Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wrist Acupuncture Or Acupressure Prevents Nausea From Anesthesia, Review Finds

Date:
April 16, 2009
Source:
Center for Advancing Health
Summary:
Up to 80 percent of patients who have surgery complain of nausea and vomiting afterwards, but stimulating an acupoint in their wrists can help reduce these symptoms, finds a new evidence review.

Up to 80 percent of patients who have surgery complain of nausea and vomiting afterwards, but stimulating an acupoint in their wrists can help reduce these symptoms, finds a new evidence review.

Treatment for nausea and vomiting after surgery and anesthesia typically calls for the use of anti-nausea (antiemetic) medications. However, the cost and side effects of these medications have raised interest in finding more simple and noninvasive ways to prevent the symptoms. The aim of the systematic review was to determine whether stimulation of the wrist acupuncture point is an effective option.

The Pericardium (P6) point is in the wrist and its stimulation prevents nausea and vomiting, the researchers found.

The review appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates research in all aspects of health care. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing trials on a topic.

Author Anna Lee of the Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care at The Chinese University of Hong Kong led the current review. It is an update of a previous 2004 Cochrane review, which Lee also led.

Stimulating the P6 point can occur by several methods such as acupuncture or acupressure. Acupuncture involves penetrating the skin with thin, metallic needles at defined points. It is one of the main medical treatments in traditional Chinese medicine and began there more than 2,000 years ago. One type of acupressure involves wearing a wristband that presses down on the P6 point.

Lixing Lao, a licensed acupuncturist and director at the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, described how the treatment works to prevent nausea.

“After a stimulation on the acupuncture point, the nerve system is then activated and signals the brain to release certain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine or endorphins,” Lao said. “These then block the other chemicals that cause the sickness, nausea and vomiting, in this case, in the central nerve system. Therefore, the patient won’t feel that sick or nauseated.”

Lee and her colleague evaluated 40 studies comprising 4,858 patients. Most of the studies involved healthy adults undergoing elective surgery with general anesthesia. The studies all compared the stimulation of the P6 acupoint with sham (placebo) treatment or drug therapy with antiemetics for preventing nausea and vomiting after surgery.

The studies used 10 different methods of P6 stimulation, such as needle acupuncture, laser stimulation, transcutaneous (through the skin) nerve stimulation and acupressure wristbands. They used five different antiemetic drugs.

“Of the 40 trials included, the most common method of stimulation was wristband alone, in 17 studies,” Lee said. “The wristbands used to prevent both postoperative nausea and vomiting are the same sold for seasickness, travel sickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting.”

The Cochrane reviewers found that compared to sham treatment, stimulation of the P6 acupoint can significantly reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting after surgery, with few side effects. Lee said that “for 100 people, of whom 80 would vomit or feel sick after surgery if given sham treatment, about 25 people would benefit from P6 stimulation and 75 would not.”

When compared to the use of antiemetic medications, however, the reviewers found no reliable evidence that showed any difference in whether acupoint stimulation is more effective in preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting. They concluded that it can be used as a “suitable alternative or addition to” the medications.

Lee concluded that reducing nausea and vomiting for surgery patients through P6 point stimulation could reduce costs, such as the cost of antiemetic medication and length of hospital stays, and improve the quality of patient care.

Lee said that in her homeland of Hong Kong, P6 stimulation methods are “not used widely, if at all.”

“Generally, physicians and patients are not aware of this type of treatment for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting,” she said. “Translating the evidence from this updated Cochrane review into clinical practice will take time.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center for Advancing Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lee A, Fan LTY. Stimulation of the wrist acupuncture point P6 for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2009, Issue 2

Cite This Page:

Center for Advancing Health. "Wrist Acupuncture Or Acupressure Prevents Nausea From Anesthesia, Review Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415170848.htm>.
Center for Advancing Health. (2009, April 16). Wrist Acupuncture Or Acupressure Prevents Nausea From Anesthesia, Review Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415170848.htm
Center for Advancing Health. "Wrist Acupuncture Or Acupressure Prevents Nausea From Anesthesia, Review Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415170848.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins