Acupuncture can help balance the menstrual cycle, regulate the menstrual flow and ease pain. It may also help with symptoms associated with PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), for example, irritability, headaches, bloating, breast tenderness, emotional sensitivity and depression.
From a Chinese medicine viewpoint, irregular periods are ones that come at irregular intervals. If they are consistently late or early, they fall into a different category.
Irregularity of the cycle is always considered to be due to the energetic systems known as the ‘Liver’ or the ‘Kidneys’. These two energetic systems are responsible for the biological clock that determines the menstrual cycle.
Emotional stress such as anger and frustration can disturb the Liver Energy which will in turn lead to irregular cycles. This can also lead to Stagnation of the Blood. Acupuncture can help improve the flow of the Liver Qi and release stagnant Blood.
Overwork and having too many children too close together are seen as very depleting of the woman’s Kidney Energy which will in turn lead to irregularities of the cycle. This can be strengthened with acupuncture (amongst other things).
When treating women with acupuncture for irregular periods, we start treating weekly for the first approximately 4-6 weeks then treatments get spaced out to fortnightly and treatments are given at appropriate times in her cycle according to which pattern she is displaying. After a few months, treatment will probably either stay at fortnightly or decrease to monthly until the cycle is considered to be regular.
Maciocia, G – Obstetrics and Gynaecology Churchill Livingstone