Dysmenorrhea (Menstrual Pain - Cramps)

Health Issues/Symptoms Connections

"Dysmenorrhea (Menstrual Pain - Cramps)" Issue / Symptom Connections

Below you will find various relationships to, and potential clinical treatment approaches for dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain - cramps).

It is critical to appreciate that in Chinese Medicine, treatment for "dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain - cramps)" is rarely focused on the symptoms exclusively. Alternatively, a practitioner is looking at the factors that led to the development of "dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain - cramps)" - i.e. the "cause(s)".

For non-practitioners, we recommend reading treating the "cause" and not the "symptoms" for more on the overall approach and the importance of the TCM diagnostic system in formulating treatment approaches.

Within TCM, "dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain - cramps)" is potentially related to one or more of the following diagnostic patterns: blood stagnation, liver qi stagnation, and/or spleen qi deficiency.

The above patterns are common examples. In clinical situations, however, there are any number of other possibilities. Many times there will be a layered combination of patterns in an interwoven blend with their symptoms - some being the cause of an issue and the result of another issue. While initially complex, this is illustrative of the the web of relationships that Chinese Medicine is designed to approach.

Related Acupuncture Protocols

When developing an acupuncture protocol a practitioner is very often focusing on the causal diagnoses in Chinese Medicine terms, not on the condition itself. To illustrate and guide developing an acupuncture treatment for someone experiencing dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain - cramps), this issue is referenced in the following acupuncture protocol section:

Some acupuncture points are considered "empirically" related to a specific condition or diagnostic pattern. While this would rarely, if ever, dictate the entire composition of a treatment, the following points should be considered, possibly even more so within the context of acupressure:

  • View EX Huatuojiaji at L1 (Sides of Spine at L1)

        .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes of L1

        L1 innervates and influences the adrenal gland, the testis or the vagina areas.  It is used for a range of hormonal issues including menstrual issues, PMS, fertility issues, sexual issues, etc. Used  extensively within the Tam Healing Sys…
  • View EX Huatuojiaji at S2 (Sides of Spine at S2)

        In the area around the 2nd sacral foramen, UB 32

        S2 influences the bladder and is used for a range of bladder issues, such as blood in the urine, or burning, as well as women's issues and reproductive issues. Used  extensively within the Tam Healing System and Tong Ren Therapy. May be n…
  • View EX Huatuojiaji at T9 (Sides of Spine at T9)

        .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes of T9

        T9 (Left) innervates the stomach and is used for a range of digestive issues including gas, bloating, ulcers and heartburn as well as stomach cancer. T9 (Right) innervates the liver and is used for a range of physical liver as well as liv…
  • View KD 5 (Water Spring)

        1 cun directly below KI 3 in a depression on the medial side of the tuberosity of the calcaneum.

        Generally nourishes Yin and Blood and moves the uterus. KD related menstrual issues, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea (pain/cramps), delayed menstruation, sensations of oppression below the heart (possibly at onset of menstruation). Uterine prol…
  • View KD 6 (Shining Sea)

        In a depression below the tip of the medial malleolus.

        Sore throat from any etiology, especially empty heat from yin deficiency. Other Yin Deficient throat related issues - swollen, dry, loss of voice, difficult swallowing. A range of menstrual issues such as amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, infert…
  • View KD 11 (Pubic Bone)

        5 cun below CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 2.

        KD 11, KD 12, KD 13, KD 14 & KD 15 all intersect the Chong Mai and are useful as local points for abdominal a/or gynecological issues
  • View KD 12 (Great Manifestation)

        4 cun below CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 3.

        KD 11, KD 12, KD 13, KD 14 & KD 15 all intersect the Chong Mai and are useful as local points for abdominal a/or gynecological issues
  • View KD 13 (Qi Hole)

        3 cun below CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 4.

        KD 11, KD 12, KD 13, KD 14 & KD 15 all intersect the Chong Mai and are useful as local points for abdominal a/or gynecological issues
  • View KD 14 (Fourfold Fullness)

        2 cun below CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 5.

        KD 11, KD 12, KD 13, KD 14 & KD 15 all intersect the Chong Mai and are useful as local points for abdominal a/or gynecological issues
  • View KD 15 (Central Flow)

        1 cun below CV 8, .5 cun lateral to CV 7.

        KD 11, KD 12, KD 13, KD 14 & KD 15 all intersect the Chong Mai and are useful as local points for abdominal a/or gynecological issues
  • View SP 6 (Three Yin Intersection)

        3 cun directly above the tip of the medial malleoulus on the posterior border of the tibia.

