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U. of Colorado study shows acupressure effective in helping to treat traumatic brain injury
Date:2/28/2011

A new University of Colorado Boulder study indicates an ancient form of complementary medicine may be effective in helping to treat people with mild traumatic brain injury, a finding that may have implications for some U.S. war veterans returning home.

The study involved a treatment known as acupressure in which one's fingertips are used to stimulate particular points on a person's body -- points similar to those stimulated with needles in standard acupuncture treatments, said CU-Boulder Professor Theresa Hernandez, lead study author. The results indicate a link between the acupressure treatments and enhanced cognitive function in study subjects with mild traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

"We found that the study subjects with mild traumatic brain injury who were treated with acupressure showed improved cognitive function, scoring significantly better on tests of working memory when compared to the TBI subjects in the placebo control group," said Hernandez, a professor in CU-Boulder's psychology and neuroscience department. "This suggests to us that acupressure could be an effective adjunct therapy for those suffering from TBI."

The acupressure treatment type used in the study is called Jin Shin. For the study, Hernandez and her colleagues targeted the 26 points on the human body used in standard Jin Shin treatments ranging from the head to the feet. The study subjects all received treatments by trained Jin Shin practitioners.

According to practitioners, Jin Shin acupressure points are found along "meridians" running through the body that are associated with specific energy pathways. It is believed that each point is tied to the health of specific body organs, as well as the entire body and brain, Hernandez said.

"Think of the meridians as freeways and the pressure points as towns along the way," she said. "When there is a traffic jam in Denver that causes adverse effects as far away as Boulder, clearing
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Contact: Theresa Hernandez
theresa.hernandez@colorado.edu
303-492-8654
University of Colorado at Boulder
Source:Eurekalert  

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