Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapy which integrates acupuncture with pressure. Acupressure therapy involves the application of physical pressure to acupoints by the hand, elbow or other devices.
Pressure applied to specific acupoints can aid in symptom management and treatment of various ailments and conditions by improving qi flow through the body and rebalancing yin and yang. Acupressure reduces pain and other symptoms in affected areas of the body, increases circulation, reduces stress, and corrects health imbalances.
A recent study indicates acupressure can enhance alertness. University of Michigan Health System researchers have discovered acupressure can combat sleepiness and keep students awake during class. The study appears in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
The researchers report that students in a class who were taught to self-administer acupressure treatments to stimulation points on their heads, hands, legs, and feet were less fatigued and more alert.
"The study showed that a stimulation acupressure regimen leads to a statistically significant reduction in sleepiness compared to an acupressure treatment that focuses on relaxation," says Richard E. Harris, Ph.D., research investigator in the Division of Rheumatology at the U-M Medical School's Department of Internal Medicine and a researcher at the U-M Health System's Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center.
The 39 students included in the study were participating in three days of all-day lecture classes in the On Job/On Campus executive education program in U-M’s School of Public Health. Students were instructed to self-apply acupressure regimens of either five stimulatory points or five relaxation points. The regimens consisted of massage and light tapping.
Participants were divided into two groups. The relaxation group self-administered acupressure to the stimulation points on the first day and the relaxation points on days two and three. The stimulation group self-administered acupressure to relaxation points on the first day and stimulation points on the following two days.
Sleepiness was assessed by the Stanford Sleepiness Scale and students also rated their levels of sleepiness twice daily. Students in the stimulation group had significantly less fatigue than those in the relaxation group.
"Our findings suggest that acupressure can change alertness in people who are in classroom settings for a full day - which could be very good news for students who have trouble staying alert at school,” says Harris."Ideally, research in the future will help us determine whether acupressure also can have an impact on performance in the classroom as well."
Both acupressure and acupuncture can restore mental clarity and awareness and can improve physical health.
For more information about Acupuncture & Massage College’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs call Joe Calareso, Admissions Director, at (305) 595-9500.