Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture Stops Menstrual Pain Study

Acupuncture was shown to be effective for the treatment of menstrual pain. A recent study of patients with primary dysmenorrhea measured significant pain relief by needling acupuncture point Sp6. The studies quantified these results against a non-acupuncture control group and a GB39 acupuncture point control group. Blood samples were taken of participants during the study. It was shown that although acupuncture decreased menstrual pain, it was not related to plasma levels of prostaglandins. The researchers concluded that the analgesic effects of Sp6 are not mediated by prostaglandin changes in the bloodstream. The researchers checked levels of 4 main prostaglandins (PGE2, PGF2a, TXB2, 6-keto PGF1a).

Sp6, San Yin Jiao, is the Three Yin Intersection acupuncture point. It is the meeting point of the Spleen, Liver, and Kidney channels. Sp6 tonifies the Spleen and Stomach Qi, benefits the Kidney and Liver, regulates menstruation, activates the channels and stops pain, invigorates the blood, and calms the spirit. Sp6 is also notable for resolving damp stagnation.

The leg three Yin channels (Spleen, Liver, and Kidney) control menstruation and other gynecological and reproductive processes. Located on the medial side of the lower leg, 3 cun superior to the prominence of the medial malleolus in a depression close to the medial crest of the tibia, Sp6 is one of the more common acupuncture points used in clinical practice for the treatment of dysmenorrhea.


Reference: Shi, Guang-Xia MSc,†Liu, Cun-Zhi PhD; Zhu, Jiang BSc,;Guan, Li-Ping MSc; Wang, De-Jin MSc; Wu, Meng-Meng MSc. Effects of Acupuncture at Sanyinjiao (SP6) on Prostaglandin Levels in Primary Dysmenorrhea Patients. Clinical Journal of Pain: March/April 2011 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 258–261.