Is Acupressure An Effective Form of Self-Care?

Acupressure has been around for thousands of years and the health benefits have been well-documented across numerous studies. The vast majority of these studies have revolved around acupressure treatments as administered by trained professionals and health care practitioners. Until recently, there had not been a study aimed at measuring the benefits derived from self-administered participants.

Martha Brown Menard, Ph.D., a member of the American Massage Therapy Association, published just such a study in the Massage Therapy Journal on November 7, 2018. The author and her research team culled results from a database of over 793 studies and narrowed it down to just 10.

The ten studies chosen were from around the world and involved comparison groups treated with self-administered acupressure, sham acupressure or no treatment at all.

The aggregate study was aimed at uncovering self-administered acupressure and its effectiveness across numerous symptoms and conditions including allergies, cancer, respiratory illnesses, stress, insomnia, sleep disorders and other medical problems.

There were a total of 659 participants across the aggregate studies with trials from the United States, South Korea, Taiwan, Iran, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.

The clinical conditions included dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, breast cancer, stomach cancer, stress, sleep disturbance and fatigue among others. Follow-up time frames across all studies ranged anywhere from three days to three months.

The results across all ten studies were positive – the subjects who self-administered acupressure treatments were found to show significant improvements as compared to the control groups. Self-administered acupressure does appear to be a safe and low-cost form of self-care that can be applied across multiple conditions with proper training and medical supervision.