Acupressure is the term used to describe a process which involves applying finger pressure to acupuncture points in order to stimulate blood flow and reduce muscle tension among other things.
The study which is to begin in the near future, hopes to discover whether or not using acupressure could help to relieve persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors.
Researchers will study the effects of two acupressure treatments on 300 breast cancer survivors who are exhibiting cancer related fatigue. It is thought that feeling tired, weary and fatigued affects up to 82 per cent of cancer survivors within five years of being diagnosed.
The study will involve dividing a group of breast cancer survivors (12 months after cancer treatment and suffering from persistent fatigue) into three groups, one will receive relaxation acupressure, one will receive stimulating acupressure and the last will receive routine standard care for six weeks.
According to the pilot research for this study, self administered acupressure decreased fatigue levels in cancer survivors by up to 70 per cent as well as improving their quality of sleep.
Complementary and alternative medicines are becoming more widely used among women recovering from breast cancer, with a recent study published in the journal Nursing Research finding that 57 per cent of women are using such methods. The researchers hope that the full upcoming study will produce similar positive results to that of the pilot study.