Treating period pain with acupuncture.
Here at Acubalance we are known for helping people on their fertility journeys and paths to becoming parents. What I really wish people knew, is that you don’t need to be trying to have a baby to come for treatment.
Point in case, menstrual pain. Oh how I wish everyone knew that you don’t need to suffer with your period every month. In fact, menstrual pain is one of my favourite complaints to treat because it can be such a liberating experience for my patients. The idea that we need to just grin and bear through monthly menstrual pain both saddens me and brings out my feminist fury. But rather than be frustrated, let me just say that you do not need to ‘suffer’ through the pain every month. Not only can acupuncture and Chinese medicine help reduce the pain, it can also help regulate the flow and regularity of your menses. So instead of downing that bottle of Advil every month, why not regulate your cycle and go back to living!
A fairly recent study that came from The National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) at Western Sydney University in Australia, noted a statistically significant reduction (up to 50% improvement) in menstrual pain in both the high frequency acupuncture (3 treatments a week in the lead up to menstruation) and the low intensity acupuncture (weekly treatments throughout the cycle) groups.
I find that I personally see even better results in clinic, especially when I can add Chinese herbal medicine as well.
So what do treatments look like?
For me, weekly acupuncture usually works better for patients, rather than high frequency treatments leading up to the period. Some cases will include a prescription for a Chinese medicinal formula that the patient drinks daily at home. Once we have reduced the pain and regulated the cycle (this usually takes between 1-4 menstrual cycles, with a noticeable change within the first period or two), the patient either comes for monthly maintenance or stops treatments all together and enjoys their pain free periods. For severe cases (like severe endometriosis, or very large fibroids), more maintenance may be needed. The key is that I want my patients to have regular (every 26-32 days) periods, with a smooth flow, no major clotting and no pain. And seeing that brings me more joy than I can explain.
So here’s to a smooth and fabulous period.
Dr. Emilie Salomons