This literature review sets out to investigate the effectiveness of acupressure and acupuncture in preventing and managing postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in adult patients. PONV is problematic, affecting patient satisfaction, delayed discharge and even patient re-admission. Current treatment of PONV constitutes a variety of drug therapies, which are only partially effective. With the integration of complementary and alternative medicines in healthcare, this review examined 10 research studies investigating the use of acupressure and acupuncture in treating PONV. Three studies found acupressure to be effective in preventing PONV. However, population samples were small and the research designs had numerous anomalies. Overall the article suggests that acupuncture and acupressure are ineffective in preventing and managing PONV in adult patients. Further investigation of the effectiveness of acupressure and acupuncture, combined with current drug therapies, using well designed and adequately powered studies is needed. Published studies predominantly examined the use of P6 as the pressure point. Further studies should examine other 'acupoint' sites, to ascertain whether these are effective dependent upon the operative site.