(NaturalPath) A new study conducted at the University of Michigan Health System has shown that acupressure can help to reduce fatigue in breast cancer patients.
There are many side effects of chemotherapy and other breast cancer treatments. Roughly one third of women undergoing treatment experience moderate to severe fatigue that can last up to a decade post-treatment.
Researchers recruited 424 individuals who had recovered from breast cancer in order to test the efficacy of acupressure on fatigue symptoms. Individuals were randomly selected and placed into one of three groups. One group consisted of relaxing acupressure treatment, the second consisted of stimulating acupressure treatment, and the third was the typical care group. Typical care consisted of education related to sleep-management techniques. Women in the acupressure groups were educated on how to find, and stimulate acupressure points at home. Acupressure treatment was to be carried out once daily, for a period of six weeks.
Acupressure is a type of Traditional Chinese Medicine that requires the individual to apply firm pressure over specific points along the body. Relaxing acupressure is traditionally used to treat insomnia; where as stimulating acupressure is used to improve energy. In order to create either a stimulating or relaxing effect, different points are used in the two types of acupressure.
Results of the study showed that following the six-week period, both acupressure treatment groups reported significant improvements in their fatigue levels. Participants in the relaxing acupressure group also showed significant improvements in quality of sleep, as well as less sleep disruption, and improved quality of life scores.
The beneficial aspect of this therapy is that participants were able to complete this treatment at home once the technique was instructed. This study provides a cost-effective solution and treatment for fatigue symptoms, following breast cancer therapy.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.
Richard E. Harris, PhD. Investigation of 2 Types of Self-administered Acupressure for Persistent Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Oncology, July 2016 DOI: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.1867