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Dysmenorrhea And Reflexology – How To Reduce Period Pain

Dysmenorrhea is painful periods that often commence when a young girl has her first period it is caused by contractions in the uterus. 70%-90% of women experience painful periods at some time in their lives. The pain can be any where from the stomach to the inner thighs and back pain and/or nausea can also be felt. It is more common in women of low weight or women who experience heavy periods.

It is a common occurrence in mature women if they develop endometriosis, fibroids or other pelvic conditions.

Studies show that reflexology reduces the intensity and duration of period pain and the effects of a single reflexology treatment lasts up to two days. Regular reflexology treatments tend to reduce the debilitating effects of dysmenorrhea.

Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2010 Dec;15(Suppl 1):371-8.

Comparing the effects of reflexology methods and Ibuprofen administration on dysmenorrhea in female students of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences.

Valiani M1, Babaei E, Heshmat R, Zare Z.

Dysmenorrhea And Reflexology Case Study:

This was a quasi-experimental clinical trial study on 68 students with primary dysmenorrhea living in Isfahan University of Medical Sciences’ dormitories. Simple random sampling was done considering the inclusion criteria and then the students were randomly divided into two groups. In the reflexology group, the subjects received 10 reflexology sessions (40 minutes each) in two consecutive mense cycles. The Ibuprofen group received Ibuprofen (400 mg), once every eight hours for 3 days during 3 consecutive mense cycles. To assess the severity of dysmenorrhea, Standard McGill Pain Questionnaire, visual analog scale (VAS) and pain rating index (PRI) were used in this study.

Reflexology Results:

Findings of the study showed that the two groups had no statistically significant difference in terms of demographic characteristics (p > 0.05). Reflexology method was associated with more reduction of intensity and duration of menstrual pain in comparison with Ibuprofen therapy. Independent and Paired t-test showed that there was a significant difference in the two groups between intensity and duration of menstrual pain using VAS and PRI in each of the 3 cycles between reflexology and Ibuprofen groups (p < 0.05).


Considering the results of the study, reflexology was superior to Ibuprofen on reducing dysmenorrhea and its treatment effect continued even after discontinuing the intervention in the third cycle. Therefore, considering that reflexology is a non-invasive, easy and cheap technique, it seems that it can replace anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to avoid their adverse side effects.

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