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.