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Acupressure Eases Fatigue in Cancer Survivors: Sleep and Quality of Life Improves

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Breast cancer survivors are often plagued by chronic fatigue that lasts long after their treatment is finished. They have few options to relieve the condition, but acupressure shows promise. A study published this summer in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that acupressure can significantly improve two symptoms of fatigue experienced by breast cancer survivors: sleep quality and quality of life.

The researchers tested 424 women that had completed cancer treatments at least a year prior to the study. They were divided into three groups—one self-administered relaxing acupressure and another stimulating acupressure, while the control group followed a conventional care plan. After six weeks, fatigue was reduced from 70 percent to 43 percent among those receiving acupressure, with two-thirds of the women in the acupressure groups reaching levels of fatigue considered normal.

The relaxing acupressure group showed substantial improvements in sleep quality compared with the conventional care group at week six, but the two groups reached parity at week 10. The relaxing acupressure group was the only one that showed improvements in quality of life, making it a reasonable, low-cost option for managing fatigue symptoms.


This article appears in the November 2016 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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