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Complement Ther Med. 2015 Dec;23(6):773-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2015.08.005. Epub 2015 Sep 1.

The effect of moxibustion on alleviating menstrual pain in a population of young nursing students: A prospective randomized cross-over pilot study.

Author information

1
School of Nursing, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China.
2
Institute of Clinical Phamacology, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China.
3
The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510405, China.
4
School of Chinese Materia Medica, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China. Electronic address: zyx321@gzucm.edu.cn.
5
School of Chinese Materia Medica, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China. Electronic address: liusijun@gzucm.edu.cn.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effect of moxibustion on alleviating menstrual pain and relieving the symptoms of dysmenorrhea in a cohort of young nursing students in China.

METHODS:

A randomized double blind clinical trial of crossover design was used. In the two-phase study, a total of 56 nursing students with menstrual pain in Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine in China was randomly allocated into two groups. In the first treatment phase, the participants in Group A (n=28) received moxibustion therapy from five days before the menstrual period to the onset through a specific heating box in which burning moxa stick was fixed, the participants in Group B (n=28) received the same heating box but with a paper-wrapped stick incense fixed inside (placebo therapy) during the same intervention period. The acupoints Guanyuan(CV4) and Shenque(CV8) were selected for treatment. After the first treatment phase for two menstrual cycles, the intervention was stopped for three menstrual cycles during a wash period. In the second treatment phase, the intervention of two groups were switched. Group A received the placebo therapy and Group B received moxibustion therapy. NRS, VRS, PRI, VAS and BRS-6 were evaluated at the baseline and after each treatment phase.

RESULTS:

There was no statistically significant difference in age, history of dysmenorrhea, length of menstrual cycle, age at menarche, duration of menstrual flow, PRI score, VAS score, BRS score and RSS score between Group A and Group B (p>0.05). After the first treatment phase, the score of BRS-6 has significant differences between two groups at the first menstrual cycle (p<0.05). At the second menstrual cycle, the score of VAS, BRS-6,sensory of PRI, affective dimension of PR and total score of PRI in Group A were much lower than Group B (p<0.05). NRS and VRS had significant differences between two groups with Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney test after the first treatment phase (p<0.05). The frequency rating of weakness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and the total score had significant differences between two groups at the first menstrual cycle (p<0.05). And the frequency rating of weakness, backache, facial blemishes, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and the total score had significant differences between two groups at the second menstrual cycle (p<0.05). The severity rating of backaches, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and the total score had significant differences between two groups after the second menstrual cycle (p<0.05). After three months' wash period, the score of VAS, BRS-6, sensory of PRI, affective of PR, total score of PRI and VRS had significant differences between two groups after the second treatment phase (p<0.01). And the frequency rating of leg aches, dizziness, nervousness and the total score had significant differences between two groups after the second treatment phase (p<0.05). And the severity rating of abdominal pain, weakness, leg aches, dizziness, nervousness and the total score had significant differences between two groups after the second treatment phase (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggested that moxibustion therapy with a heating box was effective for alleviating menstrual pain and symptoms of young female university students in China. The effect of moxibustion might not only due to heat stimulation, but also from the burning of moxa stick. Boxing moxibustion could be recommended as a nonpharmacological pain relief intervention for university students for its cost effectiveness, practical design and relative safety, and it is easy for the university students themselves to self-administer at home.

KEYWORDS:

Dysmenorrheal; Moxibustion; Randomized cross-over study

PMID:
26645515
DOI:
10.1016/j.ctim.2015.08.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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