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This Acupressure App Can Help In Relieving Menstrual Pains

An acupressure app can help in relieving menstrual pain for you. Here's the complete report.

This Acupressure App Can Help In Relieving Menstrual Pains

Where menstrual pain can be very distressing for some women, this acupressure app can provide relief

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Smartphone-guided acupressure app can help you get relief from pain
  2. With the help of acupressure, women were less likely to use medication
  3. Women using the app experienced better relief from cramps

Where menstrual pains can be extremely distressing for some women, here's a word of relief. A new smartphone-guided acupressure app can now help you give relief from menstrual pain. So the need to pop painkillers each time pain hits you comes to an end. Previous research links acupressure, a technique used to provide relief throughout the body with precise use of finger placement, with an ability to cure menstrual cramps.

To check how effective a smartphone-run acupressure app can be in relieving menstrual cramps, researchers picked 221 women to either choose the regular pain relief technique or this app for pain relief for a period of six months. It was found that women who used the app experienced better relief from pain as compared to those who did not.

"Because women with menstrual pain already practice self-management, an app for acupressure can be easily added," senior study author Dr. Claudia Witt from the Institute for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at the University of Zurich in Switzerland explained.


"It is wise to try first non-pharmacological interventions, with a good safety profile, before using a painkiller that can have side effects," Witt added.

For this app, the target audience was young women in their 20s or 30s. These women were already using their phone for a number of purposes hence making it easier for them to use and understand an app meant for proving menstrual pain relief with the help of acupressure, the researchers American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology explained.

Witt, along with her team, prepared an app named AKUD, on the basis of an expert consensus of acupressure from China, Germany and US. The researchers offered this app to women from Berlin aged 18 to 34 from the year 2012-15.

All the women involved in the study were asked to rate the level of pain they experienced on a scale from 0 to 10, 10 being the worst. At the beginning of the study, women rated it 6 at an average.

All the women were given an app for a period of six months but, only half of the women received an app which had an acupressure program. Other half was given the 'sham' app which did not offer any new way of treating the pain from cramps.

When the women involved in this study went through their third cycle, those who used the app reported a reduction in pain score to 4.4 as compared to the rest who rated their pain 5.0.

By the time they reached their sixth cycle, women using the acupressure app reported pain lower by 1.4 points which is good enough to show a clinical difference in pain levels.

With the help of acupressure, women were less likely to make use of menstrual pain medications and also reported fewer days of pain during periods. However, there was one limitation of this study. Participants involved were all highly educated and more prone to menstrual pains.

This meant that it may not represent what would happen for all the women who deal with menstrual cramps, authors explained.

Caroline Smith, an acupressure researcher at Western Sydney University in Australia said that the results of this study suggested that an acupressure app for controlling menstrual pain may actually offer some benefits in menstrual pain management. She was not a part of this study but is involved in the mass distribution of the app for this purpose.

"Adherence suggests the app was acceptable, and the reduction in pain over time was clinically meaningful with few side effects," Smith said by email.

"This app is relevant to women who are looking for evidenced-based self-care options to manage their pain, although as the authors point out further research to address a more generalizable group of women is needed."

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