Hijama (cupping) and Menstrual Pain

Greetings, dear readers

Studies have suggested that up to 90% of women suffer from menstrual pain or dysmenorrhoea at some point in their lives. Some experience pain as soon as their period starts. Others have been known to expect pain several days beforehand. The pain associated with their period can vary from mildly uncomfortable spasms to constant agonising aches which usually affect the lower abdomen, occasionally reaching as far as the back and thighs. Some women dread the coming of their monthly bleeding and the debilitating pain that accompanies it approximately every thirty days. At Pure Therapy, we believe that these women may be suffering needlessly.

r-PERIOD-PAIN-600x275
Sometimes a hot water bottle can help. Sometimes it fails miserably (1)

Period pain can differ with each monthly cycle, becoming more or less painful without warning. The pain is often worse when the patient’s bleeding is heaviest and can last from forty-eight to seventy-two hours. However it can affect women differently and has been known to improve with age. Alongside various degrees of pain, female patients may also experience symptoms such as:

  • tiredness

  • feeling faint or dizzy

  • feeling sick

  • diarrhoea

  • headaches

  • increased thirst or hunger

pms-symptoms
Plus the emotion related symptoms (2)

Menstrual pain has been thought to be caused by contractions of the uterus or womb’s muscular walls, resulting in pressure against its blood vessels. The contractions are stronger than usual in order to enable shedding of the womb’s interior lining which is a natural part of the menstrual cycle. Sometimes, this compression of the blood vessels briefly cuts off the supply of oxygen to the womb, triggering pain which, in turn, results in the production of chemicals called prostaglandins.

h9991281_003
Before menstruation, the womb prepares to carry a child by thickening its internal lining (3)

Prostaglandins prompt the muscular walls to contract more, leading to more pain. Though it is not known why some women are more prone to period pain than others, some researchers have suggested that a build up of prostaglandins can cause certain patients to have stronger contractions during their period, thus increasing the pain during the end of their cycle. Secondary dysmenorrhoea is when menstrual pain is caused by an underlying medical condition, for example:

  • endometriosis

  • fibroids

  • pelvic inflammatory disease

  • adenomyosis

period-pain
Yup. Believe it or not, it really can get that bad (4)

Hijama can help patients suffering from menstrual pain in the following ways. Firstly, by relaxing the muscular walls of the uterus via negative pressure, also known as the suction of the pump, which can reach deeper tissues in the body better than normal positive pressure. Secondly, in accordance with the theory of accumulated prostaglandins, it may be possible to prevent stronger than usual contractions of the womb by removing these chemicals along with other cellular waste that is carried out through the scratches made by the Hijama practitioner. And lastly, upon relaxing its walls, further use of the cup to stimulate circulation in the womb can result in red blood cells, filled with oxygen, iron and other much needed nutrients, flooding the area and repairing any damage that may have been caused by the suspended oxygen supply.

We hope that this information has benefitted you, our dear readers, and we would love to hear from you. Comments, questions and weekly topic suggestions are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading!

The Pure Therapy Team

Images referenced from:
(1) http://i.huffpost.com/gen/469675/images/r-PERIOD-PAIN-600×275.jpg
(2) http://cdn2.bigcommerce.com/server3800/63263/product_images/uploaded_images/pms-symptoms.png?t=1434404385
(3) http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/media/medical/hw/h9991281_003.jpg
(4) http://zikoko.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/period-pain.jpg

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