Acupuncture to Relieve Period Pain

August 11, 2011

Majority of women experience painful period. Usually, the pain is mild. But, 1 out of 10 women suffer from severe menstrual pain that often last for longer hours and sometimes all through their period. There are girls who can’t go to work or school just because of period pain or dysmenorrhoea. According to the report published in BBC Health Online recently, about 50% of those who suffer from period pain say it disrupts their own lives. Moreover, 70% of young women make use of pain killers to cope with the problem.

What really causes period pain?

Period pain is generally caused by the contraction of the uterus during menstruation. Though it is a normal thing, such contraction is most felt by a woman during her period or during labour, when she’s about to give birth. When there’s contraction, the blood is restrained from flowing and the tissues got deprived of receiving oxygen, causing the pain. The severity of pain depends on the level of contraction that each woman experience. The stronger the contraction, the more painful it is.

People usually call period pain as dysmenorrhoea. This menstrual problem is characterized by severe pain during every period and it would start on the very first time a woman menstruates and will continue as she grows. But aside from dysmenorrhoea, there are other menstrual conditions that bring along pain such as endometriosis, fibroids, narrowed cervix, and pelvic inflammatory diseases.

Menstrual pain is unbearable most of the time. It is usually accompanied with headache and nausea. It may also be accompanied with vomiting and diarrhoea and there as well as frequent urination.

There are factors that triggers and aggravate period pain. Psychological factors like emotional stress may also trigger period pain. It can highly increase the discomfort and menstrual cramps. Another one is the lack of exercise.

How can Acupuncture help?

Acupuncture has been a very popular method of alleviating menstrual pain. The acupuncturist inserts needles into the certain points in the body called meridians. The concept is to alter the flow of energy (qi) and promote healing and overall wellness. For hundreds of years now, acupuncture is used to treat pain.

A clinical test conducted by the experts from the National Institutes of Health showed the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating period pain. All of the 43 women with dysmenorrhoea who were treated with the ‘healing’ needles showed reduction in pain. Another study made by German researchers and published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology supported the effect of acupuncture in treating menstrual pain. On the said study, the majority of patients who received acupuncture experienced improvement in the level of pain for up to 33%.

It is important that women who wish to undergo the therapy must look for reputable practitioners to make sure they’re receiving the right form of treatment.

A lot of women disregard the pain they feel during their period. However, they need to understand that pain is never normal. When something hurts, it’s best to consult the doctor right away.

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