Abdominal pain caused by menstruation
Dysmenorrhea, also known as painful periods or menstrual cramps, is pain experienced prior to/during menstruation. This is a common sight in gynecology.
The symptoms are bloating and pain in the abdominal/breast/chest areas, during, pre, and post menstruation period. Pain experienced pre-menstruation is usually due to accumulation of pathogenic cold, during menstruation is usually due to stagnation of Qi and blood, post-menstruation is usually due to Qi and blood deficiency.
Overview of Moxibustion
Moxibustion is a type of heat therapy in which ‘moxa’ is burnt near the surface of the skin, at specific areas of the body, for preventive and curative purposes. This method of heat therapy triggers excess blood supply at the parts of the surface of the skin and the expansion of capillaries. This improves blood and lymphatic circulation, leading to high metabolic capacity, accelerating the absorption and dispersion of inflammation, adhesion, exudate, and hematoma. Ultimately, it helps to promote the absorption of the medication into the body.
Principles of Moxibustion
1. Moxibustion makes use of burnt ‘moxa’ at specific acupoints to treat diseases, and helps to replenish the Yang and Qi, warm and invigorate the flow of the meridians and the collaterals, disperse the stagnation and blockage. Moxibustion can be used to treat or maintain one’s health, these benefits are dependent on the acupoints chosen for this treatment.
2. The nature of ‘moxa’ is warm, good at invigorating the flow of meridian, regulating qi and blood, dispelling cold and dampness, stanch bleeding, stabilizing pregnancy. The process of moxibustion involves the burning of ‘moxa’ or other related herbs at specific acupoints. Throughout this process, it can boost the circulation of the Qi and Blood, strengthen the body, and expel the pathogens.
Using moxibustion for dysmenorrhea
Unique points on each meridian can be selected
Bladder meridian: Upper Crevice(Bl-31), Second Crevice(Bl-32), Middle Crevice(Bl-33), Lower Crevice(Bl-34), Shenshu(Bl-23)
Kidney meridian: Zhaohai(KD-6)
Conception Vessel: Guanyuan(Ren-4), Shenque(Ren-8), Zhongji(Ren-3), Zhongwan(Ren-12)
Spleen meridian: Sanyinjiao(SP-6)
Liver meridian: Qimen(Liv-14), Taichong(Liv-3)
Stomach meridian: Zu San Li(St-36), Tianshu(St-25)
Moxibustion is advised to start one week before menstruation, with four chosen acupoints to complement partial and remote acupuncture. The usual treatment duration for moxibustion involves three to four menstrual cycles. During the menstruation period, do take note of personal hygiene and nutrition. Avoid the cold, over-exhaustion, large emotional changes, as well as raw/cold food.