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Acupuncture to Relieve Menstrual Pain: Study

by Thilaka Ravi on  February 29, 2008 at 3:18 PM Women Health News   - G J E 4
Acupuncture to Relieve Menstrual Pain: Study
Some women have a hard time dealing with menstrual cramps that most often leave them stressed out during their period.
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A recent German study says that sticking pins and needles the acupuncture way can actually relieve a woman of her menstrual pain.  This might leave her free to be more active, with her mind and body less conscious of 'those' days.

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The study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics&Gynecology found that63.4 percent of the women reported at least a 33 percent relief from their symptoms following acupuncture treatment. The study enrolled 201 women who were randomly assigned to acupuncture or no treatment for menstrual pain and discomfort.

It was observed that after three months of treatment the average pain score was 3.1 in the acupuncture group, compared with 5.4 in the control group, using a pain scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain.  The treatment included an average of about 10 sessions.

Since the study compared two groups, one that received acupuncture treatment and the other that received no treatment, the patients might have experienced a "placebo effect," according to Dr. Claudia Witt of Charite University Medical Center in Berlin.

"Nevertheless, our study showed that acupuncture was beneficial for women if offered as part of the health insurance system," she said.

According to the researchers, Germany's health insurers have recommended that acupuncture to relieve pain only be covered by insurance if it is delivered as part of a study to investigate its effectiveness.

Hitherto, women have been using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, to treat menstrual cramps.  These drugs however come with side effects as mentioned in the report.

Since 2000, the researchers note, the nation's health insurers have recommended that acupuncture to relieve pain, only be covered by insurance if it is delivered as part of a study to investigate its effectiveness.

Based on these findings, the researchers conclude that "acupuncture should be considered as a viable option in the management of these patients."

Source: Medindia
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