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Painful Periods



I am hoping that somebody might be able to help me. I am a member of the public, and I have been receiving acupuncture for about eight months for painful periods. Since I was quite young I have I suffered pain and fatigue with my periods to the extent that I need to take a day to two days off, I think it has become worse in the last 5 years or so, I am now 31. My question is how long I should continue to keep trying? There were some initial changes, the severity of the pain is better and the sickness and diarreah that used to accompany it changed, the flow has also been gradually becoming less with fewer clots. But I am still bed ridden during the first couple of days.

When I ask the acupuncturist about it he tells me that he thinks it will be better next time. I guess I was hoping for a more independent view. Is it worth my persisting? Do cases like this sometimes take a long time? Should I look into working with a different doctor? Or trying a different therapy? I generally lead a pretty stress free life, eat well, and exercise, and have never been on the pill.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Many thanks


Hello Kate,

Painful periods are commonly treated with acupuncture and while some cases may prove difficult to fully treat, most cases respond well within 3 cycles and within 6 in more severe cases. You are beyond both of those measures at this point.

Before I offer a more substantial opinion, could you tell me which style your acupuncturist practices (five element, tcm, etc.) and how often you are going (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.). Also if you were prescribed any herbs, Chinese or otherwise.


Hello Chad,

Thanks for getting back to me. I think my acpuncturist is Traditional Chinese Medicine. For the first couple of months I went every week, then it was about every three weeks for a couple of months. But recently it has been back to every two week. He also prescribes chinese herbs in pill form which he changes depending on the time of the month. This month he gave me some lose herbs to boil up right before my period. He varies between needling my front and my back, but more frequently he works on my front. He also uses an electric current through some of the needles and a heat lamp over my back or belly. Hope that is some help. Thanks for getting back to me.

Best wishes



He tends to needle the same points each session.



Hello Kate,

It is always difficult to comment on cases and/or practitioners where I have not seen the patient and do not have access to the complete treatment profile and medical history. That said, it sounds from what you have told me that you have a good and reasonable practitioner who has done everything he/she can for you. As you have experienced limited results, I would simply try someone else in your area. This is no judgment on the practitioner, but sometimes a different take on your case or a different application will make a difference. Most practitioners understand this and many will refer out their own patients to colleagues if they are not getting satisfactory results.

Your condition sounds relatively mild and it should be well treated with acupuncture within the timeframe I mentioned earlier.


According to your description, I have diagnosed you have what we called Excessive Yin Condition

This means you might have in the past consumed a lot of Vegetables, Cold drinks and cold food, especially during your period

How to reduce this problem?

A few days before period you should: -

Reduce vegetables
Neither COLD drinks nor food during period
Introduce as small glass of red wine per day until period complete

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