Do You Experience Painful Periods?

Apr 19, 2022

Do you experience painful periods? You are not alone. The biggest myth of all when it comes to women’s health is that PMS and cramping are normal, and there’s nothing you can do about it. More than 80-percent of women report significant PMS and menstrual cramping, which makes those conditions incredibly common, but they are NOT normal. You’re probably thinking, “not my cramps!” Yes, your cramps too. Every aspect of your menstrual cycle—the length, volume of blood, colour of blood, timing of ovulation, basal body temperatures, PMS, and cramping—gives you important information about your health and provides a valuable feedback mechanism to measure your progress in getting healthier.

Today, 30% of Australian woman visit a traditional medicine practitioner before going to their GP. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been helping woman for thousands of years to balance hormones, regulate cycles and relieve symptoms that have been perceived by some as ‘normal’. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are energy medicines and work by activating the energy (Qi) that circulates through the reproductive area and in doing so the energy leads the blood to flow smoothly and promotes a nourishing effect in all areas. If the area of your lower abdomen feels cold to touch it warms and if the area is too hot, it nourishes and cools so when its time for your period to arrive the blood is flowing well, fresh without clots and the pain you have been experiencing is no longer a problem.

Understanding your natural body signs and regulating your cycles with healthy lifestyle choices, adequate rest and reduced stress, eating a diet full of organic whole foods and moderate exercise can get you well on the way to becoming PMS free and a healthy menstrual cycle that you have been dreaming of. Acupuncture and herbal medicines may also help you to achieve natural rhythms and regulate your hormonal fluctuations and reduce other common PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, mood changes, irritability, migraines, fatigue, cravings, anxiety, and insomnia as well as the pain and cramping that has had you reaching for the hot water bottle each month. What you can be sure of is, that these symptoms are not something to just put up with or cover up by taking the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) or by popping pain relief. This is not a cure.

Commonly, symptoms return the next month or when you stop the OCP or worse still your cycles are completely disrupted and your period doesn’t return. Here’s what a health cycle looks like: A regularly occurring period that comes about every twenty-eight days. That period should include four days of bleeding in which you soak a tampon, pad, or menstrual cup every four hours, not more or less. You shouldn’t have any cramping or spotting. If you’re tracking ovulation, you should be ovulating on cycle day fourteen, and you should notice abundant, stretchy “egg white” cervical fluid on or before ovulation. Also, you shouldn’t have any PMS symptoms before your next period starts.

By giving yourself time to learn how to chart and understand your own cycles; with basal body temperature and cervical mucus readings for contraception or conception, this information can help you to identify what your individual cycle looks like and may go a long way in helping you to not only feel more empowered by this knowledge of your cycles but also be a helpful diagnostic tool for you and your acupuncturists to help you regulate your menstrual cycle back into a healthy balance.