In recent research, acupressure was found to reduce heart rate significantly more than a placebo therapy—thereby effecting the relaxation response—in stroke patients.

Acupressure features the use of fingertips to stimulate the body’s acupoints. It is a regularly utilized component of traditional Chinese medicine.

“The study tested the hypothesis that active acupressure treatments would reduce heart rate and blood pressure (i.e., induce a greater relaxation response) above and beyond that seen during placebo acupressure treatments,” according to a report from Elsevier, the publishers of the journal—Complementary Therapies in Medicine—the research was published in, published on

A randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blind crossover design was utilized, in which 16 participants received eith weeks of either active or placebo acupressure followed by washout and crossover into the opposite treatment condition. Heart rate and blood pressure measurements were taken throughout treatments.

“Although no treatment effect on blood pressure was found, this could be due to 67 percent of participants taking antihypertensive medications during the study,” the pubmed study noted.

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