Reducing Anxiety and Improving Recovery in Postoperative Patients with Acupressure
BY: Benny Chung
Mar 17, 2022

A significant proportion of postoperative patients experiences anxiety. Surgery-related pain, indwelling tube placement, reduced mobility, and other factors may aggravate emotional distress and cause anxiety and fear in them. The negative emotions would adversely impact the recovery of patients and likely prolong hospitalisation. In addition to counselling services, recent studies have proven the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions such as music therapy in mitigating anxiety in patients undergoing surgery. Acupressure, often called “acupuncture without needles” requires the use of a practitioner’s fingers to apply pressure to the acupoints across the meridians to reactivate blocked energy and facilitate the flow of Qi in the patient’s body. In a recent trial involving 100 hospitalised patients undergoing thoracoscopic surgery, patients received acupressure reported less anxious. They also used less morphine and developed side effects less frequent as compared to the control, though acupressure did not have a statistically significant difference on comfort. Essentially, patients received acupressure were able to get out of bed earlier after surgery. Hence, the results suggested that acupressure would reduce anxiety and improve recovery in patients undergone thoracoscopic surgery.



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