Can Acupressure reduce Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors?

 

logo1267406_mdA new study published in JAMA Oncology concluded that acupressure reduces persistent fatigue in women who have been treated for breast cancer.   Researchers studied 424 breast cancer survivors from the Michigan Tumor Registry and randomized them to relaxing acupressure (often used to treat insomnia) , stimulating acupressure (often used to increase energy), or usual care including typical sleep management techniques. Subjects were taught how to find and stimulate the acupressure points so they could perform it at home once daily for 6 weeks. At the end of the study period, both acupressure treatments resulted in significant, sustained improvement in fatigue. However, only the relaxing acupressure showed an improved sleep quality, and overall improved quality of life.

Overall researchers found that acupressure reduced fatigue by 27 percent to 34 percent over 6 weeks. About 2/3 of the women who did relaxing acupressure obtained normal fatigue levels.

because fatigue is a common long-term effects of breast cancer treatment  that lasts up to 10 years for about 1/3 of women (moderate to severe), and because it was relatively easy to teach the women to do acupressure (learned in about 15 minutes) researchers concluded “Given the brief training required to learn acupressure, this intervention could be a low-cost option for treating fatigue.” Further research is planned.

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