Acupressure and Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a movement disorder that can cause stiff or weak muscles, poor coordination, and tremors. Patients often have floppy or rigid limbs and may have trouble standing or walking. Acupressure is an alternative treatment option that may help some children with cerebral palsy.
What Is Acupressure?
Acupressure is an alternative medical therapy that’s been popular in China for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese medicine states that the body has twelve major meridians. These meridians are energy channels that connect all body parts, from the fingertips to the brain to the organ systems.
Along each meridian are several acupoints. These acupoints are triggered with tiny needles in acupuncture treatments. Acupressure works similarly but uses deep pressure on the acupoints rather than any type of puncture.
Chinese philosophy states that if the body’s energy channels are blocked or imbalanced, the body can suffer from a number of symptoms. Some in Western medicine have recognized some of the potential benefits of acupressure as well, though this is an alternative therapy that has not been studied in depth.
How Acupressure Works
During an acupressure treatment, the practitioner uses their hands, elbows, or feet to apply pressure to specific acupoints on the body. Acupressure is performed while the patient remains fully clothed. The patient will typically lay on a massage table for acupressure treatments.
A systematic review of scientific studies on the benefits of acupressure has shown that this treatment can effectively relieve various types of pain. The potential benefits of acupressure can include:
- Reduced stiffness
- Pain relief
- Reduced nausea
- Reduced stress levels
Important Considerations with Acupressure
If you’re considering acupressure treatments for a child with cerebral palsy, you should speak to the child’s healthcare provider before you begin any new therapy. Your doctor can help you identify any potential hazards with acupressure. Some conditions can be worsened by physical manipulation, so it is important to communicate these to any practitioner working with your child.
Acupressure is not a scientifically proven treatment for cerebral palsy, but there is some evidence to support that this type of massage can help patients improve their range of motion, muscle mass, muscle control, and comfort levels.
Always ask for a practitioner’s credentials before making an appointment with them. You should look for an acupressure therapist who is licensed and certified. Ideally, you will find a therapist who is also familiar with cerebral palsy patients. Cerebral palsy is a unique condition that requires careful consideration for those using acupressure massage as a therapeutic approach.
Alternative therapies like acupressure are becoming increasingly popular for their noninvasive approach to cerebral palsy treatment and the great potential for improvement. If you’re interested in an alternative to Western medicine, this approach may offer what you’re looking for.
If you believe that your child or loved one’s cerebral palsy is the result of medical malpractice, contact the Cerebral Palsy Family Lawyers at Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC to explore your case further. You may be eligible for compensation that would help cover the costs of some treatment options.
Trish Fletcher, MS, BSN, CRNP, NNP-BC, ALNC
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner | Birth Injury Legal Nurse Consultant
Tricia is a dedicated, focused, Birth Injury Legal Nurse Consultant and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner with more than 25 years of experience. Her strong clinical and critical thinking skills, paired with expertise caring for neonates in a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), ensures meticulous medical records review. READ FULL BIO