Acupuncture can effectively reduce menstrual pain: study
Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medical practice, can effectively reduce the severity and duration of menstrual pain, a new study has found.
In the small study carried out by researchers in Australia and New Zealand, more than half of 74 women aged between 18 and 45 reported at least 50 percent reduction in the severity of their menstrual pain after receiving acupuncture therapy, the Daily Mail online reported on Monday.
During the study, the women underwent 12 acupuncture treatments, either manual or electro, in three months. In their diaries, many reported significant alleviation in "peak pain" during the first three days of their menstrual period and in average pain experienced over the entire period, with the need for pain-relieving medications reduced.
Such effects were sustained for 12 months, the study showed.
Meanwhile, the acupuncture treatments have also helped relieve secondary symptoms such as headaches, nausea and mood swings, according to the study published in the journal PLOS One.
This was "unexpected and will be explored further in future, large trials," said Mike Armour, a postdoctoral research fellow at Western Sydney University's National Institute of Complementary Medicine.
The researchers also found that manual acupuncture, during which needles are inserted into certain points of the body, resulted in more relief of menstrual pain than electro-acupuncture.
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, and traditional Chinese theory suggests needle placement helps balance the body's energy flow, called "qi".