Can acupuncture relieve period pain?
Can acupuncture help relieve period pain? It’s one of the most common questions we get asked. Here, Archna Patel explains why acupuncture is so effective at treating period pain as well as a range of other women’s health issues.
At the Acupuncturists we provide exceptional acupuncture treatment for all manner of conditions and issues, from stress and anxiety to hay fever, headaches, insomnia and more – but we have a particular interest in women’s health.
It’s an area of treatment and expertise that throws up such a wide and diverse variety of challenges – many of them linked to reproductive biology and physiology – and we have invested heavily in ensuring we have the depth of knowledge, skills and understanding to be able to provide a comprehensive healthcare offer for women at all stages of their lives.
One of the most common inquiries we get is from menstruating women – of all ages – who are looking for relief from period pain. The cramps associated with menstruation, also known as dysmenorrhea, are a debilitating symptom that can affect women throughout their reproductive life but are particularly prevalent among younger women.
Acupuncture can help in the relief of these cramps or pains in a number of ways. Obviously, the need for immediate reduction of pain is often what brings women to see us in the first place, but the true benefit of acupuncture is actually more long-term than that.
Because acupuncture is an holistic treatment – meaning it treats the body’s health as a whole, rather than focusing on any one specific problem, symptom, or area – it has been widely shown to offer other benefits, some of which are related to period pain, and others that aren’t.
Where period pain is concerned, there is evidence to show that acupuncture can not only have a significant positive impact in terms of reducing the immediate symptoms of cramps, but when performed regularly can also lessen their intensity and frequency during future menstrual cycles.
How does acupuncture for period pain work?
If you’ve found that over the counter remedies for period pain are either ineffectual or are having less impact than they once were, or you’re looking for a solution that doesn’t involve pharmaceutical pain relief, then acupuncture may be the answer.
However, before we offer you any acupuncture treatment it’s important that we have a clear and detailed understanding of your general physical and emotional health, and particularly of any pre-existing or any underlying conditions that may be contributing to the symptoms you’re experiencing.
So, the first thing we’ll do is ask you to complete a detailed health questionnaire, which we’ll then discuss with you.
Increased hormonal activity during menstruation can cause all sorts of symptoms – for example, common complaints associated with the period cycle include headaches, sleeplessness, food cravings and breast tenderness.
Once you’re satisfied and we’re satisfied that acupuncture is an appropriate approach to deal with the discomfort you’re experiencing, we’ll begin treatment.
This will usually involve several sessions over a defined period of time, although many patients continue with an acupuncture regimen as a way of maintaining general health and energy.
The treatment itself involves the painless insertion of superfine needles into the skin at specific locations on the body. If you’ve never experienced acupuncture before, you’ll be surprised at how relaxing this process is!
The needles stimulate our natural healing energy, which over time becomes depleted or blocked due to factors such as stress, anxiety, tiredness, and the general impact of the toll that modern life can take on all of us.
The increased activity in our natural energy is excellent for boosting the immune system, helping the body to insulate itself against infection and make it more effective in releasing the biological chemicals like adrenaline and endorphins that help us to negate and heal pain.
Is acupuncture for period pain safe?
This is another question we get asked a lot, and it’s understandable given the fact the treatment involves the use of needles. But the very short answer is that, yes, acupuncture is completely safe if performed by a fully trained and qualified traditional acupuncturist.
If you’d like to find out more about how acupuncture can help to reduce period pains and cramps, or you’d like to talk confidentially about any concerns or questions you may have about your general health or acupuncture as a treatment, please get in touch for a free, no-obligation chat – I’d love to hear from you.