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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 240314, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/240314
Research Article

Effects of Somatothermal Far-Infrared Ray on Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Pilot Study

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung 40705, Taiwan
2Department of Applied Cosmetology and Master Program of Cosmetic Science, Hungkuang University, Taichung 43302, Taiwan

Received 27 June 2012; Revised 26 November 2012; Accepted 29 November 2012

Academic Editor: R. Govindarajan

Copyright © 2012 Yu-Min Ke et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the beneficial effects of using a far-infrared (FIR) belt on the management of patients with primary dysmenorrhea. This is the first study to determine the efficacy of somatothermal FIR using a parallel-arm randomized sham-controlled and double-blinded design with objective physical evidence and psychometric self-reports. Fifty-one Taiwanese women with primary dysmenorrhea were enrolled in the study. Results indicate that there was an increased abdominal temperature of 0.6°C and a 3.27% increase in abdominal blood flow in the FIR group (wearing FIR belt) compared to those in the control group (wearing sham belt). Verbal rating scale and numeric rating scale scores in the FIR group were both lower than those in the control group. Compared to the blank group (wearing no belt), the average dysmenorrhea pain duration of the FIR group was significantly reduced from 2.5 to 1.8 days, but there was no significant difference in the control group. These results demonstrate that the use of a belt made of far-infrared ceramic materials can reduce primary dysmenorrhea.