Meridian acupressure—pressure on specific points along the body’s energy pathways, or meridians—was found to assist stroke patients, in recent research.

The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of meridian acupressure on the functions of affected upper extremities, activity of daily living and depression for stroke patients.

“The handicaps of stroke patients necessitate multidisciplinary rehabilitation, which is aimed at decreasing the consequences of the illness in daily functions,” the South Korean researchers noted. “In traditional Chinese medicine, meridian acupressure has been used for rehabilitation of affected upper extremities of hemiplegia stroke patients in clinical practice.”

Meridian acupressure was applied every day for 10 minutes per time in the experimental group (28 subjects) for two weeks. Routine care only was applied in the control group (28 subjects). Measures were a hand dynamometer for grip power, a 15-point graphic rating scale for pain, the distance round the index finger for oedema, electrogoniometry for the passive range of motion of the upper extremities, the activity of daily living scale for activity of daily living, and the six-face rating scale for depression.

“Meridian acupressure was an effective intervention for improving the movement of the affected upper extremities, increasing activity of daily living and decreasing depression of hemiplegia stroke patients,” the researchers said. “Health professionals need to consider an array of methods including meridian acupressure for the rehabilitation of stroke patients.

“Meridian acupressure has the potential as an alternative nursing intervention for multidisciplinary rehabilitation of stroke patients in practice,” they added.

In previous research reported by MASSAGE Magazine acupressure and meridian massage resulted in significant weight gain among premature infants; and massage was shown to benefit stroke patients.