Acupuncture Helps Relieve Menstrual Cramps

According to a recent article, new evidence finds that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is very effective in the treatment of menstrual pain.

Ze XieOne study reveals a popular herbal medicine for the relief of cramping and pain. Another study found acupuncture as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for menstrual related pain. The first and most recent study on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for the treatment of menstrual discomfort was conducted in Taiwan.

Acupuncture Relieves Menstrual CrampsThis new study finds Dan Gui Shao Yao San the primary herbal formula consumed in Taiwan for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. This type of dysmenorrhea is characterized by lower abdominal cramping and pain prior or during menstruation and is not due to endometriosis. Approximately 53% of Taiwanese women with primary dysmenorrhea use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and over 90% of this group sought the relief of menstruation related pain. The study notes that Dan Gui Shao Yao San is the most commonly prescribed herbal formula for this condition and it contains both “sedative and anti-inflammatory agents.”

The researchers made a survey of 23,118 Taiwanese women with primary dysmenorrhea. The data was derived by the National Health Insurance Research Database. The researchers documented a total of 213,249 TCM office visits for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. Over 99% of these patients were treated with herbal medicine and Dang Gui Shao Yao San (Tangkuei and Peony Powder) was the top choice. As a result, the researchers have formally recommended a study on the effects of this Chinese Medicine herbal formula.

Dang Gui Shao Yao San contains the ingredients Dang Gui, Bai Shao Yao, Chuan Xiong, Fu Ling, Bai Zhu and Ze Xie. The TCM functions of this formula are to nourish the Liver blood, harmonize the Liver and Spleen and to transform dampness. It is classically indicated for the treatment of dysmenorrhea, irregular menstruation, painful urination, edema, threatened miscarriage and lower abdominal cramping. This formula is categorized as a tonify blood formula in the TCM system and is appropriate in certain cases where the differential diagnostic patterns match the classical indications.

The acupuncture study concluded that, “Acupuncture was as effective as NSAID therapy for patients with primary dysmenorrhea.” Group 1 received NSAIDs and group 2 received acupuncture care. Both groups received treatment for one month. The NSAID group showed a 52.2% decrease in dysmenorrhea related pain. The acupuncture group demonstrated a 69.5% decrease in dysmenorrhea related pain.

Source: Health CMI