Acupressure for Nausea -“P6” or Neiguan

by Gord Grant, Ph.D., R.Ac.

There is perhaps no acupuncture point that has been studied as extensively as “Neiguan” (called P6 in the western world). This anti-nausea point is located at that little blue dot you see on the wrist in the picture, or about 2 finger widths up from the wrist crease, in between the two prominent ropy tendons there.

Well over 6000 people have participated in randomized trials involving the use of acupuncture for the treatment of nausea and vomiting.  The Cochrane Scientific group of peer reviewed literature (a gold standard of review in evidence-based medicine) indicates that acupuncture can work for post-operative nausea, nausea associated  with early pregnancy, and chemotherapy-induced nausea.  We also use it for motion sickness or for any time when nausea can become an issue, such as with high-level athletes or musicians or speakers who get anxiety-related nausea before they perform.

Other applications include when nausea and vomiting become a chronic problem during sickness, and it can be a complement to the western medical care a patient is receiving. Although acupressure on P6 is not well studied, in my experience patients have often reported very positive results when they do acupressure regularly on P6 to deal with an on-going nausea problem.  Try it out some time if you or a family member get a bout of nausea! Apply pressure to P6 until it feels achy; hold this for 30 seconds and up to a couple of minutes.  The application of this deep pressure with a finger or thumb to P6 can reduce a wave of nausea.
Although acupressure tends not to last as long as acupuncture, if acupressure on P6 works for you, you can apply it yourself whenever you need it.  Acupuncture at P6 tends to last for a day or two, and can be just the thing to get you through a period of nausea as you regain equilibrium.

If you would like to try acupuncture to treat nausea or other digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome or constipation, book on-line with us.