Use of acupressure to improve gastrointestinal motility in women after trans-abdominal hysterectomy

Am J Chin Med. 2003;31(5):781-90. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X03001466.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of acupressure on gastrointestinal (GI) motility in women after trans-abdominal hysterectomy (TAH). Patients were randomly assigned into two groups of 21 and 20 patients each. The experimental group received acupressure for 3 minutes at each of three meridian points: Neiguan (PC-6), Zusanli (ST-36) and Sanyinjiao (SP-6). The control group received 3 minutes of acupressure on sham points. Acupressure was performed twice a day. A questionnaire was used to determine patients' satisfaction prior to and after afternoon acupressure. GI contractions were measured with a multifunctional stethoscope before and after acupressure. Acupressure of these three meridian points significantly (p < 0.05) increased GI motility in the experimental group, but there was little change in the control group (p > 0.05). Our conclusions are that non-invasive acupressure of these meridian points can significantly improve GI motility and can be incorporated into the technical curriculum and clinical education program of nursing schools. Patients and their family members can be taught to continue this procedure at home to enhance GI motility in patients who have undergone TAH.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Abdominal Pain / therapy
  • Acupressure / methods*
  • Acupuncture Points*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / etiology
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / therapy
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Motility*
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / adverse effects*
  • Hysterectomy / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Women's Health