Dementia is a progressive brain disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by a decline in cognitive function, memory loss, and changes in mood and behavior. One of the most challenging aspects of caring for individuals with dementia is managing their agitation and stress, which can be distressing for both the individual and their carers. Agitation and stress can lead to a range of behaviors including physical aggression, verbal aggression, and wandering, and can significantly impact quality of life for both the individual with dementia and those caring for them.
Fortunately, there are a range of non-pharmacological interventions that have been shown to be effective in reducing agitation and stress in individuals with dementia. One such intervention is acupressure, a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to promote healing and relaxation.
Acupressure and its benefits
Acupressure is a safe and non-invasive form of therapy that has been used for thousands of years to relieve a range of physical and emotional symptoms. It works by stimulating specific points on the body, known as acupoints, which are thought to be connected to the flow of energy (or “Qi”) throughout the body. By applying pressure to these points, acupressure helps to balance and restore the flow of energy, promoting physical and emotional well-being.
Acupressure has been shown to be effective in reducing both physical and emotional symptoms in a range of populations, including individuals with dementia. In particular, it has been shown to be effective in reducing agitation and stress in individuals with dementia, which can have a significant impact on their quality of life.
How acupressure works to reduce agitation and stress in residents with dementia
There are several mechanisms by which acupressure may help to reduce agitation and stress in residents with dementia. Firstly, it is thought that acupressure may help to regulate the activity of the autonomic nervous system, which controls the body’s “fight or flight” response. By regulating this response, acupressure may help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, which can contribute to agitation.
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