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Old 03-21-2019, 10:01 PM #11
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Default Re: How do you feel about your period?

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Originally Posted by ennie View Post
I haven't tried it yet but thank you so much for the suggestion!

Uh, but what part of the body do they give you the accupuncture? (I'm hoping nowhere private...).
The idea behind acupuncture is that it triggers the body's own natural immune response so that the body can both defend and heal itself. Different points relate to different body parts. When I have bad menstrual pain, my doctor places extra needles across my abdomen. However, for all sessions I am basically head to toe in needles. But *no, none of the needles are near the genitals if that's where you are referring to Ennie. *No needles on or near the breasts either. it is not uncomfortable. Once they are in, I don't feel them though of course being still is important. I often meditate during my treatments.

I wear a loose top (because I prefer to breathe comfortably without a bra) and underwear under a medical gown. I usually have needles in my scalp, sometimes sides of the neck, arms, sometimes abdomen, lower legs, ankles, and feet. The placement of the needles varies somewhat each session depending on my reported symptoms and how I've been feeling for the last few days.

***Disclaimer: I am NOT certified or trained at all in acupuncture. So the info I'm giving is heavily simplified. TCM has been around and helping many for a very long time but it is unfortunately not well understood by allopaths. Part of that is due to language barriers and very different ways of explaining the body and illness. I ask my TCM doc SO many questions every time. He is extremely calm and patient and knowledgeable. I learn more about my body as I go along. We also talk about nutrition and exercise etc.

More info, since Guilloche asked. I started acupuncture in my late 30s approximately 9 months ago. I have been having regular treatments (my insurance covers thus far) 1 -2 times a week with some weeks off for scheduling or other reasons in my life. Before I started going, my periods were WILD. Every 2 weeks or 6 weeks or 3 weeks etc. All over the map! Increasing pain. Increasing flow/heaviness. Premenstrual syndrome. And terrible migraines which were triggered by different points in my cycle and kept getting worse. They were starting to scare me.

After about 2 months of acupuncture and info from my TCM doc, my migraines completely stopped. Seriously. I no longer even fill the Rx which an MD had given me years ago. It was an unpleasant Rx with dangerous side effects and I kept having to take higher doses. I'm not a big fan of drugs in general so I was ready to find another way. I am so, so glad that I did. My periods are now like clockwork!! Every 4 weeks. The bleeding is mild to moderate (was getting scary back in the day) and I have either zero pain or 1 day of moderate pain (1st day) and then zero pain.

My TCM doc is also helping me with lifelong depression and anxiety. My partner comments that I am severely depressed less often (rarely) and my moods are much more stable. I don't think I ever have PMS anymore. I should also mention that I have experienced two major life traumas in the last 18 months. So the fact that my other half thinks my moods are better is quite amazing! I feel better but I ask him as a check-in because he's more objective. I am the type of person who lives in her mind a lot, if that makes sense.

I would highly recommend acupuncture to any woman struggling with her period, PMS, anxiety and/or depression. Though you need to verify who's doing it and what their credentials are. TCM is more than just acupuncture too but that's too complex to explain here.

We need MDs for lots of things. If I ever break a bone, I will go to a MD not my TCM doc....he doesn't treat things like that. BUT I am shocked by the lack of understanding of women's bodies in the traditional MD community. They take such extreme measures (or none at all...no woman should have to suffer heavy bleeding or terrible period pain) before trying other things because they don't know any other way. I believe that TCM doctors and MDs should work together...referring back and forth as needed. Perhaps in the future?

Another note for women. There is a growing body of evidence that when women visit their MD with pain, they are often dismissed. When they go to the MD with a male partner, they are more likely to be believed. This is wrong on many levels. BUT I want to point out that my TCM doc is male and he is extremely respectful and safe. He never dismisses me in any way. I have cried during more than one session with him because of stressful events in my life. He sat calmly and gently helped me to relax. On one occasion, he picked up a fresh tissue and gently dried the tears from my eyes for me because I was distraught.

And as weird as it sounds, when the needles are in I feel so RELAXED. It's incredible sometimes. But I believe it's because they are affecting my CNS.

Thank you all for sharing. I hope you can find peace and good health...be it with a TCM doc or some other option you prefer.

Ps. forgot to mention that a different acupuncturist cured me of sinus infections about 15 years ago after only 4-5 sessions. I was amazed. I highly recommend acupuncture for folks with allergies, sinus irritation or infection, and/or post-nasal drip. Again, be careful about ENT MDs. They tend to go to extreme measures right away which cause more problems. I had friends going down that path.

Last edited by SilverTrees; 03-21-2019 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:10 PM #12
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Default Re: How do you feel about your period?

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Hi Silvertrees -

The acupuncture sounds so interesting! I'd love to hear more, if you don't mind. Like, what age range were you?

I'm in my mid-40s, and really struggling. I thought I was doing OK... in the last couple of years, my periods have gotten *heavy* - but only for a short period of time each cycle (like super heavy for maybe 6 or 7 hours of one day, then regular the rest of the time) - and I was learning to deal with it. And really awful cramps, lots of ibuprofen + tylenol to cope, and really getting to the point that I didn't want to leave the house for a day or two.

