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The Effect of Acupressure at the Extra 1 Point on Subjective and Autonomic Responses to Needle Insertion

Arai, Young-Chang P. MD*; Ushida, Takahiro MD*; Osuga, Tomoaki MD*; Matsubara, Takako PT*; Oshima, Kahori; Kawaguchi, Kana; Kuwabara, Chiaki; Nakao, Sigeya; Hara, Atsushi; Furuta, Chihiro; Aida, Erina; Ra, Shugyoku; Takagi, Yui; Watakabe, Kyoko

doi: 10.1213/ane.0b013e31817b8495
Analgesia: Research Report

BACKGROUND: Premedication with sedatives can decrease the discomfort associated with invasive anesthetic procedures. Some researchers have shown that acupressure on the acupuncture extra 1 point is effective for sedation. We investigated whether acupressure on the extra 1 point could alleviate the pain of needle insertion.

METHODS: We investigated the effect of acupressure at the extra 1 point or a sham point on needle insertion using verbal rating scale (VRS) pain scores and heart rate variability (HRV). Twenty-two healthy female volunteers were randomly allocated to two groups: the extra 1 group received acupressure at the extra 1 point, and the sham group received acupressure at a sham point. After starting the electrocardiogram record, a 27-gauge needle was inserted into the skin of a forearm. Thereafter, another needle was inserted into the skin of the other forearm during acupressure.

RESULTS: Acupressure at the extra 1 point significantly reduced the VRS, but acupressure at the sham increased the VRS. Acupressure at the extra 1 significantly reduced the low frequency/high frequency ratio of HRV responding to needle insertion.

CONCLUSIONS: Acupressure at the extra 1 point significantly reduced needle insertion pain compared with acupressure at the sham point. Also, acupressure at the extra 1 point significantly reduced the low frequency/high frequency ratio of HRV responding to needle insertion, which implies a reduction in sympathetic nervous system activity.

IMPLICATIONS: Acupressure at the extra 1 point significantly reduced needle insertion pain and autonomic nervous system response.

From the *Multidisciplinary Pain Center, and †Society for Chinese and Kampo Medicine, Aichi Medical University, Aichi, Japan.

Accepted for publication March 26, 2008.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Young-Chang P. Arai, MD, Multidisciplinary Pain Center, Aichi Medical University, 21 Karimata, Nagakutecho, Aichigun, Aichi, 480-1195, Japan. Address e-mail to arainon@aichi-med-u.ac.jp.

© 2008 International Anesthesia Research Society