For young women usually around the age of 12, they may experience dysmenorrhea for the first time. This is also the time when they usually experience their first menstruation. In about 50% of young women, dysmenorrhea may cause stomach discomfort, while 40% may suffer from extreme pain in the stomach, and the rest (10%) may experience issues in the stomach region such as endometriosis, scar tissue in the uterus, tumors, or even cancer.
For most women, dysmenorrhea causes discomfort and for some, great anguish, although it is not really a serious problem. Medical experts agree that the symptoms are caused by a change in menstrual hormones that result in blood stagnation or congestion in the pelvic walls, ovaries, and uterus.
People suffering from dysmenorrhea have pain in the lower stomach that travel to the back area. Pain starts two days before the menses and continues to be felt throughout the rest of the cycle before slowly subsiding towards the end of menses. Dysmenorrhea sufferers are liable too also experience queasiness, dizziness, headaches, and vomiting. The pain’s severity varies, and depends on the person. In certain cases, the person feels a pain so intense that she is unable to work or go about her daily routines.
Conventional Treatments for Relieving Dysmenorrhea
Western modes of treatment for dysmenorrhea usually include the use of painkillers and the warming of the lower stomach to alleviate the recurring pain. In severe cases, doctors recommend hormonal contraceptives. The use of hormones to alleviate the pain has so far, been unsatisfactory.
Acupuncture is An Ideal Alternative Treatment in Lieu of Medication
Drugs can affect the midbrain blocking pain signals before they reach the brain. The problem with drugs, however, is that it is unable to enhance the flow of blood. The pain comes back after the effects of the hormonal contraceptives have subsided. The person therefore, needs to take the medicine continuously. Moreover, if you use hormonal contraceptives it may lead to undesirable side effects. Acupuncture, on the other hand, helps boost blood circulation and relieves the symptoms of endometriosis.
Acupuncture Has the Capacity to Relieve Dysmenorrhea Symptoms
Acupuncture is known in the realm of alternative medicine to be a viable method for relieving dysmenorrhea, because it is able to balance and rectify the hormones. Besides that, it helps relax the muscles of the ovaries and pelvic wall, remedies blood stagnation and congestion, and boosts blood circulation around the pelvis. Essentially, acupuncture is able to provide long-term relief from the symptoms of dysmenorrhea.
Main Procedures and Application of Acupuncture in Reading for the Dysmenorrhea Treatment
During an acupuncture procedure, the acupuncturist inserts needles into specific acupoints for 30 minutes in various parts of the body. This is to activate the neurotic system, which may be found, in a number of areas in the body, including the lower stomach, legs, and arms. The doctor will tell the patient to go to his office a couple of weeks before the start of her menstrual cycle. Acupuncture treatment is given two times a week to help ameliorate or prevent the pain. The frequency of the treatment and the number of needles to be used will depend on the severity of the pain. For mild symptoms, a few sessions will be enough. For severe dysmenorrhea cases however, laparoscopy or hormone therapy may be needed.
Acupuncture for Dysmenorrhea, Before, During and After Treatment
To prepare for your acupuncture treatment you need to:
o Eat in moderation
o Get adequate sleep
o Dress comfortably for the treatment
During treatment, a couple of possible conditions may occur:
1. You may feel some tenderness in the body points where the acupuncture needles are inserted
2. You may feel electrical currents flowing to the meridians. This is due to the acupuncturist inserting needles near a nerve. The needles need to be inserted for 20 to 30 minutes to get the best results. Also, the acupuncturist may massage the patient by electric current (using weak electrical currents to avoid electrical shock) or by hand. The patient during the procedure is advised to flex the muscles where the needles have been stuck to avoid the needles from getting caught in the muscles. This may not be a dangerous thing but when the needles are removed, the point may bleed and feel painful. Afterwards, the patient can move her body slightly and will be told by the practitioner to relax her muscles. But in case problems such as breathing difficulty, chest aches or dizziness arise, the patient needs to tell her acupuncturist about it immediately.
Post Acupuncture Treatment
o You need to rest completely for one full day
o Avoid taking a bath or shower until a couple of hours after the treatment.
o Drink warm water
o Before you leave, let your acupuncturist know if you’re experiencing problems such as intense pain, swelling, or bleeding so that your acupuncturist can remedy these problems before you go home.
Extra care should be given by acupuncturists for the following patients:
o Patients suffering from an unknown condition or are diagnosed with a condition of unknown origin
o Patients who have had surgery
o Pregnant women with dysmenorrhea
o Patients with blood clotting abnormalities and blood disease
o Cancer patients who have not been treated with Western conventional medicine
How would I know if I am suffering dysmenorrhea symptoms?
Answer: If the pain escalates, you will know. When your period has arrived, you may typically experience mild pain but you still can work. But if you experience intense pain that it requires a painkiller or injections to control the pain, then you are most likely suffering from dysmenorrhea.
Can acupuncture completely cure dysmenorrhea and not merely relieve its symptoms?
Answer: Acupuncture is able to balance and rectify the hormones. Besides that, it helps enhance the flow of blood around the pelvis where the ovaries and uterus are located and also relaxes the muscles of the ovaries and pelvic wall and resolves blood stagnation and congestion. In some cases, all these are enough to bring about a complete cure.
Is it bad to get acupuncture treatment very often?
How long does a treatment session last?
Answer: a typical acupuncture procedure can last for 20 to 30 minutes; but if the condition of the patient is severe, the treatment time may take a bit longer.
Is it safe to have acupuncture treatment if I have menses?
Answer: It is safe to undergo acupuncture during your menstrual cycle to help relieve the pain.