The Treatment of menstrual pain with Acupuncture and Herbs
Chief Complaint: Dull pain in lower abdomen prior to and during menstrual period.
Western Diagnosis: Dysmenorrhea
Medical History: This 20-year-old female(height of 5.2 feet and weight of 105 pounds) came to Acutherapy & Herbal Clinic with a main complaint of dull periodic pain in the lower abdomen prior to and during menstrual period. She began suffering from this problem since age of 13 when she had the first period. At first, she took some pain killer when the pain happened, and then, she went to MD for check up. There were no sign of any organic diseases in the pelvic cavity. At last, she decided to try the alternative medicine for this problem.
She likes eating and drinking cold things such as salad, sandwich, and cold drinks. She did not feel any other problems except dull pain. Her parents were in good health.
Questioning exam: She looked as normal person after menstruation. I used acupuncture with qigong and herbs to treat her 3 days before menstruation till 5 days’ period clear(one treatment each day x 8 days). She was treated three periodic cycles(24 times), and her pain was gone. There has been no that problem since then.
Pulse exam: described in section 7.
Tongue exam: described in section 7.
OM Diagnosis: Blood stasis due to blockage of qi.
SX: dull pain in the lower abdomen 3 days prior to and during menstruation. deep-purple blood with clots, relief of pain after discharge of clots, ecchymosis on the tongue edges, dark-red tongue and tense pulse.
Stagnancy of the liver-qi
SX:dull pain in the lower abdomen, hypochondrium, emotional depression before menstruation cycle. dark-red tongue and taut pulse in liver point.
Treatment Principle: Blood stasis: regulating the qi flow and removing blood stasis to alleviate the pain.
Stagnancy of liver qi: soothing the depressed liver to regulate the circulation of qi, promoting blood circulation to remove obstruction in the channels.
Point Prescription: Zhong ji(Ren 3), San yin jiao(Sp 6) Guan yuan(Ren 4) with qigong treatment for 20 min. each time
Herbal Formula: To treat the pain the formula Dissipating Blood Stasis Under Diaphragm modified with Chuan lian zi, Cai hu and Yu jin(soothing the depressed liver)
Lifestyle Prescription: She was suggested to eat and drink less cold things.
Results: This patient began treatment in my clinic in the spring of 1999. She got 8 treatments in the course of 8 days(3 days before menstruation till 5 days its clear). After the first 3 treatments, the patient did not feel any pain when the menstruation began. I kept treating her for next 2 cycles. So far, she has not felt any pain for 2 years.
Her pulse was back to normal(moderate force and regular rhythm)
Dark-red and ecchymosis on her tongue related to blood stasis and stagnancy of liver-qi were gone.
Synopsis: There are different syndromes of dysmenorrhea in TCM as following:
Blood stasis due to stagnancy of qi.
Stagnancy of cold and dampness.
Deficiency of both qi and blood.
Stagnancy of the liver qi.
This patient, with a diagnosis of Blood stasis and Stagnancy of liver qi, was treated with herbs and acupuncture with qigong. The result was remarkable. In my experience, TCM is very good at treating such the problem as dysmenorrhea. Combination of herbs and acupuncture is better than just one of them. Another important factor is to make a right differentiation of syndromes before treatment. The success rate of my cases in dysmenorrhea is over 95%.
Jenny Zhang R.Ac. DTCM
Acutherapy & Herbal Clinic
#200-1701 W. Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6J 1Y3 Canada