Dr. Tiejun Tang
Period pain is an unavoidable nightmare for a large number of girls and women. Statistics show that over 50% of menstruating women suffer from dysmenorrhoea. (Dawood, 1993) In most mild cases the pain lasts approximately 24-48 hours. Many girls do not realise more can be done to alleviate period pain. Most accept that their period should always be painful and do not seek treatment. In some severe cases the pain can be much longer and worse, which can result in absenteeism, fainting, or even shock.
Usually, conventional medicine use painkillers, prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors or oral contraception pills to treat period pain. These types of medications can temporarily relieve the pain, but if used long term it can cause side effects in the digestive system and central nervous system.
Is there any method that can release the period pain from the Root without causing side effects? Traditional Chinese Medicine is a very good choice for period pain.
Chinese Medicine believes that period pain can be due to Qi Stagnation, Blood Stasis, Cold Coagulation, and Kidney and Liver Deficiency. Different cases may have a different pathology change and so different treatment principles are applied in various conditions.
If the pain often begins before the period, it indicates more Qi Stagnation. In this condition we can use: Xiangfu (Rhizoma Cyperi), Zhiqiao (Fructus Aurantii), and Chaihu (Bupleurum chinense DC). If the pain often occurs during the period with some clots, it indicates more Blood Stasis. In this condition we can select: Chishao (Red Peony Root), Danggui (Chinese Angelica), Taoren (Peach Seed), and Honghua (Safflower). If the pain often occurs after the period, it indicates more Blood Deficiency or Kidney Deficiency. In this condition these herbs are called for: Danggui (Chinese Angelica), Jixueteng (Caulis Spatholobi), and Xuduan (Radix Dipsaci). If the pain can be relieved by warmth and gets worse by cold stimulation, it indicates Cold Obstruction. In this condition we can use: Xiaohuixiang (Foeniculum vulgare), Wuyao (Lindera aggregata), and Rougui (Cinnamomum cassia).
As well as the use of Chinese herbs, acupuncture is also very effective if the correct points have been selected. Commonly used points are: Guanyuan (RN4), Zhongji (RN3), Guilai (ST29), Sanyinjiao (SP6), Taichong (LV3), Shenshu (BL23), and Ciliao (BL32). Moxibustion is applicable for pain due to the Cold Obstruction.
The ideal time to begin treatment is few days before the period. After 2-3 cycles most cases will see a significant improvement or total alleviation of the menstrual pain. The lower abdomen and lower back must be kept warm during the period, as it is very important for the prevention of period pain.
Women do not need to tolerate the terrible menstrual pain every month. Chinese Medicine can help say goodbye to period pain.
Dawood, M. Y. (1993). ‘Dysmenorrhea’. Current Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 3, (4), P, 219-224.