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Chiropractic Research Review

Acupressure: Techniques, Validity and Application

Acupressure is a means of manipulating the same acupoints that are used in acupuncture, but without the needles. A literature review was conducted in two parts. The first part examined Western research regarding the prophylactic use of single-point acupressure; the second reviewed a sample of mainly Chinese clinical research concerning the restorative use of multipoint acupressure.

Results showed that the most convincing finding supporting the effectiveness of acupressure comes from methodologically rigorous studies of the use of PC6 as an antiemetic.

A number of studies show that PC6 is more effective than placebo in reducing feelings of nausea during pregnancy, after surgery and in cancer chemotherapy.

The scientific quality of most of the published studies examining the effectiveness of multipoint acupressure (predominantly auriculotherapy) proved to be poor, without adequate control groups, randomization, placebos, blinding and statistical analyses. There seemed to be a cultural divide between theory and methodological rigor. The scientifically rigorous studies tended to be atheoretical in selecting the acupoint for treatment and in explaining how the point may work.

Harris PE. Acupressure: a review of the literature. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Sept. 1997;5(3), pp156-61.
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Chiropractic Research Review

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