Donna guest posts today on a topic she knows well, given her experience writing for an alternative medicine clinic. She discusses how acupuncture for menstrual cramps can relieve the pain that’s often associated with female periods. Here’s Donna.
When that time of the month rolls around, most of us are willing to try just about anything for relief from the painful, uncomfortable stomach cramping accompanies it. We often turn to quick fixes like over-the-counter meds or maybe holding a heating pad on our tummy.
Although these remedies help to a certain extent, they don’t get rid of the cramps entirely, and the pain just keeps coming back. And if your discomfort is severe, those options may not help at all. Thankfully, there is a better way to get lasting relief. According to the expert acupuncturists at the Yinova Center, acupuncture can be a huge help “when it comes to relieving menstrual cramps and other period-related symptoms.”
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves inserting ultra-thin needles into the skin at specific points called acupuncture points. These points are strategically chosen according to which organ systems they stimulate in the body.
Most patients find the treatments to be very relaxing. Sometimes a slight pinch or sting is noticed as the needles are inserted, but it’s not painful, and the feeling goes away fairly quickly. Acupuncture has very few side effects as long as you see a properly licensed and experienced acupuncturist.
Why acupuncture is a better solution for menstrual cramps
We often hear about alternative healing therapies like acupuncture to relieve lower back and nerve pain. But it may surprise you to learn about acupuncture for menstrual cramps, too; it can alleviate period pain.
When you see an acupuncturist specializing in female reproductive health, they can help you find the source of your pain. The specialist then treats it in a way that provides healing and lasting relief rather than just alleviating your cramps for a short time.
How can acupuncture relieve menstrual pain?
You may find it a little hard to believe that sticking needles into your skin can do anything to help with your cramps. It turns out, though, that there’s significant scientific evidence to show that it works for some people.
Here are 4 pieces of evidence that acupuncture for menstrual cramps and related period issues works:
1. Stimulates the vagus nerve
The vagus nerve is a nerve that extends from your brain all the way to your abdominal area. Acupuncture stimulates this nerve and causes dopamine to be released.
Dopamine is a chemical that the body releases naturally. It makes you feel good and reduces inflammation throughout your abdominal area. According to this study, inflammation is the leading cause of menstrual cramps and period pain.
Another way to stimulate the vagus nerve is by using a vagus nerve stimulation device. This quality device is designed to rebalance the nervous system through a safe design and is comfortable to wear. By calming the nerves, some people enjoy better rest and digestion after stimulation.
2. Promotes blood flow
When acupuncture needles stimulate the female reproductive system, they encourage blood flow and improve circulation throughout the area. The increased blood flow reduces inflammation in the reproductive organs, relieving pain.
By helping your body relax, acupuncture enables the return of blood flow to your hands, feet, and vital organs. If you’ve had cold hands and feet for a while, it could be because of stress and, if so, seeing an acupuncturist could be the key to relaxation.
3. Regulates hormone levels
Acupuncture also helps to regulate hormone levels and reduce stress. Hormones are natural chemical substances produced by glands in your brain and elsewhere in the body; hormones travel to various organ systems in the blood to perform multiple jobs.
Acupuncture stimulates the glands that release hormones and improves blood flow throughout the body, which helps to promote optimal hormone levels. Regulated hormone levels mean a reduction in menstrual cramps and other period symptoms that lasts over time.
4. Releases endorphins
The body responds to pain by releasing endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. When acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin, your brain is stimulated to release endorphins.
This activity can relieve menstrual cramps. Endorphins also improve your mood and relieve other period-related symptoms like depression and stress.
Other benefits of acupuncture for reproductive health
Acupuncture can do more for the female reproductive system than only relieving menstrual cramps and other period-related symptoms. It also shows great promise as a less-invasive way to treat fertility issues and increase the chances of a healthy, full-term pregnancy. When used in conjunction with IVF, it may also boost the odds of getting pregnant.
Acupuncture can also be used alongside nutrition, herbal remedies, and Western Medicine to improve the symptoms of endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Many women who receive acupuncture regularly report an improvement in their overall well-being, not just in their reproductive health.
Final words on acupuncture for menstrual cramps
If you have tried over-the-counter meds and heating pads to relieve your menstrual cramps, but they’re just not cutting it, it’s certainly worth giving acupuncture a try. The medical professional will tell you if you’re a good candidate for their techniques by having an initial intake appointment. They may provide a treatment plan that works for you.
Thanks to scientific evidence, it’s safe to say that acupuncture can be a very effective way to get lasting relief from period pain and other menstrual-related symptoms. It might be the solution you’re looking for to help you feel better every month!
About today’s writer
As an experienced content creator, Donna has covered health and wellness topics for numerous publications. She is a former writer for an alternative medicine clinic and can often be found researching the latest industry approaches and trends. Donna loves sharing the insight she’s learned while on her wellness journey in the hopes that it will inspire others to pursue a healthier, more holistic lifestyle.
Have you ever been to acupuncture? What helps you to relieve menstrual cramps?