The 39 students involved in the study were part of the On Job/On Campus training program at the School of Public Health and were going through three days of lectures.
The subjects were trained to apply acupressure. One group was told to apply pressure to five stimulation points on the first day and to relaxation points on the second and third, while the second group did the reverse.
"Our finding suggests that acupressure can change alertness in people who are in classroom settings for a full day -- which could be very good news for students who have trouble staying alert at school," said Richard Harris, a research investigator at the university's medical school.
The findings were published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.