Acupuncture for Cramps

Menstrual Cramp Relief

Menstrual cramp relief strategies and methods depend on the severity and underlying cause of your pain. If PID or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are causing your pain, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection.

Menstrual Cramps

Listed below are the most common remedies used for dysmenorrhea treatment:

Medications for menstrual cramp relief.

Listed below are medications that are ideal for Dysmenorrhea treatment

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). You can find these drugs over the counter or get prescription-strength NSAIDs from your doctor.
  • Antidepressants are sometimes prescribed to help lessen some of the mood swings associated with dysmenorrhea.

What is dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps, occurs when the uterus contracts strongly during menstruation. The contraction of the uterus helps to expel its lining (endometrium) and clots out through the vaginal opening.


Why has acupuncture for cramps become the most popular treatment choice worldwide? According to a study in the Journal of Pain Research, 84.1% of women suffer from menstrual pain (cramps) to varying degrees, and at least one in four women experience distressing pain that requires medication and disrupts their daily activities.

Cramps—just that word makes women shudder. This is why most of them got acquainted with Tylenol, Midol, and whatever other painkiller was in the medicine cabinet.

 Dysmenorrhea refers to the pain and cramps that women experience during menstruation. More than half of the women experience some pain for 1-2 days during their menses. However, for some women, the pain is so severe that it interferes with their normal activities for several days a month. There are two types of dysmenorrhea:

Primary dysmenorrhea:

  • This occurs during your menarche (the first start of your period) and continues throughout your life. It may cause severe and frequent menstrual pain due to abnormal or severe uterine contractions.

Secondary dysmenorrhea:

  • Any underlying medical conditions, such as pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis, are what cause it to start later in life.

Prymary and secondary dysmenorrhea

Causes of dysmenorrhea

It’s not always possible to identify the cause of painful menstrual periods. Some people are just at a higher risk of having painful periods.

These risks include:

  • Having a family history of painful periods
  • Smoking
  • Having heavy bleeding with periods
  • Having irregular periods

A hormone called prostaglandin triggers muscle contractions in your uterus that expel the lining. These contractions can cause pain and inflammation. The level of prostaglandin rises right before menstruation begins.

The causes of dysmenorrhea include

  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). One to two weeks before menstruation starts, the body experiences hormonal changes that result in PMS, a common condition. Symptoms typically go away after the bleeding begins.
  • This is a painful medical condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other parts of the body, usually on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or tissue lining the pelvis.
  • Fibroids in the uterus. Fibroids are noncancerous tumors that can put pressure on the uterus or cause abnormal menstruation and pain, though they often don’t cause symptoms.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Sexually transmitted bacteria that cause inflammation of the reproductive organs and pain frequently cause PID, an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.

Symptoms of dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps?

Listed below are some of the symptoms of dysmenorrhea

  • Aching pain in the abdomen (pain may be severe at times).
  • A feeling of pressure in the abdomen.
  • Pain in the hips, lower back, and inner thighs.

Natural menstrual cramp relief.

A natural treatment for dysmenorrhea is another form of scientifically proven treatment that is effective and causes no side effects. Listed below is a natural treatment for dysmenorrhea.

Heavy and painful periods natural treatment

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine for menstrual cramp relief

Acupuncture for dysmenorrhea is a natural treatment for dysmenorrhea that can help relieve menstrual cramps. This ancient Asian healing method is thought to relax the nervous system, allow more blood to flow to internal organs, and quell inflammation.

Herbal teas: natural and safe menstrual cramp relief

Certain herbal teas may help relieve menstrual cramps. Herbal teas are natural remedies for dysmenorrhea that have been used by menstruating women in numerous cultures for centuries. Chamomile and peppermint teas are often recommended for menstrual pain because they are calming to the body. Other teas associated with dysmenorrhea are those made from cramp bark, ginger, or fennel.

Herbs for menstrual cramps

Homeopathic remedies for dysmenorrhea: #1 dysmenorrhea treatment

Homeopathic remedies for dysmenorrhea address the underlying cause of dysmenorrhea and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat dysmenorrhea that can be selected based on the cause, sensations, and modalities of the complaints.  The patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor for individualized remedy selection and treatment.

