Menstrual cramping, also called dysmenorrhea, is pain that occurs before and during menstruation. Some women suffer from mild discomfort while others report debilitating pain and must rely on pain medication to carry on with their day-to-day lives.
The most common response to painful period cramping is pain medication, but there are alternative treatment methods that are completely natural and can reduce the intensity of menstrual cramping and even the length of time the pain is experienced. One of these methods is acupuncture.
Note: If your symptoms are nearly debilitating and don’t allow you to get anything done for long periods of time, we recommend you meet with your primary care doctor to make sure you are not suffering from a hormonal imbalance.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. This popular practice is based on maintaining a healthy flow of vital energy—known as qi—through the meridians of the body. These meridians flow from head to toe and acupuncture aims to unblock that energy flow or refocus the energy on areas of the body that need it.
How does acupuncture help with menstrual cramping?
Certain acupuncture points on the body regulate blood flow in the abdominal cavity which can help calm muscular contractions. There are also points on the body that help your body fight inflammation just like over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Even better, acupuncture leaves you feeling deeply relaxed, calms the mind and reduces stress. Many patients report a reduction in unwanted PMS symptoms during their first post-treatment menstrual cycle.
A 2017 study tested the efficacy of acupuncture in relieving period pain. The study found that women undergoing acupuncture found significant reduction in both frequency and intensity of pain as compared to women not undergoing acupuncture. Many women also reported an improvement in secondary symptoms, including headaches and nausea.
For centuries acupuncturists have helped women feel more comfortable during their menstrual cycle. Not only can acupuncture help alleviate menstrual pain, but it can reduce bloating, cramping, and mood swings during female menstrual cycles.
If you would like more information or would like to try acupuncture for your menstrual pain, contact Arapahoe Chiropractic & Acupuncture today! We are located in Centennial, Colorado and serve the Denver Metro Area.
BY: Dr. Friedman
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