Painful Periods? Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to the rescue!

Painful periods are a common complaint in our practice, and it warrants serious attention, especially when the pain is crippling and shows up month after month.

Many of our patients have the same similar story. Their period pain began when they were in their teens and their doctor put them on birth control to “fix” it. However, it didn’t actually fix the problem, because when they finally came off the pill the pain came back again.

What are my options for period pain?  

Typical treatments for menstrual pain are hormonal birth control, prescription pain killers or in severe cases; surgery. These options offer varying degrees of success and often come with their own side effects. Rarely, in current medical practice, is a deeper reason for the pain explored. 

What do we usually see? 

By the time a patient comes to our clinic, a variety of these options have usually been tried with minimal success, and many women think they’ll never escape a period without pain. Often, menstrual pain is seen as a one dimensional correlation, rather than as a symptom in a larger pattern of imbalance. This imbalance could have many causes:  hormonal, circulatory, muscular, neurological or a mix of any of these.   

How Acupuncture and TCM looks at it and what it can offer? 

Chinese medicine has been studying the issue of menstrual pain for over two thousand of years, and this history of research has found the symptoms experienced are part of an entire complex of symptoms. This has allowed for a sophisticated form of diagnosis based on how the symptoms relate to each other.  

A Chinese medicine adage tells us: “Where there is pain – there is blockage” 
The goal of treatment is to find out what factor is causing the blockage and to remove it through acupuncture, herbal treatments, diet therapy, and lifestyle changes. Rarely are the treatments the same across patients; treatments vary because the symptom complex and patterns are different (just like the patients themselves!). This is why it is vital to look at the problem holistically and not focus on just treating the pain. 

Period pain is not normal and should not be “endured” monthly: By now, it’s probably no surprise that period pain and cramps can be a complicated condition to treat. If this is affecting your quality of life, we recommend seeking out an experienced Chinese medicine practitioner who is well trained in both herbs and acupuncture.  Each of these disciplines requires years of training and study to become proficient, and the best chance of success will be with a practitioner who has a major focus in gynecology and/or fertility. 

The Acupuncture and Health Centre is here to help! We have many years of experience in treating this complex and debilitating issue, and our practitioners want to learn how this is affecting your life, and find the individual treatment that will work for you. Feel free to call the office and book an introductory consultation with Angie, Skye, or Nicole!