A July, 2017, study tested acupuncture as a treatment for women suffering from menstrual pain.
Researchers found that over 50% of the women in the study reported a 50% reduction in pain symptoms, furthermore the success was maintained at the one year mark.
This acupuncture study is the work of medical researchers from Western Sydney University, Australia and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Although it was a relatively small study – 74 women aged 18-45 years – the results were significant. The women all reported period pain.
Period pain is the most common gynecological complaint in menstruating women with up to four in five women suffering at some point.
The women were treated 12 times over 3 cycles with treatments decided upon individually for each of them. The women were in one of two groups; either treated once per week (low frequency groups) or three times in the week prior to their period (high frequency groups). All groups received a treatment in the first 48 hours of their period.
The randomized controlled trial was led by Dr Mike Armour, postdoctoral research fellow from NICM with fellow researchers from NICM. He says,
“Our pilot study found that using manual stimulation of the needles, rather than an electrical pulse, commonly used in many Chinese studies for period pain, resulted in reduced need for pain relieving medication and improvement in secondary symptoms such as headaches and nausea. The latter was unexpected and will be explored further in future, larger trials.”
Source: The Role of Treatment Timing and Mode of Stimulation in the Treatment of Primary Dysmenorrhea with Acupuncture: An Exploratory Randomised Controlled Trial, is available online here.