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Comparative Effects of Acupressure at Local and Distal Acupuncture Points on Pain Conditions and Autonomic Function in Females with Chronic Neck Pain

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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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Abstract

Acupressure on local and distal acupuncture points might result in sedation and relaxation, thereby reducing chronic neck pain. The aim was to investigate the effect of acupressure at local (LP) and distal acupuncture points (DP) in females with chronic neck pain. Thirty-three females were assigned to three groups: the control group did not receive any stimuli, the LP group received acupressure at local acupuncture points, GB 21, SI 14 and SI 15, and the DP group received acupressure at distal acupuncture points, LI 4, LI 10 and LI 11. Verbal rating scale (VRS), Neck Disability Index (NDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), muscle hardness (MH), salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) activity, heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV) values and satisfaction due to acupressure were assessed. VRS, NDI, STAI and MH values decreased after acupressure in the LP and the DP group. HR decreased and the power of high frequency (HF) component of HRV increased after acupressure in only the LP group. Although acupressure on not only the LP but also the DP significantly improved pain conditions, acupressure on only the LP affected the autonomic nervous system while acupuncture points per se have different physical effects according to location.

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