Period pain is common and a normal part of your menstrual cycle. Up to 20% of women suffer from cramping severe enough to interfere with daily activities – and many menstruating women grimace through their pain in silence. For women who do speak up, their pain is often downplayed or ignored.
A new study led by Australian researchers tests the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments in relieving period pain. The study was conducted by Dr. Mike Armour, of the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) at Western Sydney University in Australia, and his colleagues from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Auckland, also in Australia. Their findings were published in the journal PLOS One.
It was found that the women undergoing acupuncture more frequently experienced more significant improvements in period pain intensity and related symptoms, as well as in overall quality of life.
Twelve treatments were carried out either once or three times a week over three menstrual cycles.
The study found that using manual stimulation of the needles, rather than an electrical acupuncture resulted in reduced need for pain-relieving medication and improvement in secondary symptoms.
More than half the women undergoing manual acupuncture experienced a decrease in period pain and related symptoms of up to 50 percent. The women reported significant reductions in ‘peak pain’ during the first three days of their period and in “average pain” experienced over their entire period, with the effects sustained for 12 months.
The treatment was grounded in traditional Chinese medicine practices as well as the Zang Fu system, which identifies the unique attributes of each organ and the ways in which they relate to each other.
Although customisation of acupuncture points was applied according to TCM differential diagnostics, most commonly used acupuncture points are:
Other Chinese medicine treatments such as: Chinese Herbal Medicine, Moxibustion, TuiNa massage are also very effective in treating Period Pain.