This article is the first in a series that explores acupuncture for fertility and the specific types of acupuncture points used at various times in the menstrual cycle.
The menstrual cycle can be divided up into four main stages
- Period time
- Follicular phase
- Luteal phase
This article starts at the beginning of the menstrual cycle discussing fertility acupuncture at period time. Over the years I have had many clients ask the question “Is it ok to have acupuncture treatment when I have my period?” My answer is always yes!
The period is classified as the first stage of the menstrual cycle. Day 1 of your menstrual cycle is the first day of full flow period blood. Period blood is formed when the old lining of the uterus is released. Over the course of each menstrual cycle the lining grows plump and rich with blood in preparation for the possibility of a pregnancy. If a pregnancy does not occur the lining is released with a period and the process of rebuilding a lining for possible implantation starts again.
The period is a time of release, descending, emptying and letting go as the blood is lost. For many women trying to conceive the period signifies a failed cycle and can be a very sad time. There can be a true sense of grief, a feeling of loss, a missed opportunity and a dreading of having to start over again. With the end of the cycle comes a new beginning too and the potential of new possibilities.
Period time is a great time to have acupuncture treatment. For anyone trying to conceive it is the first point of impact when the new cycle can be affected and enhanced. Each stage of the cycle influences the next so supporting a good period can potentially assist other stages of the cycle. Acupuncture can have profound effects on both the mind and body. Acupuncture at period time may help to balance out emotions related to disappointment of not conceiving.
There are many different acupuncture points that can be used during the period time. If you are having acupuncture for fertility treatment your Acupuncturist will choose points that are suited specifically for you based on your history and presenting health concerns. At period time these points will include acupuncture points that have a relationship with blood.
The following is a list of the types of acupuncture points that are used at period time:
- Points to address your overall health as an individual
- Points to move blood
- Points to nourish and support blood
- Points to assist period pain
- Points to aid relaxation
Acupuncture points to move blood:
There are specific acupuncture points used at period time because they have been identified in Traditional Chinese Medicine as having an ability to move blood. At period time we want blood to move down and out of the body, blood moving points are commonly used to achieve this. It is important at period time that the lining of the uterus is effectively released so a new healthy lining can grow. Blood moving points may be helpful for conditions like Endometriosis characterised by blood that becomes stuck in the body.
Acupuncture points to nourish and support blood:
There are specific acupuncture points used at period time because they have been identified in Traditional Chinese Medicine as having an ability to nourish and support blood. These points are seen as having more of a replenishing nature.
Acupuncture points to assist period pain:
There are specific acupuncture points used at period time with a goal to help prevent or ease period pain. These points can be in the local area of pain for example the lower abdomen and back or may be located away from the sight of pain. Heat is commonly incorporated with acupuncture to further relax and ease pain. Acupuncture may be a healthy alternative to pain medication at period time.
Acupuncture points to aid relaxation:
With the period comes a shift in hormone levels, as a result some women will commonly experience mood swings or unstable emotions. There are many acupuncture points used to address the mind and emotions and your Acupuncturist will commonly use them at period time. As mentioned previously for many women trying to conceive the arrival of the period can be seen as a devastating blow in the quest for a baby. Sadness, grief, anger and frustration can be common emotions experienced. Acupuncture at period time may be helpful to balance emotions, let go and help clear your mind for a fresh new cycle.
Hopefully this article has helped you understand more about the use of fertility acupuncture at period time. Without a doubt period time is an important time to address issues related to the period and help set up a positive start to the cycle ahead.