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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 493038, 8 pages
Review Article

Acupuncture or Acupressure at the Sanyinjiao (SP6) Acupoint for the Treatment of Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Meta-Analysis

1Department of Nursing, Hsin Sheng College of Medical Care and Management, No. 418, Gaoping Section, Jhongfong Road, Longtan Township, Taoyuan Country 32544, Taiwan
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Taipei Medical University Hospital, No. 252, Wu-Hsing Street, Taipei 11031, Taiwan
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, No. 250, Wu-Hsing Street, Taipei 11031, Taiwan
4Graduate Institute of Integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, No. 365 Ming-Te Road, Beitou, Taipei 11211, Taiwan

Received 10 October 2012; Revised 8 January 2013; Accepted 17 January 2013

Academic Editor: Lixing Lao

Copyright © 2013 Ma-Na Chen 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.


This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture or acupressure at the Sanyinjiao (SP6) acupoint in relieving pain associated with primary dysmenorrhea. We searched the scientific literature databases to identify randomized controlled trials. The primary outcome was visual analogue scale (VAS) pain score. Three acupuncture and four acupressure trials were included in the meta-analyses. For the acupuncture analysis, there was no difference in the mean VAS score reduction between the SP6 acupoint and control (GB39 acupoint) groups (−4.935; lower limit = −15.757, upper limit = 5.887; ). For the acupressure analysis, there was a significant difference in the mean VAS score after intervention between the SP6 acupoint and control (rest/light touch at SP6/nonacupoint acupressure) groups, favoring the SP6 acupoint group (−1.011; lower limit = −1.622, upper limit = −0.400; ). Sensitivity analyses demonstrated good reliability of the meta-analyses findings. These findings suggest that acupuncture at SP6 is not more effective than acupuncture at an unrelated acupoint in the relief from primary dysmenorrhea. Acupressure at SP6 may be effective in the relief from primary dysmenorrhea. High-quality randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm these findings.