printable article

Originally published May 7 2009

Acupuncture Proven to Prevent Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting

by Dave Gabriele

(NaturalNews) According to a 2009 review from The Cochrane Collaboration, an international not-for-profit and independent medical organization, stimulation of the acupuncture point P-6 (Pericardium-6) significantly reduces the symptoms of nausea and vomiting after surgery. The review was published in the second 2009 issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration. The review, led by Dr. Anna Lee of the Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, is an update of a previous 2004 Cochrane review, which fostered similar results.

The 2009 review examined 40 separate international studies which compared the effect of P-6 with a placebo in treating nausea and vomiting after surgery. The studies, which totaled 4,858 patients, used ten different methods of P-6 stimulation, including needle acupuncture, laser stimulation, transcutaneous nerve stimulation and acupressure wristbands.

The review found that in comparison with a placebo, stimulating acupoint P-6 reduced nausea, vomiting and the need for conventional antiemetic (anti-nausea) drugs. It concluded, "The use of P-6 acupoint stimulation can reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting after surgery, with minimal side effects."

"In head-to-head comparisons with antiemetics," commented Dr. Anne Lee, "P-6 stimulation was as good at reducing the risk of postoperative nausea and vomiting."
Based on the findings, Dr. Lee asserts that "P-6 acupoint stimulation can be used as a suitable alternative or an addition to antiemetic therapy before, during or after surgery."

Acupoint P-6

Acupoint P-6 is located on the inside of either forearm, approximately 2 inches down from the crease of your wrist and between the tendons palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis. In order to find the point, make a fist and curl it inwards. You should be able to see the two tendons protruding from the inside of your forearm. To be accurate, the point is located one sixth of the way from your wrist crease to the crease on the inside of your elbow (cubital crease). To manually stimulate P-6, locate the point, relax your arm and then press your thumb between the tendons down into the point until it feels quite tender. Hold it down firmly from 30 seconds to 2 minutes and then try the other arm.

Of all the acupoints on the human body, this point is a very popular choice for study because of the mounting costs of conventional antiemetic drugs and the point's distinguished and internationally-affirmed history of treating the symptoms of nausea and vomiting.

The Cochrane Collaboration

This international not-for-profit and independent organization is dedicated to disseminating cutting-edge and accurate information regarding all medical and healthcare findings. Considered to be the top source for up-to-date medical information, The Cochrane Collaboration currently has fifteen centres worldwide supporting fifty specialist Collaborative Review Groups (CRGs). Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing trials on a topic.



The following is reference material on other P-6 studies organized by country of origin.

1) 2005: Double-blind study (60 patients)
2) 2003: Double-blind study
3) 2002: Double-blind study (150 patients)

1) 2009: Placebo-controlled study (200 patients)
2) 2006: Randomised-controlled trial (36 patients)

1) 2009: Randomised clinical trial (88 patients)
2) 2006: Meta-Analysis (26 trials)
3) 2006: Meta-Analysis (12 trials)
4) 2006: Meta-analysis (33 studies)
5) 2006: Meta-Analysis (11 trials)
6) 2005: Meta-Analysis (11 trials)
7) 2002: Placebo-controlled study (187 subjects)
8) 2002: Review
9) 2002: Double-blind study (120 patients)
10) 2001: Double-blind study (221 patients)

1) 2002: Double-blind study (410 patients)
2) 2001: Placebo-controlled study (60 patients)
3) 1999: Double-blind (60 patients)
4) 1999: Double-blind (60 patients)

1) 2007: Clinical trial (100 patients)

1) 2009: Randomised-controlled trial (200 patients)

1) 2007: Double-blind study (220 patients)

1) 2002: Double-blind study (80 patients)
2) 1998: Double-blind study

1) 2008: Placebo-controlled (75 patients)

1) 2002: Double-blind study (160 patients)

About the author

Dave Gabriele, D.Ac, BA, is a registered acupuncturist, a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine and a health researcher helping people in and around the Greater Toronto Area. He is the founder of Life Balance Family Health Care (, an organization committed to providing people with the information and guidance they need to make positive lifestyle changes. Dave has been a teacher of Chinese martial arts since 1997, including the arts of Taiji and Qigong.

All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit