How to Alleviate Menstrual Cramps

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Acupressure DIY at Home

Menstrual Cramps or, Dysmenorrhea, is a gynecological condition characterized by mild to severe pain during or prior to the start of menstruation. Dysmenorrhea is classified into primary and secondary types. Primary dysmenorrhea is the common menstrual pain that is caused by strong contractions in the uterus that is not associated with any underlying disorders, and secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by an underlying disease, or structural abnormalities of the uterus such as endometriosis, or ovarian cysts and fibroids.

In chinese medicine, menstrual pain can be caused by numerous different reasons, most commonly categorized into four types: Qi and blood stasis, qi and blood deficiency, Yang deficiency with internal cold and Liver and Kidney deficiency.

The treatment plans depend on the symptoms and diagnosis and may differ for each individual. But no matter the cause, below are some general rules to follow to relieve mild cramping for all body types.

  • Take a warm bath
  • Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on the lower back or abdomen.
  • Avoid foods that contain caffeine and salt
  • Avoid consuming cold icy drinks
  • Avoid eating cold raw foods before and during your menses
  • Rest more and do not exert yourself
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Keep the lower back and abdomen covered up

Acupressure DIY:
These Acupressure points should be stimulated with moderate pressure and should be stimulated frequently throughout the day! Stimulate each point with your thumb and/or index finger for at least a minute before moving on to the next point!

How to Alleviate Menstrual Cramps

Try Massaging the Acupressure Points Below to Help Alleviate Menstrual Pain:

  • REN 4 (Guan Yuan) : This point is located on the anterior midline of the lower abdomen, 3 cun below the umbilicus.
  • SP 6 (San Yin Jiao) : This point is located on the medial aspect of the lower leg, 3 cun above the medial malleolus, on the posterior border of the medial aspect of the tibia.
  • LI 4 (He Gu) : This point is located on the top of the hand, on the web between the thumb and index finger. This point can be located by finding the highest point of the bulge of the muscle when the thumb is squeezed against the base of the index finger.
  • LV 3 (Tai Chong) : This point is located on the dorsal aspect of the foot, in a depression distal ot the junctions of the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones.

(See pics below)

Disclaimer: This information is intended as a patient education resource only and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem as it is not a substitute for expert professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your health care provider.

How to Alleviate Menstrual Cramps

For more information, please email info@fcim.edu

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