        Tonify Yin and Blood, all Spleen disorders. Digestive disorders, sinking/prolapse. Gynecological issues, male sexual issues, difficult labor (expel fetus). Menstrual issues (irregular, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea). Bleeding disorders, ute…
  • View SP 8 (Earth's Crux)

        3 cun below SP 9 on line connecting SP 9 and the tip of the medial malleolus.

        Xi Cleft Point - acute and painful menstrual issues due to Blood stagnation - clotting, fibroids, dysmenorrhea, irregular menstruation. Male infertility - seminal emission, depleted essence.
  • View SP 10 (Sea of Blood)

        With knee flexed, 2 cun above the superior medial border of the patella on the bulge of the medial portion of quadricep…

        Any Gynecological issues originating from Blood, Heat, Stasis a/or Deficiency - irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, cramping, lin disorders, PMS, uterine bleeding. Skin problems from damp-heat or hot Blood - eczema, painful/…
  • View ST 25 (Celestial Pivot)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 8.

        All intestinal issues - constipation, diarrhea, dysentary, distention, pain, masses/accumulations of any type. Irregular menstruation, painful menstruation, fibroids/cysts, fertility issues and leukorrhea. Connects the Upper and Lower Wa…
  • View ST 26 (Outer Mound)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 7.

        Abdominal pain, bloating, hernias. Menstrual issues - dysmenorrhea (cramps/painful menstruation), amenorrhea (absense of menstruation), irregular cycles.
  • View ST 28 (Waterway)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 4.

        Excess Cold/Damp Issues of the Lower Warmer - retention of urine, inflammations. Gynecological issues of an excess nature - dysmenorrhea, fibroids, cysts. Fertility issues in women, cold in the uterus. Expel either the placenta after bi…
  • View ST 29 (Return)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 3.

        Excess or Cold/Deficient disorders of the Lower Warmer - amenorrhea, irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea, qi stagnation/masses, leukorrhea. Uterine prolapse, hernia. Infertility, genital pain and/or swelling, impotence, seminal emission…
  • View ST 30 (Surging Qi)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 2.

        Upper Sea of Water & Grain Point - excess or deficient conditions of the Stomach - hypogastric pain, bloating, abdominal pain. Regulates the Intestines - borborygmus, hernia - rectal, inguinal. Regulates genitalia - swelling and pain…
  • View UB 17 (Diaphragm Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV 9, level with T7.

        Hui-meeting Point of the Blood, useful for all Blood related conditions. Classically combined with UB 19 to create the "Four Flowers" which is used to nourish the Blood, although in clinical practice UB 18 & UB 19 may used equally as o…
  • View UB 23 (Kidney Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV 4, level with L2.

        For all Kidney system related issues from a Chinese Medicine perspective which effect the brain, bone, hair, teeth a/or hearing. Male deficiency related sexual problems: impotence, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhea, sterility, exhausti…
  • View UB 24 (Sea of Qi Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV line, level with L3.

        Generally used as a local point for back pain.  General weakness in the low back and/or knees. Due to the qi moving functions in the area, may be used with hemorrhoids, dysmehorrhea and other discharges such as leukorrhea, blood stools, e…
  • View UB 30 (White Ring Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to the GV line, level with the 4th PSF.

        Local point for low back, sacrum, tailbone and/or hip pain.  Also used for hernia. Secondary point for kidney related gynecological disorders: menstrual problems, leukorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis.
  • View UB 31 (Upper Bone Hole)

        On the sacrum at the midpoint of the PSIS and the PML, level with the 1st PSF.

        UB 31, UB 32, UB 33 & UB 34 together form the "Eight Liao" points and are all useful for local low back a/or sacrum problems and most genital and urinary related disorders. Of these UB 32 is most often used clinically. As it quickens …
  • View UB 32 (Second Bone Hole)

        On the sacrum medial and inferior to the PSIS, level with the 2nd PSF.

        UB 31, UB 32, UB 33 & UB 34 together form the "Eight Liao" points and are all useful for local low back a/or sacrum problems and most genital and urinary related disorders. Of these this point, UB 32, is most often used clinically.  Sc…
  • View UB 34 (Lower Bone Hole)

        On the sarcum lateral to GV 2, level with the 4th PSF.

        UB 31, UB 32, UB 33 & UB 34 together form the "Eight Liao" points and are all useful for local low back a/or sacrum problems and most genital and urinary related disorders. Of these UB 32 is most often used clinically. Useful for cons…

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