WHAT IS ACUPRESSURE?
Acupressure is closely related to acupuncture, but usually involves applying pressure with the fingertips at acupuncture points (also called ‘acupoints’), instead of needles. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, poor health is caused by blockages or imbalances of qi, or vital energy, and acupressure can assist the flow of qi through pathways within the body known as meridians.
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Knowledge represents empowerment. By sharing this evidence-based, peer-reviewed research, we aim to support everyday people to take ownership of their wellness, by making informed decisions and choices in conjunction with their health professional.
How This Study Could Help You Manage Type 2 Diabetes
In Australia, it is estimated that 85-90% of people who have diabetes suffer from type 2 diabetes, which typically affects those who are physically inactive and overweight. This study investigates the effects of self-administered acupressure to support the management of type 2 diabetes, and is titled:
EFFECT OF SELF-ACUPRESSURE ON FASTING BLOOD SUGAR (FBS) AND INSULIN LEVEL IN TYPE 2 DIABETES PATIENTS: A RANDOMIZED CLINICAL TRIAL.
You can read the full study here: https://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6122868/
Why Is This Study Important?
In 2016, the number of people with diabetes worldwide was estimated by the WHO to be 422 million, an almost fourfold increase from the estimated 108 million in 1980. People with type 2 diabetes gradually and progressively produce less insulin than their body needs to control the level of glucose (a type of sugar) in their blood. Additionally, the insulin that their body does produce begins to become less effective at controlling the level of glucose in their blood.
Excessive levels of sugar in the blood are associated with complications such as organ damage and heart disease. Diet and exercise can have an effect on blood glucose and insulin levels, and medication is also often needed to overcome insulin resistance and help control type 2 diabetes. Fasting blood sugar (FBS) is measured after a person has not eaten for at least eight hours, and provides an indication of how well their diabetes is being managed.
This study investigated two measures of diabetes management: FBS levels, and the amount of insulin naturally produced by the body. Even small improvements in these two parameters are beneficial to wellness, so evidence of simple ways people can supplement existing management strategies may offer additional options for minimising the risk of diabetes-related complications.
What Does This Mean For My Wellness?
With complex conditions such as type 2 diabetes, a major aspect of successful management is making small but significant changes that add up to collectively improve wellness. If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, this study suggests that self-acupressure may be one such effective step that assists your existing treatment.
For people at risk of type 2 diabetes or who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, the results of this study suggest that self-acupressure may be a way to help avoid developing the condition. In conjunction with diet and exercise, this simple treatment may help reduce levels of blood sugar and promote the secretion of insulin.
On the basis of their findings, the authors hypothesised that self-acupressure may be an effective complementary method of helping control increased blood sugar levels caused by stress, adrenal dysfunction, or medication for other conditions.
How Does This Relate to Acupressure?
The authors of this study quoted previous research that suggested the acupoints chosen to support diabetes management may influence glandular function, reducing stress and promoting relaxation. They speculated that these effects may be responsible for a decrease in blood sugar.
Acupressure has several advantages: it is non- invasive, and it is not associated with the same kinds of side effects as pharmaceutical medication. People can be easily taught to apply acupressure at key points on the body, free of charge. This means that if evidence can be found for self- acupressure having some benefit for diabetes management, it may offer a way for people in low- income populations to have a more active role in their own wellness.
Key Findings About Self-Acupressure for Managing Type 2 Diabetes
- It was reported that self-administered acupressure may be associated with a small but statistically significant reduction of FBS levels in people with type 2 diabetes over three weeks of treatment.
- The results of the study also indicated that self-acupressure may be linked with slightly increased insulin levels in the blood.
- Although this study and the majority of other studies reviewed focused on relatively short- term results, the results of a three-year study quoted by the authors suggested acupressure may also have long-term benefits for reducing diabetes-related complications.
Electronic Physician is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes original articles, reviews (traditional reviews and systematic reviews), meta-analyses, case reports and other common types of articles related to all areas of basic and clinical medical sciences and all disciplines of health sciences. Topics of interest include all subjects that relate to the practice of medicine and the betterment of public health worldwide
Quoted from journal description