Chinese Medicine and Painful Periods

Many women experience painful periods, or dysmenorrhea. This pain can be debilitating while interrupting work, family and social life, as well as increasing our reliance on conventional pain killers such as Advil and Motrin. Here at Yinstill, we successfully treat painful periods by examining the quality and timing of the pain, as well as details of the menstrual history, menstrual blood and other related symptoms. These details allow us to diagnose the cause of disharmony and to choose the best acupoints to attain balance.

Here are the causes of painful periods according to Chinese medicine theory.

1. Emotional strain – Anger, frustration, resentment, hatred and other negative emotions all may lead to Liver-Qi stagnation, a major cause of painful periods. Liver-Qi stagnation causes blood to stagnate in the uterus, resulting in pain. Excess moodiness and irritability can also be a sign of Liver-Qi stagnation, so a focus on nurturing positive experiences and relationships allows our Qi to move smoothly, soothing blood flow and pain.
2. Cold and Dampness – Excessive exposure to cold and dampness, especially as a younger girl and during puberty may cause cold to invade the uterus. This contracts and causes blood to stagnate resulting in painful periods. Women are also prone to coldness in the uterus after menstruation, therefore taking care to provide a warmer environment and not to be exposed to cold and damp during this time can be an important measure of pain prevention.
3. Overwork, chronic illness – Overwork or illness leads to Qi and blood deficiency of the Stomach and Spleen, causing malnourishment. Blood will have no force to move through the uterus, resulting in pain. Finding time to relax, meditate and take care of yourself is an essential way to attain balance and work towards a pain free cycle.
4. Excessive sexual activity, childbirth – The Liver and Kidneys are weakened by excessive sexual activity (women less than men) and childbirth. This prevents Qi and Blood from moving properly in the reproductive organs, causing painful periods.

Through acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary/lifestyle changes and supplements these symptoms can be diminished or even relieved completely without the reliance on medication or possible side effects. Here at Yinstill we regularly see great results and diminished pain during menstruation – a normal healthy period doesn’t have to be uncomfortable!

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