The origin of monthly menstrual cramps, also known as “dysmenorrhea” in Western medicine, can be a result of many factors specific to a woman’s lifestyle, daily habits, age, and genetics. For Chinese medicine practitioners, when asking a patient about the history of their individual symptoms with cramps, it is important for us to know what age they began, the duration for which they last, the quality of the pain, as well as perhaps any physiological issue that it could be originating from, such a fibroids, surgeries, or other gynecological conditions.
While biomedicine often classifies painful menses as “normal”, in Chinese medicine we tend to not believe this has to be the case. Therefore, a skilled Acupuncturist will dig much further into their patient’s history, truly wanting to get to know what the root of their cramps stem from. Some of the patterns we classify PMS cramping under are “qi stagnation”—which would be a more achy cramping—“blood deficiency”—these are dull is quality and tend to be more at the end of one’s bleeding—or “blood stasis”— more of a stabbing pain with clots. Knowing if the cramps are achy, clotty, stabbing or dull is all information that greatly assists us practitioners in doing the necessary detective work to help women finally get the long awaited relief from what was believed to be something that they “just had to deal with” on a monthly basis. But not for us!
While certain vitamins and minerals can, and often do, greatly reduce the quality of pain, some more temporary than others, acupuncture and herbal remedies target the unique pattern within the patient, never generalized, always focused. For a real deep dive into this subject for those who might wish to get a bit nerdy and learn more about how acupuncture and herbs works for cramps, below is a wonderful case study that discusses exactly how Chinese medicine has been effectively utilized in women with severe cases of “Dysmenorrhea”.
Click here to read more: Effect of Chinese herbal medicine on primary dysmenorrhea
If you are someone who is reading this and questioning if you might not be getting the relief you potentially could be from your cramps, come into Ballard Acupuncture Center to allow us to get to the heart of your unique imbalance—done with compassion, care, and quality experience.
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