Period pain

Why do we get it? How can an acupuncturist help?


Period pain, or dysmenorrhoea, is experienced by almost every woman I know, and it’s something that many women just accept as a normal part of their life. Menstrual cramps and pains are usually experienced around the stomach area, but many also feel it in the lower back and thighs. Every person who bleeds monthly is different, and the severity of dysmenorrhoea differs between individuals. For extremely severe pains, one may begin to consider the possibility of endometriosis or adenomyosis.

Why does pain occur?

So why does this pain come on? The uterus contracts all of the time, and especially around the period, but these are usually mild and go by unfelt. Before and during the period, the muscular walls of the uterus contract and tighten quite strongly to shed the inner lining monthly, which causes our bleeding.

The pain that we experience occurs when the local blood vessels are squeezed or compressed during the process of shedding this lining, cutting off blood supply to the uterus, resulting in a release of chemicals which trigger pain. Pain-triggering chemicals stimulate the release of prostaglandins, which only influence stronger contractions, more pain and inflammation.

Chinese Medicine is here to help!

Normal period pain usually responds well to natural treatments and Chinese Medicine. For my own dysmenorrhoea, I find that it completely disappears for months with TCM treatment, and comes back only if I become slack with my diet, stress levels or exercise. I will usually use a combination of acupuncture, lifestyle advice, supplements and herbal medicines for my clients with period pain.

Acupuncture has been found effective for alleviating period pain!

Here are some common natural supplements and herbs that I prescribe clinically:

Sheng Jiang (Ginger): ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory and pain killer for dysmenorrhoea, found as effective as ibuprofen.

Yan Hu Suo (Corydalis): this herb has been found useful in reducing inflammatory pain linked to menstrual cramps.

Jiang Huang (Turmeric): ginger’s cousin! Found to reduce prostaglandins and therefore assists in lessening pain.

Magnesium: reduces those pain-increasing prostaglandins and relaxes the uterus.

Zinc: prevents cramping and pain by also reducing prostaglandins and inflammation.

Fish oil: the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil reduce inflammation and prostaglandins.

Note: The above herbs and supplements should be prescribed by a health practitioner to ensure you receive a safe and effective dosage for your condition.

Your periods should not be a monthly nightmare!

Book in with me today to manage and prevent period pain naturally


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