Period pain and Acupuncture: Greenstones top tips
Struggling with period pain? Acupuncture might be your new best friend.
The dreaded dysmenorrhea (aka period pain) that many women experience during their menstrual cycle can really impact our day-to-day activities. Contrary to popular belief, pain during menstruation is not in fact a normal part of our monthly cycle.
So, what is dysmenorrhea and what causes it?
Pain that is associated with menstruation in the form of short or intermittent cramps such as in the lower abdomen, thighs, or lower back, can be classified as dysmenorrhea. The pain normally coincides with the beginning of a women’s bleed but can occur several days earlier.
The hormone in our body known as prostaglandin causes the muscles and blood vessels of the uterus to contract. Normally, these contractions are too mild for us to notice but when these contractions of blood vessels are prolonged, this temporarily cuts off oxygen supply to the muscles and in turn causes that pain and discomfort.
What about from a Chinese Medicine perspective?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a women’s physiology is governed by blood. The primary cause of menstrual pain is the result of a stagnation of both Qi and blood. There are many organs which contribute to the smooth flow of menstruation such as the heart, liver, spleen, and kidneys.
According to TCM, the Spleen makes blood, and this is stored in the Liver which is then moved by Qi for menstruation to occur. However, if qi and blood become blocked, this can result in menstrual pain that many women endure.
How can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture can regulate the flow of qi and blood through the uterus and relax the nervous system.
What are our top tips for pain management if you can’t make it to the clinic?
1. Warm nourishing foods
Try to avoid raw or extremely cold foods such as ice cream, cold smoothies, raw salads etc. as these have a ‘yin’ nature and will slow down the blood in the uterus.
2. Try a magnesium supplement
Evidence strongly suggests that taking a magnesium supplement can aid in pain management
3. Apply heat
Promotes blood circulation to ease pain
At Greenstone Acupuncture, we are here for you on your road to recovery and we are available for consultations and appointments for your personal journey.