March 1, 2011

We’re continuing our discussion of a recent study that showed a link between Jin Shin acupressure treatments and improved cognitive function for some people with brain injuries. The study subjects were divided into an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group received the Jin Shin treatments; the control group received acupressure that didn’t follow traditional acupressure techniques.

The researchers then measured the results by administering a standard series of neuropsychological tests. The experimental group did better than the control group.

For example, the researchers administered the Digit Span Test and the Stroop Test. In the Digit Span Test, the subject is asked to repeat a string of numbers given by the test administrator. Not just repeat them, but repeat them forwards and backwards. Memory function is measured, unsurprisingly, by the number of digits the subject can remember. The experimental group did better.

The Stroop Test may be familiar to fans of brain teaser books. In this test, the subject is shown the names of colors on a computer screen. The words, however, may not always appear in the corresponding color. “Red” could be in blue letters. The objective is to identify the color, not the word. Generally, this takes longer when the two don’t match, and the results are, as the researcher put it, “more error-prone.”

The subjects wore special caps for this test. Wired with electrodes, the caps were able to measure the brain activity associated with each stimulus. The experimental group again outperformed the control group.

This is the first study of its kind to be published in a peer-reviewed journal (the Journal of Neurotrauma). The researchers were motivated by a desire to find a low-cost treatment for military personnel who sustain a traumatic brain injury — a common injury in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Source: Medical News Today, “Study Shows Acupressure Effective In Helping To Treat Traumatic Brain Injury,” 03/02/11


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