What is Dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful periods. There are two types of dysmenorrhea: “primary” and “secondary”.

Primary dysmenorrhea is common period cramps that reoccur each month but are not due to other diseases. Cramps, or painful periods, usually begin one to two years after a woman starts getting her period. Period pain can commence 1 or 2 days before or when menstrual bleeding starts and is felt in the lower abdomen, back, or thighs and can range from mild to severe. Painful periods can typically last 12 to 72 hours and can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and even diarrhea. Common menstrual cramps usually become less painful as a woman ages and may stop entirely if the woman has a baby.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is pain that is caused by a disorder in the woman’s reproductive organs, such as endometriosis, adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, or infection. Painful periods from secondary dysmenorrhea usually begins earlier in the menstrual cycle and lasts longer than common menstrual cramps. This type of painful period is not typically accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or diarrhea.

Always seek medical advice if you have these symptoms and have a correct diagnosis before seeking alternative treatment.

In my practice I have found that Bush Flower Essences and Bowen Technique are a powerful combination for balancing hormones and releasing emotional stress related to dysmenorrhea and other hormonal imbalances.

Case Study

Recently a 31 year old female visited my clinic.  She had experienced dysmenorrhea (painful periods) since puberty, was highly strung and not sleeping.  Her periods were irregular – anything from 17 to 70 days – and always very painful, heavy and lasting at least 7 days.  She had to resort to 4 hourly Nurafen for pain relief, hot water bottles and needed to take time off work.  Further investigation revealed that she was diagnosed with endometriosis and was told she would need a hysterectomy eventually.  Her lifestyle was quite stressful and she had a childhood with many emotional challenges, which made her a high achiever and perfectionist.

Due to heavy work commitments, she was unable to attend weekly visits, but she agreed to not more than 2 or 3 weeks apart.

Treatment Plan

First Visit:  The first treatment was simply to balance the body and clear emotional stress using the Bowen Technique (Respiratory and Kidney procedures). Australian Bush Essences chosen were:  Dog Rose (anxiety), Dog Rose of Wild Forces (fear of ‘losing it’), Macrocarpa (support for the adrenal glands).  Following this treatment, a release of stress and grief ensued for the following week.  The client was very emotional during that first week, but I reassured her that this was a normal release following a Bowen treatment and congratulated her on allowing the emotions to be released.

Second Visit:  The second visit was 10 days later which allowed the Bowen Therapy and Bush Flower Essences to relax the adrenals and anxiety levels.  Bowen Therapy was performed, which included the Respiratory and Coccyx procedures.  The Coccyx procedure activates the Hypothalamus/Pituitary to bring balance to the reproductive hormones.

Bush Essences were changed to:  She Oak (hydrates ovaries), Peach flowered tea-tree (regulates the periods), Illawarra Flame Tree (emotional support & confidence in new treatment).

Third Visit:  The third visit was one week later and the client was more relaxed and her sleep had improved.  We continued with Bowen Therapy repeating the Respiratory and Coccyx procedures.  She continued with the same Bush Flower Essences.

Fourth Visit:  It was 4 weeks until the next visit.  During that time her period arrived exactly on time. The dysmenorrhea (painful period) was complete PAIN FREE and lasted only 4 days.  Following this she came down with influenza which delayed her next appointment.  This was possibly a detoxification process.

Bowen Therapy was continued using the Respiratory and Coccyx procedures, and the addition of the TMJ procedure, to assist with drainage of congestion following the influenza virus.

Bush essences were changed to:  She Oak, Peach flowered tea-tree, Pink Flannel Flower and Bluebell (activates the Heart Chakra which, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is connected to ovaries energetically), Bush Fuchsia, Dagger Hakea (liver support).

Fifth Visit:  The next visit was 10 days later.  All areas of the clients life seemed to have improved and despite a stressful week, she was still sleeping well and coping more with any stress.  Bowen Therapy was continued using Kidney, Coccyx and Pelvic procedures.

Bush Flower essences from previous visit continued.

Sixth Visit:  There was a 5 week break until the next visit and her period was 3 weeks overdue.  This may have been due to the increased stress at work.  Bowen Therapy was continued as per the last visit.

Bush Essences were changed to:  Peach flowered tea-tree (regulates cycle), Macrocarpa (adrenal support), She Oak, Stuart Desert Pea (releases past grief), Wisteria (female/sexual confidence), Flannel Flower (brings gentleness to the nature).


Due to work commitments, this client has not followed up her sessions for 6 months, but did send me this follow up note:

“Since our treatments I’m doing fairly well – my periods are definitely shorter and not as painful. I’m back to being irregular again but this time they’re usually only 4-5 days late, which is a definite improvement. Otherwise I’m doing well health wise.” 

Often clients will cease treatment when they get a certain amount of relief from their symptoms.  I’m confident that if we continue the above protocol, a more regular, pain-free cycle will result.  Following that, a maintenance plan of Bowen treatments every few months, or as needed would be advisable.

Every Body LOVES Bowen!

Do you or a family member have problems with their menstrual cycle?  Call Maree for an obligation free chat on how natural therapies can help.

P:   02 9626 8705
M:  0412 080 051
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