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acupuncture for painful periods

Painful Periods

Painful periods or dysmenorrhoea affects approximately one in four women. Periods can be painful with no underlying cause, or due to conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or adenomyosis.

During  menstruation hormone-like substances called prostaglandins are released which cause the uterus to contract. It is thought these contractions and a resultant temporary oxygen deprivation in nearby tissues are responsible for the pain.

While some women are lucky enough to experience little or no pain with during their menstrual cycle, others suffer severe symptoms such as disabling pain radiating to the lower back or thighs, nausea, vomiting, sweating or dizziness which leaves them unable to function for several days each month. The conventional treatment of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or oral contraceptives can provide some pain relief, but does little to correct the underlying cause and in some women are ineffective.

…acupuncture stimulates the production of natural pain relieving substances in the body which relax the body and mind …

Painful periods

How does acupuncture for painful periods help?

In terms of Chinese medicine, pain occurs when the normal flow of energy becomes blocked around the time of menstruation.  This means that the breakdown of the endometrial lining and the start of menstruation doesn’t happen as smoothly as it should, causing sluggish blood flow and clot formation.

Acupuncture for painful periods has a direct effect by stimulating the flow of blood and the production of beta endorphins and natural opiates which relax the body and mind and relieve pain. Treatment is usually given in the second half of the menstrual cycle. Within a few months the pain is usually manageable without resorting to painkillers.

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