Acupressure is a touch technique practiced by many massage therapists, and involves using the fingertips to stimulate acupoints on the skin.

New research shows eight acupressure sessions provided over four weeks total had a positive effect on cognitive impairment and state of being following traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to an abstract published on

“While suggested to improve cognitive function, acupressure has not been previously investigated with a controlled design in traumatic brain injury survivors, who could particularly benefit from a non-pharmacological intervention for cognitive impairment,” the abstract noted.

The researchers, from the University of Colorado, hypothesized that active acupressure treatments “would confer greater cognitive improvement than placebo treatments, perhaps due to enhanced relaxation response induction and resulting stress reduction,” the abstract noted.

“Significant” effects related to working memory were found after comparing pre- to post-treatment change between groups in this randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blind designed study, the abstract noted.

“[T]hese results suggest an enhancement in working memory function associated with active treatments,” the researchers noted. “Since acupressure emphasizes self-care and can be taught to novice individuals, it warrants further study as an adjunct treatment for [traumatic brain injury].”

“Acupressure as a non-pharmacological intervention for traumatic brain injury (TBI)” was published in the Journal of Neurotrauma. (2010 Oct 27.)

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