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Fibromyalgia: shiatsu & acupressure, effective complementary therapy.

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

According to a pilot study, in 94% of cases treated, Shiatsu improves pain intensity, pressure pain threshold, sleep quality, and symptoms impact on the health of patients with fibromyalgia.

The study

In a study conducted by Susan L.K.Yuan MSc, Ana A.Berssaneti PhD, Amelia P.Marques PhD in 2013, tirthy-four patients between 33 to 62 years old were divided into two groups. The first one (17 patients) received full-body Shiatsu twice a week for 8 weeks, and a control group (17 patients) received an educational booklet.

The study's results

The patients were assessed at baseline and after 8 weeks. At the end of the study, about 94% of the patients from the first group demonstrated satisfaction with Shiatsu, and no adverse effects were reported during the treatments. Among the symptoms improved they mentioned:

  • pain improvement

  • Pressure pain threshold improvement

  • improvement in quality of sleep

  • Improvement on general symptoms impact on the health of the patients.

Self-acupressure for fibromyalgia symptoms

Along with regular shiatsu treatments, there are 7 acupressure points that anybody can use for self-acupressure. Those are general points, that may help you to ease some of the symptoms related to fibromyalgia as:

  • Fatigue and non-restorative sleep

  • ‘Fibro-fog,' a decrease in cognitive abilities affecting concentration

  • Depression and anxiety

  • Headache

  • Abdominal pain and cramping

Stress and fibromyalgia

It is also important to recognise that stress (physical or emotional) has often a significant role in the onset of fibromyalgia. Applying self-acupressure regularly might help to regain that emotional balance so important to ease the symptoms and move forward a greater sense of wellbeing.

How to do self-acupressure

For best self-acupressure results, apply gentle yet firm pressure from your middle finger as you make tiny circular motions, while you are breathing deeply. This may be done as little as once a day or as much as once every hour.

The Seven points for self-acupressure

Please find below the 7 points and how to find them.


Location: Between the eyes, at the level of the eyebrows.

Used to: Soothe anxiety, promote general relaxation, help with obsessive and unproductive thoughts, insomnia, fatigue, tiredness and eye strain.

Ear Shen Men

Location: On the upper portion of the ear in the triangular fossa.

Used to: relieve any kind of physical and/or emotional pain, decreases stress, and boost energy.

CV 17

Location: In the centre of the chest at the level of the fourth intercostal space, at the same level as the nipples.

Used to: Ease anxiety, relax the chest, and the body-mind, chronic lung issues, palpitations.

PC 6

Location: 3 fingers above the wrist crease between the tendons

Used to: Calms the mind, relieve anxiety, motion sickness, nausea, insomnia, stomach ache.


Location: On the dorsum of the hand, between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones, in the middle of the 2nd metacarpal bone on the radial side.

Used to: Relieve pain anywhere in the body, especially when combined with LIV 3 (last point in this list)

ST 36

Location: Four finger widths down from the outer eye of the knee, then over about the width of the middle finger, from the shin bone.

Used to: Promote general mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, improves digestion, boosts energy, and immune system.

Liv 3

Location: Between the first and second metatarsals on the top of the foot.

Used to: Move Ki (energy) relieve pain anywhere in the body, especially when combined with LIV 3 (above in this list)

Would you like more information about shiatsu and fibromyalgia? Or do you want to book a shiatsu session with me?

I practice in Manchester for in person treatment or I offer one to one self-shiatsu guided session online.

Thanks to:

*Important: If you feel uncomfortable doing the exercise or if you find it painful, please stop it immediately. Please note that the instructions provided in this blog are general and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise programme. You should understand that when participating in any form of exercise there’s the possibility of physical injury. If you use this video/blog, you agree that you do so at your own risk and agree to release and discharge Barbara Medda from any claims that may arise.

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