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The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of auricular acupressure with moxibustion in 53 volunteers with primary dysmenorrhea. This is a prospective, randomized controlled trial conducted at Mae Fah Luang University. Volunteers who were diagnosed as having primary dysmenorrhea were randomly assigned into two groups, i.e. auricular acupressure (n = 31) or moxibustion (n = 22). In the auricular acupressure group, the pressure on three specific points of the ear, i.e. uterus, liver and shenmen points were applied for 7 days before menstruation while the guanyuan ( CV 4) point was used for 15 minutes, once daily for 7 days before menstruation in the moxibustion group. The outcome was evaluated by the patients’ pain score using the visual analog scale (VAS) before and after treatment. The baseline characteristics and VAS scores in both groups were not significantly different before treatment. At the first treatment, the VAS scores were significantly decreased by 59.5 % and 44.1 % in the auricular acupressure group and the moxibustion group respectively. There were no significant differences between the two groups in VAS scores after treatment. In conclusion, auricular acupressure is effective in relieving pain related to primary dysmenorrhea compared to moxibustion. Thus the use of auricular acupressure should be promoted in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea.
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