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The Healing Touch of Acupuncture for Chronic Period Pain

For many women, the monthly arrival of their period brings with it not only discomfort but also debilitating pain.

Every woman’s menstrual cycle is different, and every woman’s experience is therefore different – but even women who experience what might be termed, for want of a better word, symptoms that could be considered broadly familiar to the majority of women struggle to their discomfort.

Chronic period pain, medically known as dysmenorrhea, can significantly disrupt daily life further, impacting work, relationships, and overall well-being.

And while conventional treatments like painkillers offer temporary relief, acupuncture offers a holistic approach that aims to address the root cause of that pain.

Understanding chronic period pain

Chronic period pain refers to severe menstrual cramps that occur consistently and impact adversely on daily life and activities.

Unlike typical period pain, which may last a few days and can be managed with over-the-counter medication and home remedies, chronic period pain persists for an extended period, sometimes throughout the entire menstrual cycle.

Causes of chronic period pain

Several factors can contribute to chronic period pain, including:

  • Underlying conditions such as endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and ovarian cysts can cause severe menstrual cramps.
  • Fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly prostaglandins, which are responsible for uterine contractions, can lead to intense cramping.
  • Anatomical abnormalities such as a tilted uterus or narrowing of the cervix can contribute to increased pain during menstruation.
  • Stress, anxiety, and depression can exacerbate pain perception and make coping with chronic period pain more challenging.

Coping strategies for chronic period pain

Living with chronic period pain can be physically and emotionally taxing, but there are several strategies to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

If you suffer with chronic period pain, it may be worth seeing your GP or other healthcare professional to check for an underlying cause, which may offer a treatment route to better pain management.

Applying heat therapy to the abdomen, such as using a heating pad or taking a warm bath, can help relax muscles and alleviate cramping.

Regular light to moderate physical activity, such as walking, yoga, or swimming, can help reduce stress and improve blood circulation, potentially easing menstrual pain.

And making healthy lifestyle choices through a balanced diet and a reduction (or, ideally, the elimination) of caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods may help alleviate symptoms.

Other considerations may include relaxation techniques as well as alternative therapies such as acupuncture.

Acupuncture for chronic period pain

Originating in China thousands of years ago, acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow, known as qi.

Acupuncture promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Chronic pain can heighten stress levels, creating a vicious cycle where stress exacerbates pain, and pain induces stress. In stimulating the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, acupuncture can promote a sense of calm, helping to break this cycle and reduce overall pain perception.

Acupuncture also improves blood circulation to the reproductive organs. Proper blood flow is essential for relieving cramps and reducing inflammation. By enhancing circulation, acupuncture facilitates the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the pelvic region, promoting healing and reducing pain.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of acupuncture in managing period pain, and many women choose it to help them to manage period pain because of its minimal side effects and non-invasive nature.

Unlike some medications, acupuncture does not pose the risk of gastrointestinal problems or liver damage associated with long-term use. Additionally, acupuncture treatments can be tailored to each individual, addressing their specific symptoms and concerns.

While acupuncture offers promising benefits for managing chronic period pain, it’s essential to consult a qualified and experienced practitioner.

A licensed acupuncturist will conduct a thorough assessment to understand the underlying factors contributing to the pain and develop a tailored treatment plan.

Acupuncture is often used as part of a holistic approach to women’s health, alongside lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, and other complementary therapies.

By addressing hormonal imbalances, reducing stress, and improving circulation, acupuncture offers relief that goes beyond masking symptoms.

As more research supports its efficacy, acupuncture continues to emerge as a valuable tool in promoting women’s health and well-being.

If you’d like to know more about how acupuncture can help you to manage the impact of chronic period pain, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.



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