Acupressure, a technique of Chinese medicine close to acupuncture, would relieve the intensity of pain related to the menstruation. 58% of women who have tried it experienced a 50% decrease in menstrual pain.
“Dysmenorrhea” is their medical name: the painful menstruations that affect 50 to 70% of teenage girls. Often they disappear or fade away over the years. Sometimes they reveal the existence of a disease, such as endometriosis. In any case, they can be disabling.
Researchers from the University of Charity Medicine in Berlin are interested in the effectiveness of acupressure, a traditional Chinese medicine method, close to acupuncture, to relieve pain. Their study shows that these practices are effective, especially when they are framed by the use of a dedicated application.
An effective technique for more than half of women
Abdominal pain, headache, diarrhea, backache or nausea, are the main menstrual pains. To relieve these symptoms, German researchers tested acupressure on a group of women aged 18 to 34 years. They were 221 in total: some of them tested this technique, the other used more traditional treatments like anti-pain or hormonal contraceptive means.
Unlike acupuncture, acupressure is practiced alone. Just a simple massage or simply press on some parts of the body. 37% of those who tested acupressure had their pain reduced by half, after three months. After six months they were 58% to experience relief. In the other group, they are only 25% at three and six months.
An application to frame the practice
“Initially, we just wanted to conduct a study on the use of self-care techniques for menstruation, but the women who participated in the preparatory stages, all concerned with menstrual pain, needed an application,” explains Claudia Witt, one of the main authors of the study.
The researchers completed their clinical trial using an application, even though its use was not at the heart of the study. The application is named is Luna and helps women to perform acupressure techniques on three particular body points. It also allows users to better understand the various gestures, but also to provide reminders to the patients, in particular according to the periods of the cycle.
For now, the application is available only in German.