Menstrual cramps are very common in women. Most women feel menstrual cramps are just a part of being a woman. However in TCM perspective, menstrual cramps are a sign of underlying imbalances in the body.
Menstrual pain or dysmenorrhea is caused by uterine muscles contractions and can occur before, during or after menstruation. The result of this contraction can range anywhere from an annoying uncomfortable feeling of pressure in the abdomen, to excruciating pain with symptoms of pain in the hips, lower back, inner thighs as well as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Menstrual camps can be very debilitating for some women and can interfere with everyday activities a few days out of each month. Disorders such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids may be the cause of some menstrual cramps. Treating the underlying cause is the key to reducing the pain of menstrual cramps.
Acupuncture treats the underlying imbalances in the body that lead to these dysfunctions in the menses. Western medicine prescribes such things as “the Pill” to help with menstrual cramps. The Pill however alleviates cramps by artificially shutting down the system. The pill only masks the symptoms and once it is discontinued symptoms will arise again. Acupuncture works by getting to the root of the problem.
There are many different imbalances that lead to menstrual cramps. One of the most common seen in TCM practice is Liver Qi Stagnation. The liver is the system that is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi or energy in the body. Such things as emotions, stress, poor posture, poor breathing habits, & TMJ affect the Liver Channel. Then things are not moving and flowing smoothly in the body, symptoms of stagnation will arise.
The Liver channel in TCM is closely associated with blood. Acupuncture points are selected on the liver channel for Women who have Liver Qi stagnation with manifesting menstrual cramps. Other points are selected for blood regulation, relieving stagnation, regulating the flow of Qi and reinforcing the body homeostasis. Acupuncture works with the subtle imbalances that mainstream medicine is ill equipped for.