Acupressure and its use for dysmenorrhea
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of acupressure applied to the Ho-ku acupuncture point (on the hand between the index finger and thumb) on dysmenorrhea and attitudes towards menstruation. Sixty menstruating women were randomly assigned to a control group and an experimental group. The 33 item Menstrual Attitude Questionnaire (MAQ) was administered to all subjects upon admission to the study and at the completion of the study. Twelve women in the experimental group and twenty women in the control group completed the study. Subjects in both groups were given diaries to record data related to their next three menstrual cycles. All subjects recorded analgesic use and pre-analgesic and post-analgesic pain ratings using the 0 to 5 Present Pain Intensity (PPI) Scale from the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ). Subjects in the experimental group used the acupressure technique initially. Analgesics were taken only if a satisfactory level of comfort was not achieved. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to analyze the monthly averages of pre-treatment and post-treatment pain scores of the subjects in both groups. Treatment consisted of analgesics in the control group and acupressure in the experimental group. A significant group difference (F=.039) and test difference (F=.001) were demonstrated. Repeated measures analysis of variance of the pre-analgesic and post-analgesic pain scores of both groups demonstrated only a significant test difference (F=.000). Analysis of covariance of the post-test MAQ scores of both groups was performed using the pre-test MAQ scores as a covariate. No significance was demonstrated when pre-test differences were controlled. The conclusion of this study were: 1) there were significant differences in the two groups on both the pre-treatment and post-treatment pain ratings regardless of the month, 2) subjects in both groups experienced significant pain reduction whether they used analgesics or acupressure, 3) subjects in both groups experienced significant pain reduction after analgesic use, and 4) no change in menstrual attitudes was demonstrated as a result of participation in the study.