Acupressure involves applying pressure with fingers, thumbs or a device to specific points on the body. About a third of women experience moderate to severe fatigue - one of the most common long-term effects of breast cancer treatment – up to 10 years after the treatment ends.
The findings revealed that acupressure reduced fatigue by 27 per cent to 34 per cent over six weeks. Two-thirds of women who did relaxing acupressure - a certain type of the healing method –showed significant improvements in fatigue levels, measure of sleep quality, such as disrupted sleep and overall quality of life, the researchers said.
“Acupressure is easy to learn and patients can do it themselves. The intervention could be a low-cost option for treating fatigue,” Zick added. In the study, published in the journal JAMA Oncology, the team tested two types of acupressure: relaxing acupressure, used traditionally to treat insomnia and stimulating acupressure, which is used to increase energy.
At the end of the trial, both acupressure treatments resulted in significant, sustained improvements in fatigue. However, the relaxing method appeared to cause more significant improvements in fatigue levels of breast cancer patients.