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Acupuncture May Spell Relief For Menstrual Cramps

By February 18, 2010

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Korean researches have published the results of a review of 27 studies which included 3000 women and say that acupuncture may provide significantly better relief from menstrual cramps than herbs and medications typically used to treat menstrual cramps.  The researchers, from the Oriental Hospital at Kyung Hee University Medical Center in South Korea, say that the evidence is convincing that acupuncture is an effective method for relieving menstrual pain.

How does having a bunch of needles poked into you relieve pain? Acupuncture is believed to relieve menstrual cramps by stimulating the body's production of endorphins and serotonin. Endorphins are naturally-occurring compounds created by the body during exercise and excitement to produce a feeling of well-being. Serotonin is a chemical produced in the brain that plays a key role in depression when serotonin levels are low.

Does this mean you should rush out and find an acupuncturist? Not necessarily, the researchers say there is some question about the methodology of some of the studies reviewed and that further clinical trials are needed before a more definitive conclusion can be reached. Until then, traditional treatments including exercise, applying heat to the lower abdomen and / or back, and painkillers may be your best bet for relieving your menstrual cramps.

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Comments
March 1, 2010 at 2:51 pm
(1) Loni Anderson L.Ac. says:

Oriental Medicine excels at treating women’s health concerns. I remind my patients that the key to remember is that Acupuncture is not a quick fix. Oriental Medicine is an energetic medicine and a subtle medicine, which means that it is working with the body’s own energy or Chi to correct imbalances over time. Because women’s cycles are dictated by hormones; each week over the course of a month different things are happening in the body. Therefore what ever may be causing the imbalance during the cycle may take several cycles to see improvement in symptoms. It should be noted that when pain or mood swings are experienced it suggests that the body is not in balance. A balanced body is pain and symptom free. That’s right no more suffering in silence and being told its all part of being a woman. Knowing that an imbalance is present and taking steps to correct it, saves women from further health complications associated with their cycle later in their reproductive life (including endometriosis, fibroids, cysts, and uncomfortable menopause.) Acupuncture boosts the body’s natural response and encourages homeostasis. The primary difference between an Oriental Medical approach and an Occidental Medical approach is that Oriental Medicine looks for and addresses the root cause of a problem verses the Western approach to treat symptomatically with pharmaceuticals or surgery. Each method has its place in medicine. It should be noted that Eastern and Western Medicine can be complementary when used together and if surgery is the best treatment for a patient; acupuncture works very well to boost immunity pre and post operatively and it works to reduce the inflammation that occurs from surgery. The best thing for women who suffer from menstrual concerns is to become informed about the choices that are available. One of the biggest steps for many women is taking control of her body. From an emotional stand point a woman who feels powerless also becomes weak and imbalanced. An empowered woman is a healthy, vibrant woman.

February 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm
(2) Acupuncture Leeds says:

The problem with proof in the ‘scientific sense’ is that it involves a double blind – this would involve using placebo acupuncture – this is inherent with problems – after all, what sham acupuncture can equate to a placebo? In this sense, we will only be able to suggest (hopefully strongly) that it is good for these symptoms.

November 5, 2011 at 7:10 pm
(3) a4891437 says:

I’ve said that least 4891437 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

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