Acupuncture for Dysmenorrhea
What is Dysmenorrhea
Dysmenorrhea, also known as painful periods, or menstrual cramps, refers the pain in the lower abdomen and lumbosacral region prior to, during or after the menstruation period. It is commonly seen in young women.
Types and Causes of the Dysmenorrhea
There are two types of dysmenorrhea: Primary and Secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea, also called functional dysmenorrhea, refers to a condition without pathological changes of the genitalia. Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by diseases such as endometriosis, acute or chronic pelvic inflammation, tumors, blockage or cervical stenostomia.
In Chinese medicine, Dysmenorrhea is due to stagnation of qi and blood. The factors may be emotion change, cold and damp, deficiency of qi and blood. Emotion changes causes blockage of qi, then cause pain; cold cause contraction of vessel, also cause pain; deficiency of qi and blood, on the one hand could block qi and blood, on the other hand, could not nourish the muscles and internal organs and causes pain.
Treatment Dysmenorrhea with Acupuncture
Primary and secondary dysmenorrhea can be treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. For primary dysmenorrhea, acupuncture not only can stop the pain instantly, also can stop pain forever after several sessions of treatment. For secondary dysmenorrhea, after stop pain with acupuncture, we’d better to treat the underlying conditions that cause Dysmenorrhea.
Usually we use body acupuncture to treat dysmenorrhea. The common points for treating dysmenorrhea are Zhongji, Sanyinjao, Diji, Ciliao. We will add some points according to different patterns and we may use moxibustion for dysmenorrhea caused by cold and deffiency of qi and blood.
Some people may be afraid of body acupuncture. There are other options for treating Dysmenorrhea with acupuncture, such as seven star acupuncture and auricular acupuncture. Seven star needles does not get into the skin. We only tap the skin until it becomes red. We also use auricular acupuncture to treat Dysmenorrhea. We put some plant seeds on some points of your ears, keep it for 2 to 3 days and you press them until you feel a little bit pain.
The effective and the best timing of treating Dysmenorrhea with acupuncture
All above methods can help you relieve your pain during your periods. Treating Dysmenorrhea with acupuncture not only has been practiced by Chinese people over thousands years, it also has been proved -through controlled trials -to be effective. WHO has already listed acupuncture as an effective treatment for Dysmenorrhea.
Acupuncture usually relives pain just after treatment. For some cases, they might need more treatments. For primary Dysmenorrhea, In order to cure it, the treatment should begins 5 to 7 days prior to menstruation, approximately 5-7 treatments are administrated in one course and a continuous treatment should be administrated for 2-4 months.
For secondary Dysmenorrhea, symptoms may be relieved after acupuncture treatment, but the primary disease should be treated properly.
The patient should avoid strong physical exertion and mental irritation. Maintaining good hygiene especially during the menstruation, avoiding the cold and not eating too much raw and cold food is important for the patient.
Female, 20, university student. 2pm
She has had pain in the low abdomen and low back on the first and second day of her menstruation for several years. Her period came in the morning and she had sever pain in her low abdomen and low back from the morning. She looked pale and she put her hand on her low abdomen when she was in clinic. She was very tired, blue and no appetite. After several questions, i inserted three needles into the Ciliao and ashi, . Around 10 minutes, she began to feel comfortable. 30 minutes later, she had no pain at all. She was so happy and gave me a big hug. Next morning i called her and she said she just had a little bit uncomfortable but no pain any more.