To better understand period cramps, it is important to look at the whole picture. Premenstrual Syndrome (period cramps) in most women occurs monthly every 28-35 days, accompanied with specific signs and symptoms that can appear seven to fourteen days before menstruation begins, and then disappear after the onset of the menstrual flow.
Often times period cramps is due to hormonal fluctuations, other factors such as stress, an improper diet, lack of exercise and sleep, and a sedentary lifestyle can increase the symptoms. Some women who complain of period cramps exhibit as many as four to ten symptoms one to two weeks prior to menstruation, their lives—from relationships with family and friends, to work productivity and the ability to appreciate their own bodies—may become diminished.
You may be at increased risk for period cramps if you;
Have high Stress levelsNutrition habits are poorIf you take birth control pillsDo not get enough exerciseHad a difficult pregnancyHave a family history of depression
Some Helpful Options For period cramps
In treating period cramps, Western medicine recommends diet and lifestyle changes along with prescribing medications that alter the levels of progesterone and estrogen (birth control pills), antidepressants that affect mood and emotions. Although prescription medications can sometimes bring immediate relief, they unfortunately do not address the underlying cause of period cramps, and they can cause unwanted side effects that may mimic period cramps symptoms. In Chinese medicine, the root cause of period cramps is usually an imbalance or blockage of Qi, (pronounced “chee”) or vital energy, and blood within specific organ and meridian systems. When Qi and blood become imbalanced or blocked, symptoms and signs associated with period cramps will appear
A Natural Approach To period cramps
Acupuncture can address period cramps symptoms naturally, without medication, by restoring balance and harmony, both physically and emotionally. In 1997, the National Institute of Health (NIH) issued a report that suggested acupuncture is effective in the treatment of menstrual cramps, and other symptoms associated with period cramps.
An Acupuncturist will investigate the underlying causes leading to period cramps symptoms. After a thorough diagnostic consultation, they treat period cramps symptoms according to each individual patient’s imbalances and concerns.
By inserting fine, sterile needles into specific points on the body, an Acupuncturist is able to stimulate and activate the movement of Qi and blood. When Qi and blood begin to travel freely throughout the body, balance and normal function are restored and period cramps symptoms are alleviated. Acupuncture restores irregular period and provides deep relaxation to help reduce stress, ultimately encouraging and supporting greater health and well-being of both body and mind.
It is important to recommend lifestyle changes such as eating a nourishing, whole foods diet, getting regular exercise and sufficient sleep, supplementing the diet with vitamins and herbs, and practicing deep relaxation exercises such as meditation and yoga.
Whether you suffer from period cramps symptoms on an occasional or a monthly basis, Acupuncture and Herbs can offer a safe, natural and effective approach to relieving your symptoms.