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Can Acupuncture Relieve Menstrual Cramps Pain?

Updated on December 24, 2010

Acupuncture is a healing art that has been used for hundreds of years. The way that it works is that the acupuncturist inserts needles into the body at certain points along what is known as the body’s meridian. This alters the flow of energy in the body, relieving pressure in certain parts of the body and promoting healing. Acupuncture can be used to treat many different health problems. One of the most common problems that people use acupuncture to treat is pain. One form of pain that a lot of women want a cure for is menstrual pain. Could acupuncture be that cure?

One new study

This is a very popular topic right now because a new research review has been released that indicates that women may experience relief from menstrual pain as a result of acupuncture. The research review, completed by South Korean researchers, studied the effects of acupuncture across twenty seven different studies. This provided a comprehensive look at the benefits of acupuncture for women experiencing menstrual pain. Ultimately, the result of this review was that acupuncture is a promising treatment for women suffering from pain due to their periods.

Although the review was promising, many medical professionals are saying that the review shouldn’t be taken seriously. That’s because there were some questionable aspects of the review. For one thing, there was some question as to the validity of a few of the studies used in the review. These were not all blind studies; sometimes the women knew what was going on which can affect their ability to report back accurately on the results of the treatment. For another thing, the review reveals conflicting results between some of the studies.

What does this mean about whether or not acupuncture is a valid method of treating menstrual pain? Well, it means that the research itself may be unreliable in this case. However, it points to the fact that there are several studies out there which do suggest that menstrual pain may be resolved by acupuncture treatment. The review itself doesn’t provide conclusive evidence that this is true but that doesn’t mean that it’s false either.

So should you try acupuncture for relieving menstrual pain?

There are many good reasons for considering the use of acupuncture for treating menstrual pain. Those reasons include:

· Some studies do show it to be an effective treatment. Just because this one review had some questionable attributes doesn’t mean that the studies themselves were problematic.

· Some women report benefits. Even if you don’t look at these studies, you can see from the testimonials of women acupuncture patients that there are reports of the pain of cramps being resolved by acupuncture. This means that it does help some women and could help you. In fact, the National Institutes of Health actually recommend acupuncture as a supplemental or alternative treatment for the pain that is associated with menstruation.

· Acupuncture is known to relieve pain in general. Acupuncture has been found to be an effective treatment for pain of all kinds. This may mean that it can help relieve your menstrual pain.

· Acupuncture may be safer and more effective for you than other options. There are many different methods of relieving the pain that is associated with your period. Taking certain birth control pills or pain medication is one option. Using natural cures like herbal medicines, aromatherapy and meditation are other options. Acupuncture may be safer for you than some of the more traditional treatments for pain especially if you are someone who doesn’t like the idea of taking prescription pain medications. Acupuncture may be more effective for you than other alternative treatments such as meditation.

· Acupuncture can’t hurt. Even if acupuncture doesn’t relieve the pain of your menstrual cramps, it’s an alternative medical treatment that isn’t going to harm you. That means that it is at least worth a try, right?

Is acupuncture enough on its own?

One of the things that you will want to figure out as you try to use acupuncture for treating your menstrual pain is whether it should be a solo cure or a supplemental treatment. First, you do want to check with a medical doctor to make sure that the pain associated with your period isn’t related to a more serious underlying condition. If you find that everything is normal then you can proceed to use acupuncture as a treatment for the pain. Whether to use it as a solo treatment or a supplemental treatment is up to you but it’s something that you can discuss with your acupuncturist as well as with your doctor.

One option is to use prescription or over-the-counter pain medication in conjunction with acupuncture. You may find that over time the acupuncture relieves the pain enough for you to reduce or discontinue your other medication. You may find that acupuncture works for you most of the time and that the pain medication is just something to keep on hand as a back-up alternative.

Another option is to use acupuncture in conjunction with other forms of alternative medicine. Many women find that changing their diet and exercise patterns during their period can relieve a lot of the pain that they are experiencing. Combining acupuncture with this type of approach can result in complete relief of your symptoms.

You may find that you need to play around with different options until you find the right solution for you. Listen to your body. Keep your healing practitioners aware of the changes that you are making and the effects that those changes have. Trust yourself; the solution is out there.


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  • profile image

    Vivienne 5 years ago

    @Lyria: I have tried accupuncture for menstrual pain and it's worked very well for me! I used to take lots of Tylenol just to barely function, and now I only feel a bit of backache when my period does hit. It's a huge improvement. My accupuncturist said that the best time to get treatment was when you're in pain, because it's then that he could get the best assessment as to what to treat for the pain. (I had 3 sessions done in total, 2 during the same period and one two months later) and haven't had to take any painkillers for half a year at least.

  • profile image

    acupuncture marketing 6 years ago

    Great hub. A very informative one.

    If you do any menstrual irregularities, you might consider acupuncture and herbal therapy as a safe and effective form of treatment.Acupuncture is extremely effective at treating menstrual disorders including: painful periods, irregular periods, amenorrhea and PMS.

  • dynamag profile image

    dynamag 7 years ago

    Nice info. We need to do more research in all these forms of treatment. There will be benefits that arent visible initially, I am sure. I learnt a lot about acupuncture from here

    Thanks for a very informative hub

  • profile image

    cardone 7 years ago

    Excellent hub with good information!

    I also tried a natural magnet therapy for two consecutive months with my 15 years old daughter and the results were astonishing. The menstrual pain were gone! Info is available at

  • Katrina Ariel profile image

    Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

    Great hub! I find acupuncture so helpful in my own approach to personal health. I'm blessed with a close friend who is a TCM, and any time I have concerns I see her. It has been super effective for me.

  • sheila b. profile image

    sheila b. 7 years ago

    I like the way you tell about other treatments, also.

  • katiem2 profile image

    katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

    Exactly, wouldn't before be best? Good Hub! Peace :)

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Nice information. Every woman should know about this. Acupuncture still the best for natural remedies. thank you very much

  • Lyria profile image

    Lyria 7 years ago

    Hi Kathryn, your article had me wondering if a woman needed to get the acupuncture treatment while she was having menstrual cramps or if the treatment could be given at other times with the same effect. Great info!