Painful Periods

That time of the month can mean excruciating pain for some women. They watch with dread as the time approaches and the discomfort begins. The common solution to this monthly agony is usually over the counter pain medications and, in some cases, even prescription pain killers. These medications taken over a long stretch of time, for example from puberty to menopause, can cause very serious damage to a woman’s body. This begs the question, are there any alternatives to manage pain that aren’t harmful?

Acupuncture for Pain Management

Acupuncture has been used to manage all types of pain. This includes, you guessed it, period pain. The Chinese practice of using needles to alleviate pain and relax the body is not a very common practice here in the west. This practice is said to stabilize and regulate the blood flow throughout the abdomen creating less pain and discomfort.

Along with simply managing the pain of cramping and contracting, acupuncture is also said to assist in relieving stress, stabilizing a person’s mood and assisting to alleviate digestive issues. All of which can potentially be side effects of menstruation.



Painful Periods- Acupuncture 1

Why choose Acupuncture?

Upon hearing this as an option, many women are hesitant to try this method as an alternative to pain medication. The idea of using needles as a form of relaxation and pain relief can be foreign and confusing. For most, there is a spiritual aspect to it. Acupuncture is about balancing the body and promoting full body wellness.

Many centers that offer acupuncture services feel much like a spa when it comes to the atmosphere of the actual facility. Maintaining peace and calm is important, as some clients receive treatments to combat varying types of sleep and anxiety disorders. When it comes to the needles themselves, most people picture long, terrifying needles like those used in a hospital. This, understandably, makes most women uncomfortable giving this pain management alternative a fair chance. Acupuncture needles are hair-fine, stainless steel, and disposable. Only very minimal discomfort has been reported upon the insertion of the needles but many say they feel nothing. Typically, 5-8 needles are used per session, the appointment lasts less than an hour, and needles are inserted into fleshy parts of the body such as the legs and arms.

However, if you are receiving acupuncture treatments to combat a specific ailment the needles may then be located around the area needing relief. So for menstruation cramps you may expect your abdomen to be a targeted area.

It is important that you see a doctor to rule out infections and other serious medical conditions. Once a physician has made sure that menstruation is the only cause for the monthly pain it is absolutely safe to try acupuncture. Studies show that acupuncture is just as effective as over the counter pain medication when it comes to managing menstruation pain. With no long term affects, minimal to no discomfort, and such a high success rate there is no reason not to try this safe and affordable alternative to constant medication.

 What to Expect from the Actual Acupuncture

While acupuncture is relatively new for the vast majority of people in Western society, it has been a trusted part of Chinese medicine for over two thousand years.

It is based on  the concept that the human body has pathways that serve as conduits for energy called Qi. When these conduits are stimulated, the body’s energy is put back into balance, thereby diminishing  pain and restoring health.When you come to see us with back pain, we will search for, and locate pressure points that alleviate the pain.  Oftentimes, those points are local (along the spine), other times they are distal (in another region of the body).