In Chinese medicine it is said that the period is a mirror into a woman’s health. Often, menstrual problems are swept under the carpet in our culture. Unfortunately some women maybe prescribed the pill to alleviate their symptoms when we believe this only masks the problem and doesn’t solve it at its core. Often when women cease taking the pill their problems re-emerge and they have to deal with them at the same time as wanting to start a family. Where possible, it’s best to deal with period problems as early as possible in a woman’s life because correcting the root of the imbalance will help their overall health, including fertility, for the future.
If you learn to know your period thoroughly and what any changes mean, this gives you great insight into your health so you can pick up on problems and seek treatment when you need it. Light flow verses heavy flow, for example, can mean different things. As does clotting and pain versus no clotting and pain. All symptoms you experience can tell us if you have too much heat in your body, if you have circulation problems, if you have “blood deficiency” and so forth. A combination of gentle acupuncture treatment, appropriate herbs as well as lifestyle and diet suggestions is a really effective way to ensure that you decrease your menstrual symptoms, return to balanced health and then learn to read and manage your own body and your own health.
Help Is At Hand
Here is a selection of research articles which show how acupuncture can help with menstrual problems.
1. PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome)
According to a study published in Archives of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, acupuncture has shown to be helpful in reducing pre-menstrual symptoms. The symptoms experienced by the women included anxiety, insomnia, nausea, phobic disorders, headaches and migraines. Success was achieved quite quickly – in most cases in four treatments. The acupuncture group achieved a 78% success rate for treating symptoms, where as the placebo acupuncture group achieved a 6% success rate.
SOURCE: Habek D, Habek JC, Barbir A. Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Health Centre, Bjelovar, Croatia. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2009 Dec;280(6):877-81. Epub 2009 Mar 27. Acupuncture for premenstrual dysphoric disorder
2. Acupuncture for Painkiller-Resistant Period Pain
Italian scientists have evaluated the effect of acupuncture on dysmenorrhoea (period pain) that is resistant to treatment by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A substantial reduction in pain and NSAID use was observed in 87% of patients. Pain intensity was significantly reduced by 53%. Average pain duration was reduced by 54%. Supplementary NSAID use was reduced by 58%
Acupuncture Treatment of Dysmenorrhea Resistant to Conventional Medical Treatment. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008 Jun;5(2):227-230.
3. Acupuncture and PCOS – Research Shows Ovulation Increase
In a study of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome who had amenorrhoea (no period) or oligomenorrhoea (infrequent menstruation), 35% showed a significant rise in rate of ovulation when treated with acupuncture.
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2000;79:180-1
4. Acupuncture and Endometriosis
In a study on 101 women with endometriosis, findings showed that there was a highly significant decrease in pain levels in women treated with acupuncture as opposed to the control group where the pain remained nearly unchanged.
Is acupuncture in addition to conventional medicine effective as pain treatment for endometriosis? A randomised controlled crossover trial. Focus Altern Complement Ther 2006; 11: 42
There are many more female health conditions acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with, so if you are suffering unnecessarily, please know that there is help out there.