Anesthesia & Analgesia

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

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†

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Abstract

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.

© 2008 International Anesthesia Research Society

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