Acupressure effectively reduces the amount of nausea experienced, both in the first trimester of pregnancy, and after either opiates or cytotoxic agents. The aim of this randomised, controlled study was to establish whether it could also reduce any sensation of nausea related to the taking of maxillary dental impressions.
The sample comprised 8 males and 14 females, with a mean age of 14.64 years and whose self-registration of nausea following an impression was greater than 33% of a 100mm visual analogue. The test involved a second impression with prior application of pressure on either PC.6, the sixth point on the Chinese pericardial meridian, or a placebo point on the forearm of the patient's dominant limb. A random mental choice as to which point to press was made by each patient, and double blind conditions prevailed. After the withdrawal of the impression, another visual analogue was marked.
Of the 9 patients who had used the placebo point during the test impression, there had been a mean reduction of 29% in the scale of nausea experienced. Of the 13 who had used the PC.6 acupressure point, the mean reduction was 30%. The difference was not significant. Three and a half minutes of acupressure on PC.6 did not reduce the sensation of nausea induced by tactile stimulation of the soft palate in this small sample of susceptible patients.
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