Acupressure as an Adjunct Aids Cognition in TBI: From the Annual Meeting of the American Neuropsychiatry Association

By Jancin, Bruce | Clinical Psychiatry News, June 2011 | Go to article overview

Acupressure as an Adjunct Aids Cognition in TBI: From the Annual Meeting of the American Neuropsychiatry Association


Jancin, Bruce, Clinical Psychiatry News


DENVER - Acupressure shows promise as an adjuvant therapy for cognitive impairment due to traumatic brain injury, a study has shown.

Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) showed significant improvements on the Stroop task and Digit Span test following Jin Shin acupressure sessions in a randomized, single-blind, sham acupressure-controlled clinical trial, Kristina L. McFadden said at the meeting.

These improvements suggest enhanced working memory function, added Ms. McFadden, a doctoral student in the behavioral neuroscience program at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She and her coauthors also reported their results in the Journal of Neurotrauma (2011; 28:21-34).

Acupressure has previously been reported to be effective for depression, back pain, and nausea. The Jin Shin style of acupressure is based on traditional Chinese acupuncture theory. It's safe and can easily be taught to novices, making it well suited for patient self-care, according to Ms. McFadden.

She reported on 38 TBI patients in their early 20s who were randomized to eight 40-minute sessions of acupressure or sham therapy using placebo acupoints, with all sessions being provided by the same highly experienced acupressurist. The sessions were carried out over a 2-week period. The two patient groups were similar in key baseline characteristics, including their number of head injuries, number of TBI-sensitive symptoms, and time since TBI, which was about 2 years in both groups. …

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