Self acupressure helps against menstrual pain
Most women have suffered from period pain during their period and not a few are affected by the unpleasant symptoms every month. A study has now shown that acupressure can significantly reduce pain. An app was used to help affected women with self-treatment.
Almost every woman knows menstrual pain
According to health experts, around 50 to 90 percent of all young women struggle with uncomfortable symptoms during the period. The symptoms can be different, but mostly it is cramp-like pelvic pain that can also radiate. Other symptoms may include headache, back pain, as well as nausea and diarrhea. A current study has now shown that acupressure can help against regular complaints.
What can help against the complaints
The pain often associated with menstruation can make life difficult for many women. Sometimes there is the possibility to postpone the period, but this only defers the complaints.
Affected women sometimes use pain relieving medication, but often more gentle methods can help against the symptoms.
For example, naturopathy relies on homeopathic remedies for menstrual pain. Schüssler salts have also proven their worth in painful cramps during menstrual bleeding.
Acupressure can also help, as scientists from the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin found out in a recent study.
Acupressure can also be done at home
The research team wanted to find out whether the symptoms in 18- to 34-year-old women with severe menstrual pain can be reduced more sustainably by self-acupressure than by normal care alone, for example with painkillers or hormonal contraceptives.
Acupressure is a procedure from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that, compared to acupuncture, offers the possibility of doing it yourself at home.
The corresponding points on the body are not needled, but pressed or massaged.
Instructions for self acupressure via app
The researchers divided the 221 participants into two study groups: both groups received a study app including brief instructions; only the intervention group received an app version that instructed self-acupressure shortly before and during menstruation.
The advantage of an app is in particular the pictorial representation, which shows exactly which point the test subjects have to press for the desired healing effect, as well as regular reminders. In addition, the entire study data was collected via the app.
“Originally we only wanted to conduct a study on self-help procedures for menstrual pain. However, we already included affected women in the planning and they wanted an app, ”said study leader Prof. Dr. Claudia Witt from the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, in a communication.
According to the information, the app helped the test subjects to perform a simple self-acupressure of three acupuncture points.
Lower pain intensity
According to the scientists, 37 percent of the participants in the acupressure group achieved a fifty percent pain reduction after three months. After six months, it was even more than half, at 58 percent.
In the control group, there were around twenty-five percent of the participants at both times.
In addition, the acupressure group had to take less pain medication and reported a lower pain intensity than the control group.
The results of the study were recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Medical use of apps
"We were amazed that two thirds of the participants continued to perform self-acupressure after six months," said Dr. Daniel Pach from the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics.
"So far, the medical benefits of apps have been little investigated, and randomized controlled trials have only been carried out for some of them," said the expert.
He added: “We were able to show that an app can also be examined well in a clinical study. However, despite our extensive experience in conducting 'classic' studies, we also had to learn a lot of new things - which was very exciting and insightful for us. ”
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