Acupressure

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Acupressure is a form of traditional Chinese medicine which is similar to acupuncture, but involves applying pressure to specific points on the body using the hands, fingers, thumbs, elbows, feet, or various devices and does not use needles.[1]

Difference from acupuncture[edit | edit source]

Acupuncture uses needles, but acupressure is needle-less and instead uses parts of the body e.g., hands, feet, elbows, or devices like ear seeds.[2][3][1] Acupressure is sometimes self-administered by people with minimal training in acupressure.[1]

Theory[edit | edit source]

Evidence[edit | edit source]

Acupressure has far more limited evidence than acupuncture.[3]

British Acupuncture Council statement on ear seeds for CFS/ME[edit | edit source]

In response to TV and media coverage of self-administered acupressure using ear seeds as a treatment for ME/CFS, the British Acupuncture Council released a statement clarifying that acupuncture was different to acupressure, and stating that "there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome" and that ear seeds were an adjunct treatment for CFS in Chinese medicine, with body acupuncture being the primary treatment, often combined with moxibustion.[3]

The British Acupuncture Council also stated "[a] traditional acupuncturist does not base treatment on the diagnosis of ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ or ‘myalgic encephalomyelitis’. They will take a full case history and arrive at a diagnosis using the traditional theory. This diagnosis is called 证 zhèng. Zhèng is usually translated as pattern. Even for conditions where the signs and symptoms are fairly consistent, such as osteoarthritis of the knee, patients can be diagnosed with different zhèng-patterns. This means that patients with osteoarthritis of the knee we will get slightly different treatments depending on their overall signs and symptoms.

A traditional acupuncturist does not base treatment on the diagnosis of ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ or ‘myalgic encephalomyelitis’. They will take a full case history and arrive at a diagnosis using the traditional theory. This diagnosis is called 证 zhèng. Zhèng is usually translated as pattern. Even for conditions where the signs and symptoms are fairly consistent, such as osteoarthritis of the knee, patients can be diagnosed with different zhèng-patterns. This means that patients with osteoarthritis of the knee we will get slightly different treatments depending on their overall signs and symptoms.[3] — Statement on ear seeds for CFS/ME – Dragon’s Den, British Acupuncture Council

ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

No clinical trials of acupressure have been carried out on patients with ME/CFS, either self-administered or professionally administered.

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

Self-administered acupressure[edit | edit source]

  • 2023, Effect of self-acupressure on fatigue-predominant subhealth in young and middle-aged adults: A randomized controlled trial[4] - (Abstract)
  • 2015, Effect of self-acupressure for symptom management: A systematic review[1] - (Abstract)

Acupressure (not self-administered)[edit | edit source]

  • 2019, The impact of self-administered acupressure on sleep quality and fatigue among patients with migraine: A randomized controlled trial[5] - (Abstract)
  • 2016, Effectiveness of Acupressure Treatment for Pain Management and Fatigue Relief in Gulf War Veterans[6] - (Full text)
  • 2015, Effects of acupressure on anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis[7] - (Abstract)
  • 2014, The effectiveness of acupressure on relieving pain: a systematic review[8] - (Abstract)
  • 2011, Acupressure for Treating Neurological Disorders: A Systematic Review[9] - (Abstract)
  • 2006, Treatment of low back pain by acupressure and physical therapy: randomised controlled trial[10] - (Abstract)

Costs and availability[edit | edit source]

Unknown.

Risks and safety[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Song, Hyun Jin; Seo, Hyun-Ju; Lee, Heeyoung; Son, Heejeong; Choi, Sun Mi; Lee, Sanghun (February 1, 2015). "Effect of self-acupressure for symptom management: A systematic review". Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 23 (1): 68–78. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2014.11.002. ISSN 0965-2299.
  2. "Acupuncture". National Health Service. October 17, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Statement on ear seeds for CFS/ME - Dragon's Den". British Acupuncture Council. January 29, 2024. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  4. Xi, Huihui; Zhu, Ruiting; Li, Chuncheng; Wu, Han; Zhou, Wei; Lu, Yaci; Wang, Saikun; Liu, Wenqing; Xiong, Xuance; Guo, Lirong (September 1, 2023). "Effect of self-acupressure on fatigue-predominant subhealth in young and middle-aged adults: A randomized controlled trial". European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 62: 102274. doi:10.1016/j.eujim.2023.102274. ISSN 1876-3820.
  5. Vagharseyyedin, Seyyed Abolfazl; Salmabadi, Mohaddeseh; BahramiTaghanaki, Hamidreza; Riyasi, Hamidreza (May 1, 2019). "The impact of self-administered acupressure on sleep quality and fatigue among patients with migraine: A randomized controlled trial". Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 35: 374–380. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2018.10.011. ISSN 1744-3881.
  6. Lin, Vernon (2015), "Effectiveness of Acupressure Treatment for Pain Management and Fatigue Relief in Gulf War Veterans", ((Cleveland Clinic Foundation)), p. 0005
  7. Au, Doreen W. H.; Tsang, Hector W. H.; Ling, Paul P. M.; Leung, Christie H. T.; Ip, P. K.; Cheung, W. M. (October 2015). "Effects of acupressure on anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis". Acupuncture in Medicine: Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. 33 (5): 353–359. doi:10.1136/acupmed-2014-010720. ISSN 1759-9873. PMID 26002571.
  8. Chen, Ya-Wen; Wang, Hsiu-Hung (June 1, 2014). "The Effectiveness of Acupressure on Relieving Pain: A Systematic Review". Pain Management Nursing. 15 (2): 539–550. doi:10.1016/j.pmn.2012.12.005. ISSN 1524-9042.
  9. Lee, Jeong-Sook; Lee, Myeong Soo; Min, Kyungyoon; Lew, Jae-Hwan; Lee, Beom-Joon (August 2011). "Acupressure for treating neurological disorders: a systematic review". The International Journal of Neuroscience. 121 (8): 409–414. doi:10.3109/00207454.2011.570465. ISSN 1563-5279. PMID 21545308.
  10. Hsieh, Lisa Li-Chen; Kuo, Chung-Hung; Lee, Liang Huei; Yen, Amy Ming-Fang; Chien, Kuo-Liong; Chen, Tony Hsiu-Hsi (March 23, 2006). "Treatment of low back pain by acupressure and physical therapy: randomised controlled trial". BMJ. 332 (7543): 696–700. doi:10.1136/bmj.38744.672616.AE. ISSN 0959-8138. PMC 1410852. PMID 16488895.