10 August, 2017

New research: Acupuncture shown to reduce period pain

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Medical researchers in Australia and New Zealand have demonstrated that acupuncture can reduce the intensity and duration of period pain, with improvements lasting up to a year after treatment.

This exciting new research is just the latest in a number of studies that show natural therapies and complementary medicine are effective in relieving common health conditions. In fact, period pain is the most common gynaecological complaint amongst women, with 4 in 5 women suffering at some stage during their lives.

A team of researchers from Western Sydney University, the University of Auckland and the National Insitute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) studied results from seventy-four women aged 18 to 45. Over half these women reported that manual acupuncture reduced the severity of period pain, over three months of treatment.

“Pragmatic trials of acupuncture have shown a reduction in pain intensity and an improvement in quality of life in women with period pain, however evidence has been limited for how changing the ‘dosage’ of acupuncture might affect the outcome,” explained lead researcher Dr Mike Armour.

“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.”

According to the NICM, acupuncture can provide “greater improvements in health-related quality of life, such as overally physical components, vitality, social function and bodily pain.” This promising research could lead to larger studies, to develop evidence-based acupuncture treatments specifically for period pain.


Further details about the study have been published in the international medical journal, PLOS ONE.

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