Occurs Acupuncture Can Help

Painful menses, or dysmenorrhea, is defined as a medical condition in which the normal menses periods are accompanied by intolerable pain that limits daily activities. Primary dysmenorrhea can occur in women from the first menses to age 19, with the pain generally occurring a few hours before the period begins. Dysmenorrhea can also start after 20 years of age and usually is related to organic illness, with pain occurring days prior to start the menstrual period.

Twenty-five percent of females have been affected by this distressful situation. This means that one in every four females is affected where time, work and activities are disrupted because of pain due to their periods. Furthermore, 67.2% of teenagers have been affected with 14% of them missing days of school.

Oriental medicine defines dysmenorrhea as a blockage of energy. Menses should be smooth and not blocked by pain. Sometimes the blockage is due to a mass obstruction that requires surgery if the mass is big. If the mass is small, Oriental medicine and acupuncture can help.

In Oriental medicine, the cause of menstrual pain is seen in a different way than in Western Medicine. It can be blamed on different conditions like emotional disorder, irregular diet, trauma or accident, overwork, wind or cold invasion, or blockage of a meridian, especially the Ren, Chong or Du channels that originate from the uterus.

When the Ren and Chong channels are blocked due to energy stagnated by excess dampness or blood stagnation, the pain usually is sharp, excruciating and averse to touch before the start of the period. When the Ren and Chong are blocked due to overwork or deficiency, pain comes or gets worse at the end of the period; this pain is dull, generalized and wants to be touched.

When the pain is due to accumulation of cold in the uterus, the pain is sharp and cramping, is located in the lower abdomen and can come with chills. The extremities are cold and curled to cover the lower abdomen. This pain usually is alleviated by heat and prefers touch and a warm feeling.

Women suffering from dysmenorrhea can be helped through Oriental medicine and acupuncture techniques to avoid having this painful, frequent, missing-lifetime menses.

By Consuelo Camarillo de Gonzalez Lic. A.C.