01. June 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupressure, Caesarean, Labour

Acupressure could have a role in reducing the rate of caesarean delivery and decreasing the duration of labour, according to Iranian authors. Meta-analysis of 13 studies showed that acupressure increased the chance of vaginal delivery when compared with placebo/no intervention. Acupressure was also found to decrease the duration of the active phase of labour by 1.3 hours and the second stage of labour by 5.8 minutes.
Meta-analysis of the effect of acupressure on duration of labor and mode of delivery. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2016 Oct;135(1):5-10.

A pragmatic randomised controlled trial from the UK has found that acupuncture combined with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) provides significant benefits for patients with depression. Seventy-six patients with depression were randomly divided into two groups. Patients in the treatment group (TG) underwent acupuncture and received an SSRI, while the 26 patients in the control group (CG) received an SSRI only. Mean baseline depression scores were 22.2 and 22.1 in the TG and CG, respectively, but after the first week of treatment, the depression score for the TG had reduced to 15.6, significantly better than the score of 18.3 for the CG. This significant difference was maintained to the end of the six-week treatment period, when depression scores had fallen to 6.3 and 8.2 for the TG and CG. (Acupuncture combined with an antidepressant for patients with depression in hospital: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. Acupunct Med. 2014 May 7. [Epub ahead of print]). http: / /www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/24781054

 

Traditional acupuncture (TA) can reduce the frequency of hot flushes and night sweats (HF&NS), and improve physical and emotional well-being in women taking tamoxifen for breast cancer.  In a single-arm observational study 50 participants with early breast cancer received eight weekly, individualised TA treatments using a core standardised acupuncture protocol developed to treat HF&NS in natural menopause. Mean frequency of HF&NS was reduced by 49.8% at end of treatment (EOT) compared with baseline. Perceptions of HF&NS as a problem reduced by 2.2 points, indicating that participants found their HF&NS significantly less.bothersome following treatment. Seven health domains showed significant statistical and clinical improvements, including anxsiety/fear, memory/concentration, menstrual problems, sexual behaviour, sleep problems, somatic symptoms and vasomotor symptoms. (Using traditional acupuncture for breast cancer-related hot flashes and night sweats. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Oct;16(10):1047-57).

In another study, the same authors evaluated the feasibility of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) five-point ear acupuncture protocol to reduce HF&NS and improve physical and emotional well-being for women receiving breast cancer treatment. Fifty participants completed weekly NADA treatment for eight weeks in small groups (less than five patients). Mean FIF&NS frequency was reduced by 35.9%, perceptions of HF&NS as a problem were reduced by 2.2 points, and statistical and clinical improvements were recorded for anxiety/fears, depressed mood, memory/concentration, sleep problems, somatic symptoms and vasomotor symptoms. (NADA Ear Acupuncture for Breast Cancer Treatment-Related Hot Flashes and Night Sweats: An Observational Study. Medical Acupuncture. December 2012, 24(4): 256-268).

Acupuncture can help reduce stress for women experiencing infertility, according to Australian researchers. In a pilot study, 32 women with a history of infertility received six sessions of acupuncture over eight weeks. At the end of the intervention, women in the acupuncture group described the impact of acupuncture as positive. Significant changes on scores relating to infertility stress, and a trend toward improved self-efficacy and less anxiety were reported in the acupuncture group compared with a wait-list control group. After treatment women described increased physical relaxation and psychological calmness, as well as a changed perspective in relation to coping. (The effect of acupuncture on psychosocial outcomes for women experiencing infertility: a pilot randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Oct;17(10):923-30).

A Cochrane Database systematic review has concluded that acupuncture and acupressure may have a role in reducing pain, increasing satisfaction with pain management and reducing use of pharmacological management for women in labour. Thirteen trials with data on 1986 women were included. Nine trials reported on acupuncture and four on acupressure. Less intense pain was found with acupuncture compared with no intervention. One trial showed increased satisfaction with pain relief compared with placebo. Reduced use of pharmacological analgesia was found in one trial of acupuncture compared with placebo and one compared with standard care.  Fewer instrumental deliveries were found with acupuncture compared with standard care.  Pain intensity was reduced with acupressure, compared with placebo and control and a combined control.  Trials showed significant heterogeneity and all showed some risk of bias.  (Acupuncture or acupressure for pain management in labour.  Cochrane Database Syust Rev. 2011 Jul 6;(7):CD009232).

US researchers have shown that acupressure treatment of subjects with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) result in improvements to their cognitive function. A randomised, placebo-controlled trial assessed the effects of eight acupressure treatments over four weeks. Thirty-eight TBI patients were randomly assigned to either an experimental group that received active acupressure treatments from practitioners or a control group that received treatment from the same practitioners on non-acupressure points. Verum acupressure treatment was administered according to the principles of Jin Shin Do and targeted 26 points located all over the body. Comparing pre- to post-treatment change between groups, the results showed that patients treated with acupressure showed significantly greater improvements on standard tests of attention and working memory than subjects in the control group. (Acupressure as a non-pharmacological intervention for traumatic brain injury (TBI). J Neurotrauma. 2011 Jan;28(1):21-34).

An experimental trial has investigated the effects of acupressure and meridian massage on increasing body weight in premature infants. Forty subjects were randomised into two groups in the Taiwanese study. Those in the experimental group underwent a standard procedure of acupressure at Zhongwan REN-12, Zusanli ST-36, Yongquan KID-1, abdominal rubbing, spleen and stomach meridian massage, and kneading points along the bladder meridian. Treatment was administered for 15 minutes per session, one hour before meals, three times daily over 10 days. The control group underwent routine care. The infants’ body weights and the volume of milk ingested were recorded daily. The daily average weight gain of the infants in the experimental group was 32.7g, compared with 27.3g in the control group. While there was no significant difference in weight gain observed between the two groups in the first week, during the second week the weight gain observed in the experimental group was significantly higher than that observed in the control group. (Acupressure and meridian massage: combined effects on increasing body weight in premature infants. J Clin Nurs. 2008 May;17(9):1174-81).