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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 543291, 6 pages
Research Article

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

1Department of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Nihon Fukushi University, 26-2 Higashihaemicho, Handa, Aichi 475-0012, Japan
2Multidisciplinary Pain Centre, School of Medicine, Aichi Medical University, Aichi 480-1195, Japan
3Department of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Nagoya Gakuin University, Aichi 480-1298, Japan
4Futuristic Environmental Simulation Center, Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan

Received 7 July 2010; Accepted 2 September 2010

Copyright © 2011 Takako Matsubara et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.