People comes to Acupuncture regularly probably heard about the phrase “Liver Qi Stagnation”. Liver in Chinese Medicine has broader functions than the western medicine. The most important function of the Liver in Chinese Medicine is the control of free flow of Qi (energy). That free flow of energy helps menstruation happen in time. It helps women conceive and also male functions.
Often when we are stressed, frustrated, or angry the energy flow gets blocked. People may have experienced pain in the stomach or abdomen after a row or conflict. When the energy gets stagnated it often causes pain. We call this “Liver Qi Stagnation” in Chinese Medicine. A prolonged Qi stagnation could also cause blood stagnation as blood needs the Qi/energy to push it to flow.
Women who are under prolonged stress often experience distended pain before or during the period. The amount of period blood is less than normal. And there are commonly blood clots in it. The period pain could be relieved a little after the blood clots coming out. There are often breast tenderness, fullest in the chest and mood swing before the period too.
Acupuncture is powerful in treating the period pain caused by Qi stagnation as it regulates the energy flow. In the clinic we also use herbal formula to treat Liver Qi Stagnation. The most common used herbal formula for this condition is called Xiao Yao San or variations of Xiao Yao San. We see best results when Acupuncture is combined with the herbs. If the blood stagnation gets more severe causing Endometriosis or Fibroid herb formulas to resolve blood stagnation will be needed.
If it is a mild Qi stagnation we could also make a rose bud/rose pedal tea to help with it. In Chinese Medicine Rose bud is used as a herb to relieve the stress, ease the period pain/PMT. Take 3-6 rose buds to a cup and add boiled water. Wait for it to cool down a little and then add honey to mix with it. It is beautiful, aromatic and almost like a treat. Most importantly it relaxes the nerves and provide relieve for period pains. It is recommended to drink the rose tea for a week before the period starts.