University researchers in Turkey have found that acupressure after gall bladder removal, reduces pain and speeds recovery. A total of 65 patients undergoing laparoscopic gall bladder removal, were randomly assigned to receive either acupressure at four designated points, or light-touch contact as a control. Acupressure was given for 12 minutes at 0, 4 and 8 hours following surgery.
Acupressure was associated with significantly reduced post-operative pain, increased intestinal sounds, and shortened time to first defecation after surgery. The authors conclude that acupressure can be a recommended nursing intervention following laparoscopic cholecystectomy, to reduce acute pain and shorten the time to defecation.
(The effect on gastrointestinal system functions, pain and anxiety of acupressure applied following laparoscopic cholecystectomy operation: A randomised, placebo-controlled study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, May 2021.)
A review undertaken by researchers at the University of Southampton, shows the full extent to which acupuncturists facilitate lifestyle and behaviour change as a routine part of traditional acupuncture practice. Seventy-nine articles exploring the topic, were included in the study. Key elements promoting behaviour change included individualised advice based on symptoms, holistic explanations for patients’ conditions, the therapeutic relationship, and patient involvement.
(Lifestyle & Health Behavior Change in Traditional Acupuncture Practice: A Systematic Critical Interpretive Synthesis. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, March 2021.)
A clinical trial in London has shown the feasibility and usefulness of providing acupuncture within a busy NHS radiotherapy unit. A total of 101 cancer patients were randomised to receive either standard care in the unit, or standard care plus acupuncture. The latter was given to assist with common symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hot flushes, mood and sleep problems. Patients were given between three and eight acupuncture treatments, one week apart.
Patients reported qualitatively that they valued the positive impact acupuncture had, with improvements in fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, insomnia and shortness of breath being noted. Quantitatively, only improvements in fatigue were identified.
(A feasibility trial of acupuncture in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy treatment. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, May 2021.)
Research in China has tried to ascertain the mechanisms behind how acupuncture treats hypertension. Patients with high blood pressure were examined by functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and certain acupuncture point prescriptions were found to activate areas in the brain connected with blood pressure regulation. One combination of acupuncture points was associated with positive immediate and long-term effects on blood pressure, particularly systolic blood pressure.
(Acupuncture at LR3 and KI3 shows a control effect on essential hypertension and targeted action on cerebral regions related to blood pressure reactivagulation: a resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Acupuncture in Medicine, February 2021.)
Acupressure can reduce thirst and improve quality of life in patients receiving dialysis treatment, according to a study undertaken in Turkey. Sixty patients were randomly assigned to either an acupressure or control group. In the acupressure group, treatment was applied to five acupuncture points during the first half of each dialysis session, for three days per week over a six week period. Acupressure was found to increase saliva secretion, decrease thirst severity, and improve quality of life.
(The Effect of Acupressure Applied to Individuals Receiving Hemodialysis Treatment on Severity of Thirst & Quality of Life. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine, May 2021.)