Painful Periods are very common and can range from light to moderate pain, to severe period cramps, and is known as dysmenorrhea. Acupuncture for period pain can help with alleviating pain symptoms.
Approximately 10% of females experience severe Dysmenorrhea, which can be diagnosed by its associated symptoms including:
- Severe menstrual cramps
Many young girls and women are unable to use pain killers to relieve their pain, and many prefer not to.
Evidence shows that Acupuncture relieves pain in people whether or not they use pain killers like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), making Acupuncture a sound choice for women, regardless of their choices around pain killer use. 
Whether you have the symptoms of severe Dysmenorrhea or are at the other end of the spectrum, having to suffer Period Pain to any degree each month can diminish your quality of life.
Can Acupuncture Treat Period Pain?
If there’s one thing studies into Acupuncture tell us, it’s that Acupuncture works to ease certain types of pain; symptoms of Dysmenorrhea are on the list. 
Although there’s no cure for Period Pain per se, there’s certainly a good deal that may be done to help you.
Symptoms associated with Periods include:
- Pain radiating down the inside of your thighs
- Back Pain
- Abdominal Cramps
Obviously not fun. Definitely a monthly problem we’d all love to avoid, and definitely symptoms our understanding and skilled Acupuncturists will discuss with you during your consultation.
Your practitioner may use any or a combination of Acupuncture, Acupressure and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dependent on your specific symptoms and general health.
Treatment for Period Pain
Acupuncture involves the use of very small needles being placed at points around your body to bring it into balance and treat your particular symptoms.
Generally, you will have between five and 20 needles placed across points, and they are left there for the course of your treatment, with your practitioner turning them slightly at intervals.
A report that specifically studied how well Acupoint Pressure (Acupuncture and Acupressure) compared to using NSAIDs alone  concluded it’s an effective treatment for Period Pain with the following advantages:
- Alleviated pain symptoms
- Reduced Menstrual Flow (lighter Periods)
- Fewer side effects than using pain killers such as NSAIDs
For the women in a range of studies analysed in 2018, the benefit of Acupuncture in decreasing Period Pain where no other treatments were administered was “significant”. 
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Acupuncture uses very small needles to stimulate certain acupuncture points, and some people are surprised that they don’t feel anything in a lot of areas!
However, some people can experience a little tenderness, especially in tight places. This feeling is similar to a massage therapist massaging an area with a knot in it that you didn’t know you had.
Most clients find they get used to the sensation rather quickly. After the first session, the mystery of how it will feel to you is solved!
What Happens in a Session with Your Acupuncturist?
1. Get the Proper Diagnosis
At your first visit our experienced acupuncturist starts with a relaxed yet thorough consultation so we can understand your unique concerns, and create a course of treatment which suits you best.
We use the internationally recognised MRS mini-survey, conversation and other assessment tools to understand what needs attention immediately, and in the mid to long term.
2. Find Relief with Acupuncture
From the very first visit, our gentle acupuncturist uses this soothing and healing therapy to help reduce the number and intensity of hot flushes, to help with sleep and mood concerns, to promote deep relaxation, and to support the other therapies we provide.
3. Medicine Specifically Prepared For Your Condition
Herbs play a prominent role in healing. Herbs can be dispensed as an “off the shelf” formula or our practitioners can create a formula specifically designed for you. Our clinic has over 100 herbs to suit your specific needs. Our practitioners can modify your herbal formula as treatment progresses to ensure your medicine suits your current condition.
From time-to-time, we may prescribe particular nutrients and supplements, as well as herbal medicines.
4. Walk Away With a Plan
Acupuncture is part of a holistic system of mind-body medicine, so our acupuncturist works with you to create an easy, simple plan to support you through perimenopause and into your post-menopausal years.
As each woman is different, we understand the need for flexibility and common sense.
For most women, your plan will have an emphasis on food and nutrition; for others, it will be about emotional health and well-being, good sleep and stress management.
Some women will need the help of our naturopaths to support their entire hormonal system, particularly if there is diabetes or pre-diabetes or thyroid problems.
For women struggling with aches and pains, massage, as well as acupuncture and exercise therapies, will be suggested.
From your first visit, we’re here to help you get the most out of your middle years, and beyond.
Acupuncture is widely considered a safe therapy, but occasionally, as with all therapies – conventional and complementary – results may vary, and adverse reactions may be experienced.
For those that do experience adverse reactions to Acupuncture, the most common are itchiness and soreness at the site of the needles, light-headedness, mild bruising and muscle twitching.
You’re encouraged to communicate with your practitioner, they are there for you.
 Xu. Y et al 2017, ‘Effects of acupoint-stimulation for the treatment of primary Dysmenorrhea compared with NSAIDs: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 19 RCTs’, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 17(436). doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1924-8.
 Woo, H. L., et al 2018, ‘Systematic review and analysis: The efficacy and safety of Acupuncture in women with primary Dysmenorrhea’, Medicine, 97(23), doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000011007