This study focused on people 65-plus living in residential aged care facilities who reported poor sleep quality. Half of the group followed a 12-minute acupressure routine three times a week for a month, while the other group just continued with their normal care. Participants’ self-reported sleep quality was measured before the study, right after the study, and two weeks after the study wrapped up.
Acupressure involves applying light pressure to certain points on the body. Hailing from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the practice is meant to help vital energy (known as chi) move through the body, as well as release muscle tension and promote healthy circulation. In TCM, acupoints along the heart, lungs, and kidneys are all thought to correspond to our ability to sleep, so these are the points where researchers focused their attention (HT7, PC6, and SP6).
Sure enough, the results show that those who received acupressure reported better overall sleep quality and less anxiousness than those who just had their normal care. This study is the latest to scientifically validate the simple but effective modality that dates back all the way to 2000 B.C.
Unlike acupuncture, acupressure is something that anyone can practice themselves at any time, no special equipment required—and no matter their age. And whether it’s sleep, digestion, immune function, or mood you’re looking to support, there’s a routine out there for you.
You can put this research into practice by testing out an acupressure sequence geared toward sleep; here’s one from acupuncturist and mbg class instructor Paige Bourassa, DACM, L.Ac., RHN.