How Chinese Medicine Can Help Menstrual Cramps

How Chinese Medicine Can Help Menstrual Cramps

August 1, 2022

During her time working at the hospital in China and later at Sinosoins clinic in Montreal, acupuncturist Hong Qian has seen many female patients who suffer from menstrual cramps. In Western medicine, the medical term for that is called dysmenorrhoea and there are two types: primary and secondary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhoea is period pain without a specific cause and secondary dysmenorrhoea is caused by certain reproductive disorders like endometriosis, fibroids, etc. In Chinese medicine, period pain is treated with a personalized combination of Chinese herbs and acupuncture. In Chinese medicine, the most common causes are qi stagnation (dull achy pain, often with PMS symptoms), blood stagnation (sharp stabbing pain accompanied by dark menstrual blood with clots), or blood deficiency (accompanied by fatigue and pallor). 

Connection with the liver

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, menstrual cramps are caused by the improper circulation of blood or Qi (energy) within the liver area which is stagnating. This slows the flow of blood within the uterus, causing painful periods. Liver in Chinese medicine does not only act as a detox filter but also as an engine for blood circulation. Feelings and emotions can influence the circulation inside the liver. For instance, repressed emotions can build up pressure inside the body and the liver is bearing that pressure. Thus, mental health relates to the liver. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs work together to gently readjust the flow of blood in your body and replenish the essential energy (Qi). According to World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture has been proved to be an effective treatment for primary dysmenorrhoea.

Take birth control pills forever for menstrual cramps?

Hormonal birth control is frequently used to treat menstrual problems like cramping and PMS. Periods can be made lighter, more dependable, and less painful with birth control tablets, the ring, and the patch.

While taking hormonal contraceptive pills is a fast remedy for fast relief for menstrual cramps, taking them for long term could result in side effects for the body such as

  • Headaches 

  • Nausea

  • Sore breasts

  • Changes in your periods (early, late, or stopping altogether while on the pill or even after quitting taking the pill)

  • Post-pill amenorrhea

For these reasons, some people opt for Chinese Medicine as an alternative for treating menstruation pain from the source.