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Moxibustion Works Wonders for Menstrual Cramps. Try It Now!

Dysmenorrhea is not unfamiliar to many people, especially women who have experienced it, and they often want to avoid it. Still, the incidence of this condition is relatively high in clinical practice. As a result, it has a severe impact on the normal life of women who suffer from it.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) also has a wealth of research on dysmenorrhea in women. Today, let's discuss the effectiveness of moxibustion, an ancient Chinese medical practice, in curing menstrual cramps.

Moxibustion is a remedy for dysmenorrhea inherited from traditional Chinese medicine; it treats dysmenorrhea mainly through the unique smell of moxa leaves and warm stimulation to adjust the body's functions to achieve the relief of uterine muscle reflex spasms, antispasmodic blood circulation, and pain relief purposes. Therefore, it is remarkably effective in treating dysmenorrhea.

But one thing we need to understand is that dysmenorrhea is generally categorized into primary and secondary. After a detailed gynecological clinical examination, one fails to find the pelvic organs have obvious abnormal symptoms; the nature of her symptom is called primary dysmenorrhea, also known as functional dysmenorrhea, accounting for more than 90% of dysmenorrhea. Secondary dysmenorrhea refers to dysmenorrhea caused by pelvic organ diseases, including endometriosis, adenomyosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine fibroids, tubal inflammation, and so on. Moxibustion is widely used to treat primary dysmenorrhea, but for secondary dysmenorrhea, moxibustion alone is less effective.

Therefore, it is important to clarify what causes menstrual cramps before moxibustion. If it is a non-organic factor, just simple dysmenorrhea, the patient can find the appropriate acupoints and treat the symptoms. If the dysmenorrhea is caused by inflammation or organ pathology, it is recommended to take appropriate measures to treat it first, and then use moxibustion to regulate it, so as to treat both the symptoms and the root cause.


For example, dysmenorrhea caused by endometriosis is not effective with moxibustion alone. Patients with less severe symptoms can use the traditional Chinese medicine Fuyan Pill to relieve the symptoms of dysmenorrhea to eliminate the inflammation and then use moxibustion to regulate. Patients with more severe symptoms can use hormone drugs to cause false pregnancy or false menopause to achieve the purpose of treatment. Alternatively, a Mirena ring can be placed in the uterus, or surgery can be performed to remove the ectopic area. A hysterectomy can also be done if there are no fertility requirements. The specific treatment plan depends on the actual situation.

For the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea, moxibustion works fine, with these specific therapeutic benefits:

1. Moxibustion has a variety of effects, such as invigorating blood circulation, removing blood stasis, warming the uterus, and removing dampness and cold, which can revitalize the weakened organism with vigorous energy. At the same time, moxibustion can also suppress the organism's hyperactive situation, especially for women with uterine cold and dysmenorrhea, where there is a more significant effect of toning.

2. Traditional Chinese medicine says, "Open is not pain; pain is not open." It is believed that the blockage of the meridians mainly causes dysmenorrhea. Moxibustion for dysmenorrhea is through the unique smell of moxa leaves, as well as moxa warm stimulation, to adjust the body's functions to achieve the relief of uterine muscle reflex spasms, at the same time; moxibustion also has the effect of relieving spasm and activating blood, clearing collaterals and relieving pain.

The acupuncture points to choose from are: Guanyuan, located about 3 inches below the navel, or four horizontal fingers below the navel. The second point is Sanyinjiao, which is used very often and is also known as the female Sanli; this point is good for menstrual cramps and daily maintenance. The third point is the Foot Sanli, which is also widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. When menstrual cramps occur, many patients usually have no appetite, dizziness, or weakness; at this time, the foot Sanli point can be stimulated to regulate the spleen and stomach and improve appetite.

Generally speaking, it is recommended to start moxibustion one week before menstruation, moxibustion once a day, and insist on using it for two or three menstrual cycles can effectively improve the symptoms of menstrual cramps. After the end of the period, the patient can also continue moxibustion for a few days, which can consolidate the effect of treatment—each time moxibustion points, at least in about 20 minutes.

There are two main methods of moxibustion; one is to place 3mm thick slices of ginger on top of the acupuncture points on the abdomen, then place a small amount of moxa on the slices of ginger and ignite it with fire to apply moxibustion. This method must pay attention to the temperature of moxa to prevent burning the skin. Another method is called hanging moxibustion, which can be applied by placing a lit moxa stick near the acupuncture point.

It is worth noting that moxa is relatively hot, so care must be taken to avoid burning the skin when using moxa to treat menstrual cramps. If you feel a bit of a burning sensation on the moxibbed skin, move the moxa sticks away from a part of the skin to prevent redness, swelling, and itching.

To summarize, moxibustion has the effect of warmth, which can get rid of the cold in the body, warm the meridians, move qi and blood, warm the uterus, and regulate menstruation, and it has a perfect effect on the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. For patients, it can serve to dredge the meridians and dispel cold and yin. It can also regulate endocrine hormones, immune function, and nerve-related factors and improve uterine microcirculation, thus relieving dysmenorrhea.

Patients should also pay attention to rest during treatment, not be tired, and not eat cold, spicy, and stimulating food. Pay attention to abdominal warmth; can not catch cold, especially unsuitable for strenuous exercise. They should also not have intercourse during menstruation, or it will worsen the symptoms of dysmenorrhea. 

You may also be interested in:

Menstrual Cramps are Normal for Girls? Beware of Endometriosis

Can Cold Womb Only Cause Dysmenorrhea? It is More Harmful Than Expected

Are Painkillers Effective for Dysmenorrhea Caused by Adenomyosis?

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