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.)
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.)
Acupuncture helps postoperative atrial fibrillation, according to the authors of an American feasibility study. In a randomised clinical trial, 138 patients undergoing cardiac surgical procedures such as coronary bypass, valve operations etc, were randomly assigned to receive either standard care or standard care with acupuncture. Up to three 30 minute acupuncture treatments were offered, at a rate of one per day. Patients were assessed for anxiety, pain and tension before and after acupuncture, and for heart rate and blood pressure. A “Was It Worth It” questionnaire was also completed by patients undergoing acupuncture.
Although the POAF recurrence rate was not statistically different between the two groups, the POAF burden was significantly shorter in acupuncture patients (5.2 versus 26.4 hours). Acupuncture was also associated with decreased anxiety (4.5 to 1.5), pain (3.5 to 2.0), tension (4.0 to 2.0), diastolic blood pressure (74.5 to 69.5mm/hg) and heart rate (74.5 to 72.5bpm). Furthermore, 95% of acupuncture patients stated it was worth participating. The researchers conclude that acupuncture is feasible and safe, and significantly reduces POAF burden among other things. It also meets with patient satisfaction.
(Acupuncture Treatment For Atrial Fibrillation in the Post-Operative Cardio-Thoracic Setting- A Feasibility Pilot Study. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, May 2021.)