Far Infrared Thermal Therapy for Menopausal Symptoms

1.     Local (Far Infrared) thermal therapy effects on menopausal symptoms and bone mineral density.

J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Dec;17(12):1133-40. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0635. Epub 2011 Nov 21.

Chien LW, Liu SJ, Chang Y, Liu CF.

Source: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of local thermal therapy with far-infrared rays (FIR) on menopausal symptoms and bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A prospective randomized, controlled trial was conducted in female volunteers from communities in Northern Taiwan. The intervention group (n=22) received local thermal therapy with the help of FIR from an FIR emitter, for approximately 20 minutes per day, twice a week, for 20 sessions. They received the therapy on their backs while lying in a supine position. The control group (n=21) received no treatment. The primary outcome was the change in the Perceived Perimenopausal Disturbances Scale, designed for the measurement of menopause-related symptoms (MRS) before and after completion of treatment in a 10-week period. Secondary outcome parameters included serum levels of estradiol (E2) with osteocalcin (OC), and calcaneal BMD by quantitative ultrasound.

RESULTS: After 10 weeks of intervention, MRS determined by the scale decreased in mean total scores and mean scores for vasomotor, musculoskeletal, urologic, reproductive, and psychologic domains (p<0.05), except for reproductive (sexuality-related) symptoms. In the control group, mean total scores and scores of each domain had no significant difference between baseline and follow-up examination after 10 weeks. There was no significant difference between the quantitative ultrasound parameters in the calcaneus, serum E2, and OC levels either at the baseline or in the changes from the baseline between the intervention and control groups of women (p>0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Local thermal therapy with FIR results in a significant reduction of MRS in postmenopausal women. Serum E2, OC levels, and calcaneal BMD showed no significant changes between the two groups. These results suggest that FIR local thermal therapy may be a potential alternative for the management of postmenopausal symptoms.

Far Infrared for Period Pain (Dysmenorrhea)

1.     Effects of somatothermal far-infrared ray on primary (Period Pain) dysmenorrhea: a pilot study.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:240314. doi: 10.1155/2012/240314. Epub 2012 Dec 18.

Ke YM, Ou MC, Ho CK, Lin YS, Liu HY, Chang WA.

Source: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung 40705, Taiwan.

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 Far Infrared (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.

2.     Inhibitory Effects of Far-Infrared Ray-Emitting Belts on Primary Dysmenorrhea

International Journal of Photoenergy Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 238468, 6 pages

Ben-Yi Liau, Ting-Kai Leung, Ming-Chiu Ou, Cheng-Kun Ho, Aiga Yang, and Yung-Sheng Lin

Received 1 December 2011; Revised 21 May 2012; Accepted 5 June 2012

Academic Editor: Timon Cheng-Yi Liu

Abstract:

This study investigated the therapeutic effect of the far-infrared ray-emitting belt (FIRB) in the management of primary dysmenorrhea in female patients. Forty adolescent females with primary dysmenorrhea were enrolled in the study. Quantitative measurements were taken during the menstruation. Several parameters were measured and compared, including temperature, abdominal blood flow, heart rate variability, and pain assessment. Statistical analysis shows that treatment with FIRB had significant efficiency in increasing regional surface temperature and abdominal blood flow, widening standard deviation of normal-to-normal RR intervals, and reducing VRS and NRS pain scores.

The application of a far-infrared ray-emitting belt (FIRB) appears to alleviate dysmenorrhea.

3.     A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of a far infrared-emitting sericite belt in patients with primary dysmenorrhea.

Complement Ther Med. 2011 Aug;19(4):187-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2011.06.004. Epub 2011

Jul 16.

Lee CH1, Roh JW, Lim CY, Hong JH, Lee JK, Min EG.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy and safety of a sericite which emits far infrared rays in the management of primary dysmenorrhea.

DESIGN: A multicenter randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

SETTING: One hundred four patients with primary dysmenorrhea were randomized to wear a sericite or placebo belt during sleep for 3 menstrual cycles, and followed for 2 menstrual cycles. Hot packs were used to heat the ceramics and ensure slight pain relief in both groups.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome measures were the severity of dysmenorrhea assessed by a 10-point visual analog scale (VAS) and the number of patients who took analgesics at each menstrual cycle. Safety was evaluated by physical examination and self-reporting of adverse events.

RESULTS: The baseline VAS scores were 7.27±0.19 in the experimental group and 7.38±0.19 in the control group. The severity of dysmenorrhea gradually decreased during the treatment period in both groups, with major improvements observed in the third treatment cycle (4.96±0.30 in the experimental group and 5.69±0.30 in the control group, p=0.087). During the follow-up period, the decreased VAS score was maintained in the experimental group, whereas the VAS score gradually returned to baseline in the control group, which resulted in significant difference between the groups (5.08±0.31 vs. 6.47±0.31 at cycle 5, difference -1.39 [95% CI, -2.25 to -0.53], p=0.0017). The number of patients who took analgesics decreased in both groups, but the differences were not statistically significant. No serious adverse events related to wearing the sericite belt occurred.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that a far infrared-emitting sericite belt with a hot pack might be used as an effective and safe non-pharmacologic treatment option for women with primary dysmenorrhea, with a prolonged effect after treatment.

4.     Effects of far infrared Thermal therapy  element for 
        dysmenorrhea in high school girls.

J Korean Acad Nurs 2011 Feb;41(1):141-8. doi: 10.4040/jkan.2011.41.1.141.

 [Article in Korean]

Hong YR.

Source: Department of Nursing, Chodang University, Muan, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was designed to identify the effects of heat therapy on dysmenorrhea, heat being provided using a far infrared rays heating element.

METHODS: The research design for the study was a non-equivalent control group quasi-experimental design. Participants were 22 students for the experimental group, and 26 students for the control group. Data were analyzed using SAS WIN 9.1 program.

RESULTS: The experimental group had significantly lower mean scores for menstrual pain, dysmenorrhea, and blood pressure than those in the control group. However, no significant differences were found between two groups for pulse, respiration, and temperature.

CONCLUSION: These findings show that thermotherapy was effective for reduction of menstrual pain, dysmenorrhea, and B/P. Therefore, this therapy could be used as a nursing intervention for students with dysmenorrhea.