Dysmenorrhea is painful menstruation that arises before, during and/or after menstruation. The pain is mainly in the lower abdomen, however, it can occur in the lower back a/or running down the legs. Many women experience this pain each month with their periods. Acupuncture can help!
A study in the journal Evidence-based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine demonstrated a significant beneficial effect when acupuncture treatments were administered to patients who were suffering from dysmenorrhea resistant to conventional medical treatment.
Patients included in this study were suffering from dysmenorrhea of a moderate to severe nature for 1 year or longer and had not responded well to NSAID use. They had also refused oral contraceptive therapy, which is currently administered as a first course of treatment in dysmenorrhea cases. The participants were given 8 weekly acupuncture treatments over a period of 2 months, with needles inserted in applicable point locations for 30 minutes.
13 of the 15 participants in the study experienced substantial reduction of pain and of NSAID consumption following the acupuncture treatments. Greater pain reduction was observed in patients experiencing primary, rather than secondary dysmenorrhea, and 7 of the 15 participants ceased NSAID use completely and remained asymptomatic when questioned 6 months after treatments ended.
Acupuncture is appropriate prior as well as during the symptom time. It is best to work preventatively, to clear up the causes before the symptoms begin. It is certainly good to avoid medications when possible. Acupuncture is also extremely effective at treating other menstrual disorders, including irregular periods, amenorrhea and PMS.
The point sites chosen will vary a little based on the individual, as we assess the history and the whole health picture. We will also look at the tongue and pulse diagnosis, and consider your diet as well. Point sites chosen will include lower back as well as lower abdomen. There will be others as well, perhaps on the top of the foot and maybe inside of ankles… The point sites are painless, and gently treated.
Your very next month will be so much better!
Other Helpful Tips To Lessen Menstrual Cramps
Many women find that changing their diets can make their cramps less severe. Eat foods that are rich in calcium. They include beans, almonds, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale.
Eat foods that are high in antioxidants, including fruits such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes, and vegetables such as squash and bell pepper.
Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
Eat more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans for protein.
Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or vegetable oil.
Some women find that adding soy milk to their diet helps relieve menstrual pain.
Eliminate trans-fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.
Drink 6 – 8 glasses of filtered water daily.
Exercise at least 30 minutes daily, 5 days a week.
Mind-body techniques such as meditation and exercises such as yoga and tai chi can also help relieve pain.
For more information about how acupuncture can help you, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com
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