Acupressure, shiatsu, tuina
The practice of applying finger pressure to specific acupoints throughout the body has been used in China since 2000 BC, prior to the use of ac...

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Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Nausea: Numerous scientific studies support the use of wrist acupressure at the P6 acupoint (also known as Neiguan) in the prevention and treatment of nausea after surgery, intra-operative nausea (during spinal anesthesia), nausea from chemotherapy, as well as pregnancy related nausea/vomiting and morning sickness. Effects have been noted in children as well as adults.
Grade: A

Anxiety: Acupressure may significantly reduce general and pre-operative anxiety. However, these studies have been small and poorly designed, warranting better-quality research.
Grade: B

Pain: Acupressure using aromatic essential oils (lavender) may reduce pain intensity, stiffness, and stress in patients with neck pain for up to one month. Auricular acupressure may reduce pain and anxiety among hip fracture patients. Acupressure may also aid in the improvement of hemiplegic shoulder pain and motor power among stroke patients.
Grade: B

Agitated behavior (in dementia): Acupressure may decrease verbal and physical agitation among dementia patients. Further study is needed before recommendations can be made.
Grade: C

Alertness: Acupressure at stimulation and relaxation points may have different effects on alertness in a classroom setting. Further research is necessary to confirm these findings.
Grade: C

Asthma (quality of life): Preliminary research suggests that patients with chronic asthma who receive acupressure may experience improved quality of life. Further well-designed studies are needed before firm conclusions can be drawn.
Grade: C

Bed-wetting (children): Early research seems promising. Further research is necessary before a recommendation can be made.
Grade: C

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): A combination of acupressure and massage may reduce dyspnea (labored breathing) and anxiety in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who use prolonged mechanical ventilatory support. Further study of acupressure alone is needed before a recommendation can be made.
Grade: C

Depression: Several studies suggest that fatigue and depressive mood may improve with acupressure therapy. Further research is necessary to confirm these findings.
Grade: C

Drug addiction: Preliminary evidence suggests that acupressure may be a helpful adjunct therapy to assist with the prevention of relapse, withdrawal, or dependence. Further research is necessary to confirm these findings before a firm conclusion can be reached.
Grade: C

Dyspnea (shortness of breath): A small study of patients undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation reported acupressure to be beneficial for decreasing dyspnea. Larger, well-designed studies are needed before clear conclusions can be drawn.
Grade: C

Epilepsy (children): Preliminary evidence suggests that acupressure may help epileptic seizures among children. Further research is needed to confirm these results.
Grade: C

Exercise performance: Preliminary research reports that ear acupressure may reduce muscle fatigue and lactic acid production, thereby possibly improving athletic performance. Additional research is necessary before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
Grade: C

Facial spasm: There is preliminary positive evidence from one small study in this area. Further research is needed before a clear recommendation can be made.
Grade: C

Gastrointestinal motility: A small study suggests acupressure may improve gastrointestinal motility. Additional research is necessary before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
Grade: C

Headache: Self-administered acupressure is reported to help tension or migraine headaches in early studies. More research is needed before a recommendation can be made.
Grade: C

High blood pressure: Small studies in men and women report that acupressure may reduce blood pressure. Study results on the effect of acupressure on heart rate have yielded mixed results. Large, well-designed studies are needed before conclusions can be drawn.
Grade: C

Labor pain: One study reports that LI4 and BL67 acupressure may reduce labor pain specifically during the first stage of labor. Further study is needed before a recommendation can be made.
Grade: C

Low back pain: One study showed that acupressure was effective in reducing low back pain in terms of disability, pain scores, and functional status. The benefit was sustained for six months. More study is needed to make a firm recommendation.
Grade: C

Menstrual pain: Based on initial research, acupressure may reduce menstrual pain severity, pain medication use, and anxiety associated with menstruation. Further research is needed before a clear recommendation can be made.
Grade: C

Palliative care: Preliminary research in patients with advanced progressive diseases reports that acupressure may improve energy levels, relaxation, confidence, symptom control, thought clarity, and mobility. Further research is necessary to confirm these findings.
Grade: C

Parkinson's disease: Acupressure may benefit several measures of severity of Parkinson's disease. Further study is needed before recommendations may be made.
Grade: C

Post-operative pain: Several studies report that acupressure provides pain relief to patients after surgeries. Research suggests that acupressure may be as effective as intravenous pain medications. However, further evidence is needed from well-designed trials before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
Grade: C

Sexual dysfunction: Results from preliminary study suggest a benefit of vaginal acupressure/pelvic massage in the reduction of aspects of sexual dysfunction. Additional studies are needed.
Grade: C

Sleep apnea: A small study reports that acupressure may provide early prevention and treatment for sleep apnea. Larger, well-designed studies are needed before conclusions can be drawn. Patients with known or suspected sleep apnea should consult with a licensed healthcare professional.
Grade: C

Sleep quality: Preliminary research supports the use of acupressure for improving sleep quality in elderly patients and possibly in healthy adults of all ages. Better-designed trials are needed to support these results.
Grade: C

Smoking cessation: Early study indicates that auricular acupressure may help with quitting smoking. Further research is needed to confirm these results.
Grade: C

Stroke: Promising early data suggests acupressure may aid in the recovery of post-stroke paralysis.
Grade: C

Cervical spondylosis: Results from a meta-analysis do not support use of tuina for cervical spondylosis.
Grade: D

Weight loss/obesity: Preliminary evidence suggests that acupressure may not be effective for weight loss but may aid in weight maintenance following weight loss.
Grade: D

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