But... last month, I skipped my period. I had just started neurofeedback, and wondered if that (or the stress from that) could have affected it - but my NFB guy didn't think so. (And I felt like I was bugging him by talking about it).

Then... this month. Ugh. I think I've been bleeding for about 2 weeks at this point (not normal for me). I had a couple of insanely heavy days/nights - like I was waking up twice in the middle of the night to clean up... (changed sheets, clothes, and had...

Possible trigger:


It was awful. Not just because of the blood, but not being able to sleep through the night. I've re-started the ibuprofen, and things have slowed down a bit, but omg... I'm getting really tired of dealing with it, and a bit stressed with it.

It's just... so outside of my "normal". But, when I look online, it seems like this tends to happen when you hit your mid-40s? I just... ugh. It's making it hard to do anything else...

*phew* sorry for the vent, I have no one here to talk to and am going crazy!!!! Thanks!!!
Thank you for sharing Guilloche and so sorry you have been struggling. Please see my (too long!) reply to Ennie's post regarding more acu information. Feel free to PM me also any time you like
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:50 AM #13
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Default Re: How do you feel about your period?

I am not looking forward to mine, Its due anyday and I just had surgery and can only use my left arm!
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:57 PM #14
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Default Re: How do you feel about your period?

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Originally Posted by SilverTrees View Post
Anyone care to share?

Painful? Mild, severe? No pain?

First experience unpleasant or no bother?

Have your feelings abut your period changed over the course of your life?

Do you favor tampons, pads, or a cup?

No more periods? A relief? Not so?

I was quite shocked to read a survey of high school and college-age young women who mostly described their period as "gross" and "disgusting" and had intense fears about ever coming into contact with their menstrual blood while using the toilet or showering.

Had it at 14 and had period pains for a while beforehand that kept me off school. I will miss my period when it goes as it keeps me feeling like a 'real' woman, strangely. But I won't use tampons as am scared of the pain putting them in will cause (also would forget about them if they did go in an I would develop TSS). I tense up when anything goes in my vagina so it has to be pads which are not always handy but not a problem.
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Old 03-22-2019, 03:16 PM #15
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Default Re: How do you feel about your period?

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Had it at 14 and had period pains for a while beforehand that kept me off school. I will miss my period when it goes as it keeps me feeling like a 'real' woman, strangely. But I won't use tampons as am scared of the pain putting them in will cause (also would forget about them if they did go in an I would develop TSS). I tense up when anything goes in my vagina so it has to be pads which are not always handy but not a problem.
I've used both in the past but currently pads because my period often isn't heavy enough to warrant tampons and I read that can increase risk of TSS.

I have been judged and shamed by a former boyfriend and several female friends for using pads instead of tampons. Has anyone else had that experience? One female friend told me: "Pads are gross and I would NEVER use them!!!" I say each to their own

Has anyone else been judged for using pads?

I heard that quite a few millennial women (I'm older) like the Diva cup but that's not something I want to try for myself.
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Old 03-22-2019, 04:30 PM #16
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Default Re: How do you feel about your period?

No one has ever said pads were disgusting or anything like that. I think tampons are disgùsting as you have to insert them into your body.. anything going there I find stressful or painful.

If you are going swimming maybe pads are not a good idea. I know some sportswomen muck about with their cycle by taking the Pill to avoid having their period during match times. That surely can't be healthy. I suppose you could continually take the Pill to stop having one if you wanted, but as I say I would feel less of a woman not having one.
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:52 PM #17
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Default Re: How do you feel about your period?

Oh wow! Thanks for typing all that out, SilverTrees. I had no idea that acupuncture could be that effective. I'd heard a little bit, here and there, but hadn't really read/talked to anyone about their experiences. That sounds amazing. I'll have to look around and see if there's anyone locally that seems qualified.

Does it hurt when they put the needles in? It sounds a little bit scary! How long do you usually have to stay with the needles in?

re: Pads. I'm pretty isolated in real life, so I haven't heard anyone (in real life) saying that they're gross. I've seen it online, but I guess I just figured, to each her own. I'm using pads these days too... I briefly, at some point, used tampons but they became uncomfortable. And, a couple years ago I tried out a cup (several cups, actually!). I *loved* the cup - once you get the hang of it, it's truly amazing. If it's properly placed, you don't feel it, but it catches *everything* - so it's like not having a period (except it didn't help my cramps).

But, something happened (I'm not sure what, it might have been something with trying to get it out - as the one I was using would develop a really tight seal and it was hard to get out.) So, that's a no-go now for me.

In case you guys don't know, you can also get re-usable fabric pads. Yes, it sounds horrible and disgusting - but they're SO much more comfortable. I can't use them when I'm having a really heavy flow, or when I'm bleeding heavily over night, because they do leak more easily, but at other times, they are so much nicer and more comfortable.

Anyway, things seem to be getting better here. On day 15, it looks like I'm finally approaching the end of this cycle. Big breath of relief.

