe and effective way as opposed to conventional drugs like painkillers and contraceptives.
How is the treatment process like?
The treatment starts 5 to 7 days prior to menstruation. Approximately 10 treatments are administered in one course, with continuous treatments done for about 2 to 4 months (depending on one’s condition) as it takes time to gradually adjust the hormone levels and balance out the menstrual cycle.