Pressure on the extra 1 acupuncture point increases sedation and decreases stress, according to recent research.

In the study, “Pressure Applied on the Extra 1 Acupuncture Point Reduces Bispectral Index Values and Stress in Volunteers,” 25 subjects received acupressure on the extra 1 acupuncture point, located midway between the medial ends of the two eyebrows, at the root of the nose. On a different day, the subjects received acupressure on a control point two centimeters from the lateral end of the left eyebrow.

Pressure on the extra 1 point lasted for 10 minutes, while pressure on the control point lasted for five minutes, due to subjects’ discomfort with pressure on this point.

Effects of the acupressure were measured using the bispectral index and verbal stress scales. The bispectral index uses electroencephalography (EEG), the recording and analysis of electrical activity in the brain, to measure the depth of hypnosis and sedation in subjects. The verbal stress scales measure stress and tension on a scale of 0 to 10.

Bispectral index values were recorded, using a ZipprepTM electrode attached to the subject’s forehead, before the acupressure took place, every 30 seconds during acupressure, and after pressure was released. Subjects completed the verbal stress scale before and after the acupressure occurred.

Bispectral index values were significantly reduced at 2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10 minutes into acupressure on the extra 1 point, indicating an increase in sedation. After the pressure was released, the bispectral index values returned to baseline.

Pressure on the control point also decreased bispectral index values, but the values were significantly higher than those obtained during pressure on the extra 1 point.

Verbal stress scores were reduced by 50 percent after acupressure on the extra 1 point and by 14 percent after acupressure on the control point.

“Our results demonstrate a 50 percent reduction in [bispectral index] values when pressure was applied on the extra 1 point and a 50 percent reduction in anxiety and stress by pressing this point for 10 minutes,” state the study’s authors.

“The method may prove to be effective in attenuating anxiety and stress in everyday life as well,” they continued, “and may replace tranquilizers and hypnotics, at least in part, for thousands of people under stress.”

Source: Department of Anesthesiology at Aretaieion Hospital and St. Savas Hospital, Athens, Greece. Authors: Argyro Fassoulaki, M.D., Ph.D.; Adia Paraskeva, M.D.; Konstantinos Patris, M.D.; Theodora Pourgiezi, M.D.; and Georgia Kostopanagiotou, M.D. Originally published in Anesthesia Analgesia, 2003, Vol. 96, pp. 885-889.

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