Does Acupressure Help Cancer Survivors?

Acupressure has been held as a marvel within certain communities for millennia. Now, thanks to a study published in JAMA Oncology[1], we can begin to see more of why that is.

What is Acupressure?

Acupressure is the stimulation of specific points on the body with gentle pressure or rubbing. Proponents say that it’s able to assist with a host of problems, including arthritis and spinal pains. Based within the rich tradition of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the practices that inform it go back over five thousand years[2].

We’ve written in the past about acupressure, acupuncture, and other methods based in the same school of thought.

The Study

Focusing on the potential for acupressure to assist breast cancer survivors with their day-to-day fatigue levels, the paper utilized a sample size just shy of 500. They were taught to apply these techniques at home at their leisure, and their performance in these tasks was tested to ensure compliance.

Spanning a period of six weeks, over 60% of patients receiving acupressure treatment were reporting reduced fatigue. For comparison, the group that received standard treatment for post-cancer fatigue only provided results only 30.1% of the time.

This is astounding, as acupressure is a wholly inexpensive treatment, reliant only on teaching a simple procedure to the patient. With a decent sampling, and a high success rate, it would be surprising to not include it within one’s healthcare. The benefits may not even end there, as the study concludes:

Both acupressure arms significantly reduced persistent fatigue compared with usual care, but only relaxing acupressure had significant effects on sleep quality and quality of life. Relaxing acupressure offers a possible low-cost option for managing symptoms.

For more on this, check out the original research article here, or one of our articles on acupuncture here or here. Or, to change gears and learn more about how natural medicines are entering the mainstream, check out how the Swiss are mandating insurance coverage of naturopathic services.

[1]JAMA Oncology
[Original Image]PixaBay

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