The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below. Abuse (sexual, physical, psychological), angina, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anorexia nervosa, apoplectic hemiplegia, arthritis, beauty treatment, Bell's palsy, bloating (after surgery), cancer therapy for children, cancer treatment side-effects (other than nausea), carpal tunnel syndrome, cerebral birth injuries (infants), childbirth facilitation/induction, colds/flu, congestion, constipation, chronic fatigue syndrome, dementia, edema, emotional repression/trauma, eyestrain, fatigue, fibromyalgia, gag reflex abnormalities (for prevention during dental procedures), gastrointestinal disorders, gum disease, head injury, HIV/AIDS, hormonal pain, hyperactivity, immune deficiencies, itchiness, joint inflammation, jetlag, kidney infection (related pain), menopausal pain, multiple sclerosis, muscle tension/ache, neuralgia (postherpetic), optic atrophy, organ transplantation, phobias, poor circulation, post-traumatic stress disorder, prolapse of lumbar intervertebral disc, psoriasis, recurrent urinary tract infections, renal disease, restless leg syndrome, Rett syndrome, sickle cell anemia (pain), sinus problems, sports injuries, stress, sunburn pain, tendonitis, toothache, ulcer pain, weight gain (premature infants).
Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
With proper training, self-administered acupressure and that performed by an experienced therapist appear to be generally safe. There is a lack of serious long-term complications reported in the scientific literature. Hand nerve injury, herpes zoster ("shingles"), carotid dissection, and retinal and cerebral artery embolism cases have been reported after shiatsu massage. Forceful acupressure may cause bruising.
This information is based on a professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): William Collinge, MPH, PhD (Collinge & Associates); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Carolyn Williams Orlando, MA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Agarwal A, Ranjan R, Dhiraaj S, et al. Acupressure for prevention of pre-operative anxiety: a prospective, randomised, placebo controlled study. Anaesthesia 2005 Oct;60(10):978-8.
Barker R, Kober A, Hoerauf K, et al. Out-of-hospital auricular acupressure in elder patients with hip fracture: a randomized double-blinded trial. Acad Emerg Med 2006 Jan;13(1):19-23.
Chen HM,Chen CH. Effects of acupressure at the Sanyinjiao point on primary dysmenorrhoea. J Adv Nurs 2004;48(4):380-387.
Cho YC, Tsay SL. The effect of acupressure with massage on fatigue and depression in patients with end-stage renal disease. J Nurs.Res 2004;12(1):51-59.
Harris RE, Jeter J, Chan P, et al. Using acupressure to modify alertness in the classroom: a single-blinded, randomized, cross-over trial. J Altern Complement Med 2005 Aug;11(4):673-9.
Ho CM, Tsai HJ, Chan KH, et al. P6 acupressure does not prevent emesis during spinal anesthesia for cesarean delivery. Anesth Analg 2006 Mar;102(3):900-3.
Hsieh LL, Kuo CH, Lee LH, et al. Treatment of low back pain by acupressure and physical therapy: randomised controlled trial. BMJ 2006 Mar 25;332(7543):696-700.
Maa SH, Sun MF, Hsu KH, et al. Effect of acupuncture or acupressure on quality of life of patients with chronic obstructive asthma: a pilot study. J Altern Complement Med 2003;9(5):659-670.
Puangsricharern A, Mahasukhon S. Effectiveness of auricular acupressure in the treatment of nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. J Med Assoc Thai. 2008; 91(11):1633-8.
Roscoe JA, Jean-Pierre P, Morrow GR, et al. Exploratory analysis of the usefulness of acupressure bands when severe chemotherapy-related nausea is expected. J Soc Integr Oncol 2006 Winter;4(1):16-20.
Sheehan P. Hyperemesis gravidarum--assessment and management. Aust Fam Physician 2007 Sep;36(9):698-701.
Smith CA, Collins CT, Cyna AM, et al. Complementary and alternative therapies for pain management in labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006 Oct 18;(4):CD003521.
Stein DJ, Birnbach DJ, Danzer BI, et al. Acupressure versus intravenous metoclopramide to prevent nausea and vomiting during spinal anesthesia for cesarean section. Anesth Analg 1997;84(2):342-345.
Tsay SL, Wang JC, Lin KC, et al. Effects of acupressure therapy for patients having prolonged mechanical ventilation support. J Adv Nurs 2005 Oct;52(2):142-50.
Wang SM, Escalera S, et al. Extra-1 acupressure for children undergoing anesthesia. Anesth Analg. 2008; 107(3):811-6.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children,
never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.