Aunt Flo’s come for her monthly visit, and now she is apparently kicking your uterus from the inside!
Many women experience pain each month with their periods, and while it generally lessens as a woman ages or after childbirth, period cramps are often difficult to deal with. Acupuncture can help!
In fact, there is a recent German study published in the February, 2008 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology confirms that acupuncture can relieve a woman of her menstrual pain.
In the study, 201 women were randomly assigned to acupuncture or no treatment for menstrual pain, severe cramps and discomfort. The majority of patients receiving acupuncture reported at least a 33 percent improvement in their pain level.
“Patients with chronic dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain) treated with acupuncture as an adjunct to routine care showed significant improvements in pain intensity and quality of life compared to patients who received routine care alone.” Dr. Claudia Witt of Charite University Medical Center in Berlin said.
Since 2000, the researchers note, Germany’s health insurers have recommended that acupuncture to relieve pain only be covered by insurance if it is delivered as part of a study to investigate its effectiveness.
“Our study showed that acupuncture was beneficial for women if offered as part of the health insurance system,” the researchers write in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Based on these findings, the researchers conclude that “acupuncture should be considered as a viable option in the management of these patients.”
This is great news for people on both sides of the Pond!
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 menstrual disorders, including painful periods, 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 Lesson 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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Source: American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Volume 198, Issue 2, Pages 166.e1-166.e8 (February 2008)