What is Period Pain?
Dysmenorrhea or painful periods, is a hormonal problem. The pain can be experienced before, during or after menstruation and may include cramping, lower abdominal pain, leg pain or lower back pain. There may also be mood swings, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, bloating, fainting, skin problems, toothache, insomnia, joint pain, diarrhoea or constipation.
Who suffers from Period Pain?
This is a common problem because around one half of menstruating women in western societies have period cramps. For 5% of women this is a severe issue for one to three days each month that stops them from functioning normally.
What are the TCM causes of Period Pain?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the female reproductive system involves the spleen, the liver and the kidney energy channels. So the symptoms of period pain will depend on how many of these channels are disrupted and what the disruption are. For example the energy flows could be disrupted by either a Xu deficiency pattern, a Shi excess pattern or a Qi stagnation pattern.
Changes to the diet, such as adding foods that can be helpful for an individual’s condition. Lifestyle changes may be required to reduce stress, including moderate exercise.
Chinese medicine treatment may be able to assist with:
- Management of pain, stress and fatigue related to some autoimmune disorders, in consultation with other treating health practitioners
- Management of pain, fatigue and nausea related to many chronic diseases
- Management of vomiting or nausea arising from chemotherapy
- Pain relief and management
- Chronic pain related to depression by managing the underlying chronic pain
Conditions with strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture
The items below have reviews with consistent statistically significant positive effects and where authors have recommended the intervention. The quality of evidence is rated as moderate or high quality. (updated 28 Nov)
– Allergic rhinitis (perennial & seasonal)
– Knee osteoarthritis
– Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (with anti-emetics)
– Migraine prophylaxis
– Chronic low back pain
– Postoperative nausea & vomiting
– Headache (tension-type and chronic)
– Postoperative pain
Many health practitioners may recommend acupuncture as an adjunct treatment that may assist with IVF treatment. There is continuing research about how acupuncture can assist with the effectiveness of IVF treatment and you should consult with your treating practitioner/s about how acupuncture may be able to help you.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are generally considered to be safe in the hands of a well-trained practitioner, but occasionally (as with all health treatments) may be associated with possible adverse reactions in individual cases.
We recommend that you make an appointment to talk with one of our practitioners to discuss how we can help you.