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.
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.
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: