Many women visit my clinic, to help soothe their period pain. These women can be from 14 years of age to 45 years. Sometimes the pain can be helped by taking pain killers, but some may be very severe that they have to stop menstruation through prescribed medication.
Chinese medicine believes that menstruation is a very important physical and physiological function of the body. The process of menstruation after a woman has become mature is to circulate the pelvic and lower abdomen region, balance and develop the sexual organs such as the ovaries, uterus and breasts. Having regular periods can also improve the whole body’s health condition.
I suggest that if you suffer from period pain, I believe it is best to find the cause of the period pain and fix the issue so that the body can function normally.
1. Causes and symptoms of period pain (why do I get period pain?)
Period pain is a very useful indicator of the body not functioning properly.
i) Blood stagnation
Blood stagnation is a common cause of period pain. Generally, if the body is affected by cold conditions (often drinking cold/freezing water or cold whether etc) or trauma, it may cause blood to become stagnant in the pelvic and abdomen area. When the blood becomes stagnant in this region it may form blood clots which affect blood circulation leading to period pain.
For this type of period pain the following symptoms may also be associated: sharp pain, menstruate is dark or brown, blood clots, neck pain, head aches, lower back pain, leg pain, cold limbs. In my clinic polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, fibroid uterus, migraine are also associated with this type of period pain.
If you have this type of period pain, whilst you are undergoing treatment I suggest that you should avoid eating and drinking frozen and cold things. It is also important to keep your lower back and abdomen areas warm when you have your period.If you have had any trauma to your lower body you should treat this as it may be associated with your period pain. It is also best to avoid cold interactions such as cold showers, bare feet on cold floor, drinking large amount of cold/icy water. You can use a hot water bottle to help warm your abdomen and lower back for at least 20 minutes a couple of times a day. You can also eat the following foods which may help your condition; peaches and ginger. If you would like more information about diet therapy you can see my other articles.
ii) Qi stagnation and stress
This is also a very common cause of period pain, especially in women who are students, stressful occupation or lifestyle. When people are stressed it affects the liver energy and qi and circulation. It will cause energy and qi to become stagnant. Chinese medicine considers that if qi becomes stagnant it will cause blood to become stagnant and therefore period pain.
For this type of period pain, women may suffer from the following symptoms; bloating, breast fullness and or pain before period, insomnia, vivid dreams, very emotional, PMS. These individuals may also have irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, depression, breast cysts.
I suggest that if you have this type of period pain, that while you are undergoing treatment you can slow down on your work and study time to help release the pressure. Listening to soft music can also help to relax and also yoga, tai chi, swimming and walking can also help. You should also be sleeping for at least 7-8 hrs a day. Drinking green tea, peppermint tea, bananas, oranges and celery can also help. If you would like some more information please see my diet therapy section.
iii) Qi and blood weakness
This type of period pain usually occurs in women how have a weaker body or have poor circulation thus making the flow of qi and blood very sluggish. This slows the flow of the blood in the uterus causing pain. This type of period pain is usually a dull ache, not very severe but the pain is long lasting, the menstruate is usually pale and scant. You may have the following symptoms; pallor, lethargy, dizziness, sluggish bowel movement, irregular or delayed period. These people may also suffer from; iron deficiency, low blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome.
If you have this type of period pain, I suggest that whilst you are undergoing treatment you can eat more; beef bone soup, eggs, chinese red dates. If you would like more information about what foods would be suitable for you please see my diet therapy section. I also suggest that you do gentle exercise such as walking for 30 minutes each day to improve circulation. However, while you have your period it is best to avoid doing strenuous exercise.
2.What we will do to help
i) First of all we will find out the causes of your period pain. We will do this through traditional diagnosis such as pulse and tongue diagnosis as well as taking your history.
ii) We will explain to you the causes of your period pain and suggest certain ways to help you such as herbal tablets, acupuncture, cupping, massage. All of these treatments will be constructed for your individual cause, which will make your treatment more successful.
iii) From you initial consultation we will also provide you with information about lifestyle and dietary changes to complement your treatment. This information is also very useful for the future.
I hope this information has help you now and in the future so you have a happy, healthy and comfortable life.