Around 80% of women will experience painful periods , also known as dysmenorrhoea, in the course of their lives. But women can also experience pain before their periods, during the premenstrual period, whether it's headaches, nausea, spasms, lower back pain, fatigue, low morale, stomach cramps and so on.
To relieve these pains and symptoms, menstruating people can turn to medicine with drugs, but they can also turn to more natural medicines, such as acupuncture.
If you suffer from painful periods , opt for the comfort of organic cotton sanitary pads such as the period pants.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a widely practiced therapeutic art in traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture has existed for thousands of years and means "the art of metal needles". In 2010, UNESCO declared acupuncture to be one of the world's intangible heritages.
Acupuncture involves the application of fine metal needles to strategic points on the body to re-establish the circulation of vital energy, the Qi, made up of Yin and Yang, thus ensuring good health and remission.
In fact, traditional Chinese medicine sis based on an energetic vision of lthe body, and believes that illnesses and other disorders of the human body are caused by an energy imbalance circulating via the body's meridians.
Acupuncturists place needles on precise points on the meridians (there are around 12 meridians and over 2000 points on the human body) to influence yin and yang, thus restoring the proper circulation of energy, alleviating ailments or preventing their onset.
In France, it is compulsory to be recognized and certified as a medical specialist in order to practice acupuncture, and to assure patients that acupuncturists have all the knowledge necessary to practice this discipline.
How does acupuncture relieve periods pain?
For pain related to periods, just a few sessions can help relieve it naturally and effectively. In fact, acupuncture has shown long-term results in treating both dysmenorrhea and PMS. It is therefore worthwhile having an acupuncture session during your periods or at specific times in your cycle.
How does it work? In Chinese medicine, menstrual cycle dysfunctions, as well as painful or abundant periods , are thought to be caused by an imbalance between Yin and Yang, leading to malfunction of one or more organs linked to the female cycle.
To relieve pain or regulate the menstrual cycle, the acupuncturist will stimulate one or more key points related to the female cycle. This enables women to feel better both immediately after the session and over the long term.
Several recent studies have shown acupuncture to be an effective treatment for periods pain. Acupuncture can also reduce pain over several months, even after treatment has ended.
One study has even shown that acupuncture is more effective than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in relieving menstrual pain.
How does an acupuncture session work?
During the very first session, the acupuncturist performs an assessment and diagnosis to understand the course of a woman's periods cycle pain: whether during premenstrual syndrome or during periods. This enables the acupuncturist to put into practice a personalized treatment with a precise number of needles and points to target. During this first interview, it's important to describe your pain (onset, duration, location, etc.) as precisely as possible, so that we can tailor the treatment to your needs.
Note that acupuncture can treat all the symptoms associated with periods pain and premenstrual syndrome: headaches, cramps, nausea, low morale, breast tenderness, bloating, backache, periods abundant, irregular cycle...
Afterwards, several sessions will be prescribed according to your profile. Treatments may be carried out during your menstrual period to relieve pain, or outside periods to prevent future pain and act on a long-term basis. In all cases, the acupuncturist will adapt the treatment to the phase of your cycle.
During sessions, the acupuncturist will insert thin metal needles a few millimeters under your skin, then leave them in place for the duration of the session. But he or she may also use other tools to stimulate the acupuncture points.
The acupuncturist can also advise you on lifestyle changes to help your treatment succeed. This includes diet, to rebalance the body's energies and promote the production of blood and Qi.
So, beyond simply treating the symptoms of your periods, acupuncture allows you to rebalance your body in depth, so you can live better with your periods and PMS.
Acupuncture can also be used for women taking the pill and approaching menopause.
How much does an acupuncture session cost?
On average, an acupuncture session costs between €23 and €80. Part of the session is reimbursed by Social Security.
How do I find an acupuncturist I can trust?
To find a certified acupuncturist, for example, you can contact the Association française d'acupuncture (AFA).