Homeopathic remedies for menstrual cramp relief

Listed below are homeopathic remedies for menstrual cramp relief

  • Chamomilla: This homeopathic remedy for dysmenorrhea is indicated when the person’s mood and nerves are so sensitive that pain seems almost unbearable.
  • Cocculus: This remedy is indicated when a woman has cramps or pressing pain in the pelvic or abdominal region, along with weakness or dizziness.
  • Caulophyllum thalictroides: This remedy relieves menstrual cramps at the onset of periods with scanty flow.
  • Colocynthis: This remedy relieves abdominal and menstrual cramps that improve from bending over, applying strong pressure, and applying heat.

Acupuncture for menstrual cramp relief Outside of China

But maybe we Westerners should think outside the box when it comes to beating this type of pain.

What about acupuncture? Many individuals swear by it and use this ancient Chinese method for ailments such as fibromyalgia, headaches, low back pain, and, yes, even menstrual cramps.

Many symptoms accompany a period. Normal menstruation usually has a regular cyclicity, a consistent flow pattern, and a minimal amount, if any, of clots. Travel, stress, trauma, and dietary changes can alter the menstrual cycle. These changes should be transient, and any persistent ones should prompt a specialist to examine a woman’s body. On the other hand, changes in the character, cyclicity, flow, and length of menstrual bleeding can manifest the reaction of a woman’s body to stress.

Acupuncture for dysmenorrhea treatment As A Part of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine, aka TCM, has both treatments: acupuncture for cramps and herbal medicine for menstrual cramps. Menstrual cramps occur due to stagnation of blood flow, depriving the pelvic region of adequate oxygen, nutrients, and waste removal, causing ischemia. Acupuncture for cramps and herbal and dietary treatments focus on enhancing blood flow through the pelvic area. Acupuncture for cramps treatment protocol will vary from person to person, depending on the diagnosis. The impairment of blood flow may occur due to cold, heat, dampness, deficiency of blood or qi, or some combination thereof. Often, people try over-the-counter herbal remedies for this problem and find no relief because they didn’t get one that treats the actual cause of the disorder.

Acupuncture for Menstrual Cramps Relief

Acupuncture for cramps may help alleviate symptoms such as pain, profuse bleeding, and fatigue, which affect up to half of all young women’s populations. An extensive review of past studies has found the high effectiveness of acupuncture for cramps in women of all ages. In February 2010, the Reuters news service reported on the findings of a review of 27 studies involving nearly 3000 women with menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea). Simply put, acupuncture “involves the insertion of extremely thin needles in your skin at strategic points.” It is a practice that began thousands of years ago in China. Here in the West, we have adopted this technique to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue.

Auricular acupuncture for menstrual cramp reliefFor some, acupuncture for cramps seems to help the body decrease pain and heighten blood flow.

  • It is painless. Acupuncture needles are fine and painless, even if they are deeply inserted into the skin. Even patients who are afraid of needles report little discomfort.
  • Minimal side effects. Some patients may experience slight bruising or brief lightheadedness.
  • A legitimate alternative to drugs. Acupuncture attempts to release natural healing and pain-killing mechanisms in the body so that you can avoid using drugs that may upset the body’s energy.

The World Health Organization considers acupuncture for cramps (dysmenorrhea) to be a safe and effective treatment. We have personal experience and good success in relieving painful periods using both acupuncture for cramps and herbal medicine.

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Treatment for menstrual cramp relief in Philadelphia

In the end, does acupuncture for cramps help? Should you try it if you are seeking to get rid of or decrease painful cramps? The answer is, why not? The risks are very low, especially if you don’t have a bleeding disorder or a pacemaker, and if the doctor you pick is qualified, ask your family doctor or your OBGYN for a referral. While many have found this practice extremely helpful, keep in mind that it may not be for you or give you the results you seek. Ask your acupuncturist and find out if acupuncture for cramps is your best choice for treatment.

Menstrual pain relief

At the Philadelphia Acupuncture Clinic, Victor Tsan, MD, and a team of licensed professionals deliver different alternative strategies for this medical disorder. Being an experienced acupuncturist, homeopath, and hypnotherapist at the same time, Doctor Tsan uses a combination of these methods, and, as a result, most of the women who get treatment at this facility become cured forever.

“Holistic medicine does not relieve the pain; it cures the disease. In most cases, dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps appear as a result of a hormonal imbalance in a woman’s body. When we can diagnose and pinpoint which group of hormones is out of the equation, we can fix and cure it forever,” Dr. Tsan says.

If you are living in the City of Brotherly Love and suffer from dysmenorrhea, contact our clinic at 267-314-7575 to schedule your appointment for evaluation and treatment.