Acupuncture relieves menstrual pain
Acupuncture can help combat period pain in sufferers, as well as relieve associated headaches and nausea, a study by Australian and New Zealand researchers has found.
More than half of the women treated with acupuncture had at least a 50% reduction in the severity of their period pain after undergoing acupuncture treatment for 3 months, with the effects lasting for up to a year.
Many of the women also reported less need to use painkillers to treat their period pain and an improvement in secondary symptoms, including headaches and nausea.
Twelve treatments were carried out either once or three times a week over three menstrual cycles. During the study, the women kept a diary and underwent one of four types of manual or electro acupuncture treatments. The women reported significant reductions in “peak pain” during the first three days of their period and in “average pain” experienced over their entire period, with the effects sustained for 12 months. Many also experienced improvements in PMS-related symptoms such as mood swings.
The researchers from Western Sydney University and the University of Auckland also found that manual acupuncture provided more relief than electro-acupuncture. Treatment timing also appeared to play a small role, with high frequency of treatment providing greater improvements in health-related quality of life.
Armour M, et al. The role of treatment timing and mode of stimulation in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea with acupuncture: An exploratory randomised controlled trial. PLoS One 2017;12(7):e0180177.
Armour M, Smith CA. Treating primary dysmenorrhoea with acupuncture: a narrative review of the relationship between acupuncture ‘dose’ and menstrual pain outcomes. Acupuncture in Medicine 2016;34(6):416-424.