Research: MAA and colleagues, Schoo

Listed in Issue 27


MAA and colleagues, School of Nursing, Chang Gung College of Medicine and Technology, Taiwan, Republic of China write that acupressure, a therapy in which gentle pressure is applied with fingers at specific acupoints on the body, has been reported to relieve pain and to have other therapeutic effects . The authors investigated the value of self-administered acupressure as an adjunct to a pulmonary rehabilitation programme (PRP) for the relief of dyspnea and other symptoms associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).



31 new patients beginning a 12-week PRP were randomly assigned to one of two groups in a single-blind pretest-posttest cross-over study. Group 1 patients were taught acupressure and practised acupressure daily at home for 6 weeks, then used sham acupressure for the following 6 weeks. In group 2, the order of acupressure and sham acupressure was reversed. Throughout weeks 1, 6 and 12, patient dyspnea, symptoms associated with COPD, activity tolerance, lung function and functional exercise capacity were assessed.


Compared with sham acupressure, real acupressure was more effective in reducing dyspnea and was minimally effective for the relief of decathexis. Sham acupressure appeared to be more effective for reducing peripheral sensory symptoms, but the presence of these symptoms may also be an indication that the acupressure is affecting the body.


Acupressure appears to be useful to patients with COPD as an adjunct to a PRP in reducing dyspnea. People not familiar with traditional Chinese medicine can learn and will accept self-administered acupressure as part of their self-care.


Maa SH et al. Acupressure as an adjunct to a pulmonary rehabilitation program. J Cardiopulm Rehabil 17(4): 268-76. Jul-Aug 1997.

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