Cramps Relieved by Pins

by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

News Services, Jan. 12, 1987, Washington -- The traditional Chinese therapy of acupuncture can relieve menstrual cramps and some premenstrual symptoms, a new study has found.

The results of the study were outlined in the January issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology. It is published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a professional organization of more than 26,000 physicians.

The study found that women suffering from painful menstruation who were given acupuncture treatments were able to reduce the amount of medicine they took, the journal said.

They also suffered less premenstrual breast tenderness and fluid retention than women taking drugs normally used to reduce menstrual pain, it said.

Four groups of women who suffered menstrual pain were compared for a year, the journal said. One group received correct acupuncture treatments, while a second received a treatment where needles were misplaced.

A third group received additional doctor's visits while the fourth was the control group.

Ten out of the 11 real acupuncture patients reported immediate relief and were able to reduce their regular medication by half or more, the journal said.

Several women in the group receiving misplaced treatment reported less pain, but the reduction did not last and discomfort increased after treatment ended.

Prepared by Ricardo B. Serrano, DAc, MH, ADS