Comparison of Efficacy of Auricular Acupressure and Moxibustion on Pain Relief in Primary Dysmenorrhea

Main Article Content

Sulukkana Noiprasert Sinee Tantasatityanon Worrakrit Techasitkun


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.  


Article Details

Original Articles


1. Thongsong TR. Dysmenorrhea. In: Thongsong TR, editor. Gynecology. Bangkok: P.B. Foreign book center; 1986. p.81-7. (in Thai)
2. Liu JF. Dysmenorrhea. In: Liu JF, editor. Clinical Gynecology of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Guangzhou: Flower City Publishing House; 1996. p.86-94.
3. Li CH, Zhao YF, Ji B, Ren XX, Guo MW, Ding XY: Effect of Electroacupuncture on the Uterine Microcirculation in Dysmenorrhea Rats. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2011;36:12-7.
4. Chen PB, Yang XF, Wang XG, Yang ZH, Feng Lin, Xuan Jin. Effect of Moxibustion Therapy on Hemorheology of Dysmenorrhea rats and PGF2 of Uterine tissues. Chinese Journal of Pain Medicine. 2015;21:826-9. doi:10.3969/j.issn.1006-9852.2015.11.006.
5. Xue Z, Liu CZ, Gao SZ, Ma YX. The herbal-partitioned moxibustion for primary dysmenorrhea and it’ impact on reproductive endocrinal function of patients. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2014;34:209-12.
6. Zhu Y,Chen RL, Le JI, Miao FR. Efficacy observation of primary dysmenorrhea treated with isolated herbal moxibustion on Shenque (CV8). Zhongguo Zhen jiu. 2010;30(6):453-5.
7. Sun LH., Ge JJ., Yang JJ., She YF, Li XH, Yuan J, Li ZB. Randomized controlled clinical study on ginger-partitioned moxibustion for patiens with cold-damp stagnation type primary dysmenorrhea. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2009;34:398-402.
8. Wu RD, Zhang HD, Lin LF. Observation on ear point taping and pressing therapy for treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2007;27:815-7
9. Hou PW, Hsu HC, Lin YW, Tang NY, Cheng CY, Hsieh CL. The history, mechanism, and clinical application of auricular therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. 2015;495684. doi:10.1155/2015/495684.
10. Gao J, Wang Q, Xian S, Feng YM, Cao WX, Ye JY. The effect of moxibustion on alleviating menstrual pain in a population of young nursing students: A prospective randomized cross-over pilot study. Complement Ther Med. 2015;23:773-81.
11. Yu S, Yang J, Ren Y, Chen L, Liang F, Hu Y. Characteristics of acupoints selection of moxibustion for primary dysmenorrhea based on data mining technology. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2015;35:845-9.
12. Wang YJ, Hsu CC, Yeh ML, Lin JG. Auricular acupressure to improve menstrual pain and menstrual distress and heart rate variability for primary dysmenorrhea in youth with stress. Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. 2013;138537. doi:10.1155/2013/138537.
13. Wang MC, Hsu MC, Chien LW, Kao CH, Liu CF. Effects of auricular acupressure on menstrual symptoms and nitric oxide for women with primary dysmenorrhea. J Altern Complement Med. 2009;15:235-42.