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:31 PM #18
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Default Re: How do you feel about your period?

I got my first one, at age 12. Was with my maternal grandparents. Fortunately happened right before we were ready to drive from Maine to Mystic, CT. My grandmother was quite chill about the experience and was had some overnight pads due to the years of caregiving for my great grandmother who had a prolapsed uterus. (To add...back then depends were not a thing) She had passed away earlier that year. I actually needed the overnights as it was heavy.
I would go 2 weeks heavy for years until I started the pill at 18. And during medical exams during those years on the pill nurses would raise eyebrows that I would say heavy the entire week.
Thinking back, as I used to track this, symptoms alternated months. Cramps one. Headaches another. Backpain yet another. Moods-meh, not too drastic.
I've been lucky so far, as by my age both my mom and her mom had had D&Cs and issues with fibroids.
I think my mom was closer to 50 when menopause began. So, I still have more years to go.
Because, I have been heavier with bleeding all these year, pads have been the more practical solution, not that I don't alternate with tampons as days progress. I've ruined so many sheets and mattress pads through the years. I cannot imagine a cup ever working for me.
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:33 PM #19
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Default Re: How do you feel about your period?

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Originally Posted by SilverTrees View Post
But *no, none of the needles are near the genitals if that's where you are referring to Ennie. *No needles on or near the breasts either. it is not uncomfortable. Once they are in, I don't feel them though of course being still is important. I often meditate during my treatments.

I wear a loose top (because I prefer to breathe comfortably without a bra) and underwear under a medical gown. I usually have needles in my scalp, sometimes sides of the neck, arms, sometimes abdomen, lower legs, ankles, and feet. The placement of the needles varies somewhat each session depending on my reported symptoms and how I've been feeling for the last few days.

Oh phew, no needles down there.

Thank you for the tips on what to wear that day!

I didn't know it worked for anxiety, depression, and sinus infection! That's amazing!
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:50 PM #20
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Default Re: How do you feel about your period?

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Originally Posted by guilloche View Post
Oh wow! Thanks for typing all that out, SilverTrees. I had no idea that acupuncture could be that effective. I'd heard a little bit, here and there, but hadn't really read/talked to anyone about their experiences. That sounds amazing. I'll have to look around and see if there's anyone locally that seems qualified.

Does it hurt when they put the needles in? It sounds a little bit scary! How long do you usually have to stay with the needles in?

re: Pads. I'm pretty isolated in real life, so I haven't heard anyone (in real life) saying that they're gross. I've seen it online, but I guess I just figured, to each her own. I'm using pads these days too... I briefly, at some point, used tampons but they became uncomfortable. And, a couple years ago I tried out a cup (several cups, actually!). I *loved* the cup - once you get the hang of it, it's truly amazing. If it's properly placed, you don't feel it, but it catches *everything* - so it's like not having a period (except it didn't help my cramps).

But, something happened (I'm not sure what, it might have been something with trying to get it out - as the one I was using would develop a really tight seal and it was hard to get out.) So, that's a no-go now for me.

In case you guys don't know, you can also get re-usable fabric pads. Yes, it sounds horrible and disgusting - but they're SO much more comfortable. I can't use them when I'm having a really heavy flow, or when I'm bleeding heavily over night, because they do leak more easily, but at other times, they are so much nicer and more comfortable.

Anyway, things seem to be getting better here. On day 15, it looks like I'm finally approaching the end of this cycle. Big breath of relief.

Thanks!
No, the needles don't hurt going in except for right in my face, haha! If I ever have congestion/ear-nose-throat irritation...he puts a couple of needles on either side of my nose. That usually makes me jump for a second when they go in...not more than a pinch but just a bit startling...more of a reflex response. DON'T WORRY! A doc would never put them in your face without asking if it's okay first. And that's not a typical placement, not for the issues you're struggling with Guilloche.

It's usually a 45 minute treatment for me so the needles are in for quite a while but I don't feel anything other than relaxation when they are in. He turns the light off and turns on a warm lamp which feels really nice on my bare legs/feet. He also turns on some music or ocean sounds. Or I bring my own guided meditation which I listen to on my phone. Sometimes I come out feeling elated or completed chilled out. Even if I was wired with stress on the way in. It's wonderful. Now for things like hormone imbalance and heavy bleeding you'd probably need more than just a few sessions but that would be a Q for the TCM doc since I'm just a patient

Day 15 I'm so sorry! I used to have periods like that. It wore me out. I really hope you can get some help to control that whether through a TCM doc or someone else. I also think Naturopaths can be great but my insurance didn't cover them and I didn't see results as quickly as with TCM. I heard that magnesium can do some wonderful things for women's health but only with doc guidance of course.

Thank you for sharing!

(Ps. I've learned some random things along the way...for example there are oils in coffee which affect uterine health, not just the caffeine, so it's good to cut that back or completely before and during the period. In TCM, I believe they also see a link between liver health and uterine health so they use needles for both...can't remember the exact points for liver, I think they are either on lower leg or feet)
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