Light exposure may affect menstrual cycles and symptoms through the influence of melatonin secretion. In Kaiyan Medical we have been studying portable devices to relieve menstrual pain using low-level light stimulation. Menstrual pain often afflicts women and girls, but the intensity and impact on quality of life vary widely. A cross-sectioned analytical study found that 84 percent reported menstrual pain which often required medication and even resulted in missing work.
Many women rely on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but of course, some prefer to avoid their undesirable side-effects. Other common menstrual pain management methods, according to the National Institutes of Health, include: applying heat with hot water bottles or heating pads, warm baths, or going to the sauna; special diets and dietary supplements; herbal products and herbal teas for medicinal use; homeopathic medicines; and procedures which target pain stimulus such as acupuncture, acupressure or TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). Light therapy devices add another alternative to targeting the pain source with low-level light stimulation applied at acupuncture points.
Light therapy devices improves blood flow and thereby reduces menstrual cramps with via photo-activated modulation of smooth muscle tissue. Usually, the light from the light therapy devices is emitted for a fixed amount of time (from 10 to 20 minutes). The light stimulation reaches the uterus and increases the secretion of nitrous oxide (NO). The NO spreads over the smooth muscle in the uterine cells and under continuous light stimulation produces a phosphate particle called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). These particles continuously flow out and relax the smooth muscles so they receive oxygen and nutrition.
In the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, subjects using the low-level light therapy showed statistically significant reduction in pain levels after a month and barely any pain after three months. This compares to a placebo group that showed slight pain reduction over time. The study concluded that
“skin adhesive low-level light therapy on acupuncture points might be an effective, simple, and safe non-pharmacological treatment for dysmenorrhoea.”
In this study, a total of 31 women with dysmenorrhoea were enrolled and randomly assigned to either the active or placebo low-level light therapy groups . Of 31 participants, 21 participants received real light therapy, while the remaining 10 participants received placebo one. All participants in the active low-level light therapy group reported either complete pain relief In the active low-level light therapy group, 16 women had successful results during their menstrual cycle, and 5 women had successful results at the second menstrual cycle.
The most interesting thing about this study, is that they conclude that the direct cause of dysmenorrhoea might not be changes in bioactive substances, such as hormone imbalance, a decrease in serotonin levels or excessive prostaglandin production, but the abnormal function of parts of smooth muscles in the uterus secondary to long-term deficient blood supply into smooth muscle tissue caused by disease or stress. This condition can be improved with light therapy.
Our light therapy products can help as well with back pain, skin, depression, sleep cycles, and pets.
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