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Power spectral analysis of cardiovascular autonomic functional modulation in response to acute psychological stress after induction of acupressure at GV20: An observational study

Nagalakshmi Vijaykumar, Vandana C Kattimani, Shobha C Nallulwar, S L Karne.

Background: Acupressure is a simple, non-invasive, painless method which can be complementary and alternative medicine treatment to reduce stress. Acupressure at GV-20 provides the relief of anxiety and acute stress.

Aims and Objectives: Evaluate the effect of GV20 Acupressure on cardiac autonomic functional modulation using heart rate variability (HRV).

Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study to investigate the use of an acupressure in acute stress reduction in adults (n = 30). Mental arithmetic stress was administered before and after acupressure. Acupressure was given at GV20 for 5 min, and HRV was measured. The collected data were analyzed for frequency domain using nonparametric method of Fast Fourier Transform, using Ku-bios HRV analysis software.

Results: All interventions were associated with the following changes, during stress after acupressure compared to stress before acupressure: Significant increase of total power (P ≤ 0.05), decrease in low frequency (LF), and increase in high frequency (HF) and decrease in LF/HF value. Changes during rest after acupressure and before acupressure are as follows: Decrease in total power, increase in LF, decrease in HF, and decrease in LF/HF but not significant (P ≥ 0.05).

Conclusion: Thus, this study indicates that acupressure at GV20 was able to reduce stress in the subjects significantly. This positive finding suggests that acupressure may have a role in reducing acute psychological stress in young adults and help in improving performance.

Key words: Autonomic Imbalance; Complementary Medicine; Stress; Acupuncture; GV20

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