n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Acute effects of acupressure on abdominal muscle strength s medicine - : sports medicine

Special issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Although acupuncture and acupressure have primarily been used as analgesics to relieve pain and for their curative properties in various chronic conditions, these techniques have recently been promoted for their role in enhancing sports performance. Forty subjects were randomized to receive acupressure (n = 20) or sham acupressure (n = 20) to determine the effect of acupressure on the acute efficacy abdominal muscle strength following a pre-test evaluation using the seven-stage abdominal sit-up test. Following acupressure treatment on the rectus abdominus the results of the study indicated that while the acupressure resulted in a significant (p ≥ 0.05) improvement in abdominal muscle strength (p < 0.01), the sham acupressure did not result in an improvement in abdominal muscle strength (p = 0.781). Analysis of variance further indicated that the acupressure group was significantly more effective that the sham acupressure group (p = 0.006) at increasing abdominal muscle strength. These results suggest that acupressure enhances abdominal strength performance without the invasiveness and the problematic concerns of safety associated with needle acupuncture. This study demonstrates that acupressure has the ability to physiologically improve muscle strength and may contribute to the practical application of strength improvements post-surgically, in final phase sports rehabilitation, in the correction of muscle imbalances and / or to improve sports performance.

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