Acupuncture for Period Pain & PMS, PCOS and other menstrual irregularities
Studies have shown that acupuncture can help period pain by significantly reducing the intensity of the pain and the length of time for which it is experienced.
Acupuncture for Period Pain & Gynaecological Symptoms
- Period pains & related symptoms
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCO/PCOS)
Can acupuncture help with period pain?
Period pain (aka dysmenorrhea) is a debilitating condition for many women, particularly younger women.
There is good evidence to show that acupuncture is very effective for reducing the intensity of menstrual cramps and the length of time the pain is experienced. Unlike painkillers it doesn’t just treat the symptoms as they occur, but has an effect to lessen period pain for future cycles.
At your first session your acupuncturist will take a detailed case history to establish exactly what’s going on for you physically and mentally. Hormonal variations can cause other problems such as:
- Bloating, breast tenderness and fluid retention
- Mood swings
- Food cravings
- Digestive irregularities
As holistic therapists we target these conditions as part of your treatment. Your acupuncture is tailored to suit you at each stage of your cycle. It’s recommended that you come for a course of 6 sessions in order to get the most benefit from the treatment.
Acupuncture for premenstrual syndrome/PMS
Many women experience mood swings during their menstrual cycle, but a significant percentage of women experience significant feelings of depression, anxiety and irritability. Symptoms associated with PMS include:
- Depression, feeling hopeless or guilty
- Irritability/persistent anger
- Poor concentration
- Fatigue, food craving or increased appetite
- Sleep disturbance
- Feeling out of control or overwhelmed
- Headache and body aches
- Swelling/bloating/weight gain
These symptoms occur as part of a whole body pattern. Your acupuncturist will not just focus on your mood, but will aim to reduce physical and mental symptoms as part of the same treatment strategy.
Can acupuncture help with PMS?
The cause of PMS is unknown but it is influenced by fluctuations of hormones in the brain. Acupuncture can alter the brain’s mood chemistry, reducing serotonin levels and increasing endorphins, which can help to combat negative emotional states.
Endometriosis is a common condition characterised by pain during the period. The pain is caused by endometrial tissue that has migrated outside the uterus. This is often found around the the ovaries and intestines, but it can be found in other places as well. Endometrial cysts form in these areas, and the pain can be severe.
Once endometriosis is established, it is hard to treat with acupuncture alone, but it can be used in combination with specialist nutrition, herbal medicine and western medical treatments.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a common hormonal condition estimated to affect up to one third of UK women. It is often characterised by an irregular menstrual cycle. It can sometimes become apparent when women come off the oral contraceptive pill after many years.
PCO is diagnosed when there 20 or more follicles are seen on an ovarian scan – these are harmless fluid filled sacs surrounding immature eggs. For many women with PCO, the menstrual cycle becomes lengthened, but it can be short or simply irregular. One of the most common effects of polycystic ovaries is therefore to disrupt fertility.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (POCS) is associated with excess androgens (male hormones) in the blood stream. Issues with insulin balance are also common and these imbalances can lead to symptoms such as acne, excess hair growth and weight gain.
Can acupuncture help with PCOS?
We take a full case history for our PCOS clients and look for patterns, which enable us to treat your whole system. Although this condition seems to centre on the ovaries, the mechanisms in the development of PCOS are complex and systemic. There is disruption in the hormonal axis between the hypothalamus and pituitary (in the brain) and the ovaries; sometimes the thyroid gland is affected. It is also common to for blood sugar levels to be imbalanced. Our treatment strategy will vary from person to person according to the pathway and symptom picture.
Using Chinese medicine we look at the body and mind as a whole system – no single part can be understood except in relation to the whole. We aim to treat both the root and the symptom.
Acupuncture is a safe treatment for PCOS, and studies have found it can help:
- Increase blood flow to the ovaries
- Reduce ovarian volume and the number of ovarian cysts
- Reduce cortisol levels and reduce stress
- Improve pregnancy rates in patients with PCOS undergoing IVF
- Improve metabolic function of patients with obesity-type PCOS
For Period Pain Relief