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How acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine may help PMT and period pain.

Research – and millennia of use — has shown that acupuncture has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, that it improves blood flow, relaxes the muscles, and stops pain.

One of the reasons for pain at period time, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, is constraint of liver* energy, as its role is to control the smooth flow of energy in the body. The emotions connected to the liver are frustration and anger, which are often experienced before the period, as in pre-menstrual tension (PMT).Therefore when the acupuncturist is dealing with this issue, they will use points on the liver meridian and will often prescribe the herbal formula whose name translates as “Relaxed Wanderer”. It is also used for general stress relief.

If, however the pain is severe and constant, a different treatment plan is devised, along with appropriate Western medicine scans and tests. Extreme levels of pain and other physiological changes can indicate the development of cysts or fibroids. This often leads to infertility. Embarking on a series of treatments when the woman is young, is ideal to try to prevent this occurring – as well as easing their pain, without having to resort to strong pharmaceutical pain killers.

Acupuncture works by regulating organ function, hormonal balance and brain chemistry helping to treat the underlying cause of dysfunction rather than masking symptoms.

Other menstrual issues may be able to be dealt with. For example, if the period is heavy or prolonged, this can make a person feel drained, sometimes so that they cannot get out of bed for several days every month. In TCM theory the spleen* is said to control the amount of blood flow. If it is too heavy or long, this means that the spleen is not working as well as it should, it is linked with emotion of worry, and overthinking. In this case points on the spleen channel will be used (among others)

If you or any female friends or family members experience any of these issues, please book in a session with Clare. We offer a 15-minute complimentary chat if you would like to find out whether we can help you.

*Organs mentioned in this report correspond to the Chinese Medicine understanding of organ function, not the western medicine concept.

Author: Clare Donnelley

Clare Donnelly is a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Herbalist and Acupuncturist who practices out of the Lane Cove clinic. If you have any questions or wish to book in with her, reach out to her on 02) 9418 9555

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