A Chinese study suggests that moxibustion may be as effective as drugs for alleviating menstrual pain. In a pragmatic randomised trial, 152 participants received either moxibustion or ibuprofen over a three month period. Moxibustion was carried out at Guanyuan REN-4, Shenque REN-8 and Sanyinjiao SP-6, once a day for seven days leading up to the beginning of the period for three menstrual cycles. The results showed that menstrual pain intensity in both the experimental and control groups was significantly reduced after treatment. Pain reduction was not significantly different between the two groups. Three months after the end of treatment, the effectiveness of moxibustion was sustained and superior to the effect of the drug. Serum levels of pain mediators, including prostaglandins, were found to have significantly improved after treatment in both groups.
Moxibustion for pain relief in patients with primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized controlled trial.
PLoS One. 2017 Feb 7;12(2):e0170952.