The Alternative Medicine site at About.com describes acupressure as "The application of pressure to certain points along the flow of energy or "qi" in the body. This therapy is used to promote health, prevent and treat disease, and relieve pain."
Some reports tell us that acupuncture (acupressure using needles) has a 90% success rate when it comes to insomnia. Pressure on certain points on the energy chain of the body encourages an increase of the hormone serotonin that produces sleep.
But what of people who are having a problem staying awake, for example, students in a long, boring class lecture or people working night shift? Can acupressure help in these cases?
A study done by the University of Michigan Health System says "Yes." Students taught how to use certain pressure points were able to stay more alert in class without the need for large doses of caffeine or other artificial sleep aids.
39 students in an On Job/On Campus program that consisted of three days of all-day lectures were taught how to use acupressure to stay awake and alert. They did this by lightly tapping or massaging certain points on the body.
According to the study, acupressure stimulation points include:
- The top of the head
- The top of the back of the neck on both sides
- On the back of the hands between the thumb and forefinger
- Just below both knees
- On the bottom of the feet, at the center just below the balls of the feet.
Students using these acupressure points were able to stay more alert and focused. This might possibly work for people working shift work, or anyone who suffers from excessive daytime sleepiness.
For a complete chart of acupressure points, visit AcuGuide - the Beginner's Guide to Acupressure.
Published On: January 27, 2009