Seifu, devised in 1992 by Xu, is a method of treatment through “pulling the skin”, unlike the approaches of treatment adopted in Shiatsu, massage, or acupuncture. This paper reports our recent evaluations of the effects of Seifu on the blood pressure, pain, and edema.
Materials and Methods
The blood pressure was measured before and after Seifu in 36 individuals (mean age : 78.6±6.6 years) who underwent Seifu for 5 sessions or more. The effects on edema were evaluated in 14 individuals aged 45-90. Changes in the severity of edema following Seifu were analyzed. The effects on pain were evaluated in two ways.
1) Effects on acute pain
The effects on pain arising from injection into the knee were evaluated in three groups of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: Group A (injection after the application of Seifu to the acupuncture point Gohkoku (LI4); n=7, mean age: 72.8±2.8 years), Group B (injection after the application of Seifu to the area around the knee; n=198, mean age: 75.3±9.1 years) and Group C (injection after the application of Seifu to the acupuncture point Saninkoh (SP6) ; n=62, mean age: 75.0±7.5 years).
2) Effects on subcuate and chronic pain
Pain was evaluated before and after Seifu using a visual analog scale (VAS) in 103 patients with some subacute or chronic pain(n=594, mean age: 73.4±12.4 years).
1. Blood pressure
The blood pressure decreased significantly in 5 and increased significantly in the normal range in 1 of the 36 subjects. No significant change in the blood pressure was noted in the other 30 subjects.
Seifu was effective against pitting edema. However, in pateints followed for long periods of time after the surgical treatment of breast cancer, the skin hardness decreased but edema showed no marked reduction. Seifu exerted no effect on Quincke edema.
1) Acute pain
Pain at the time of injection was not alleviated in Group A. Pain at the time of injection was alleviated in 73.3% of the subjects from Group B and 69.4% from Group C. This percenatge did not differ significantly between Groups B and C.
2) Subacute and chronic pain
Mean VAS±SD decreased significantly from 6.6±2.0 before to 3.4±1.8 after Seifu (p<0.001).
Seifu was shown to be effective against pitting edema. In cases where lymph ducts and vascular walls are intact, edema is expected to be alleviatedl by the Seifu-induced activation of lymph system autotransportation and its milking action on veins.
Seifu seems to alleviate pain via the mechanism proposed in the gate control theory.
Seifu is simple to apply and effective against pitting edema and pain, without exhibiting adverse effects on the blood pressure.