Auricular Acupressure Found Helpful for Glaucoma

By Chad Dupuis
Tagged in Bodywork and Research

Researchers from the Graduate Institute of Integrated Medicine at China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan recently conducted a study looking at the effects of auricular acupressure on patients with glaucoma.  Glaucoma is regularly treated with acupuncture (both body and auricular points) with generally positive results.  Here researchers explored acupressure on auricular points to see if they would reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) for patients with glaucoma. 

Researchers recruited 33 patients with glaucoma (via an advertisement) and were divided into a treatment group (16) and a sham group (17).  The practitioners utilized the kidney, liver and eye auricular points by stimulator tapping and acupressure/massage 2/x day for 4 weeks.  The sham group received tapping at the wrist, shoulder and jaw points without massage.

At the onset of the study both visual acuity (VA) and intraocular pressure (IOP) were tested, again after the 4 weeks of treatment and a follow at 8 weeks. 

The researchers found that both IOP and VA were significantly improved in the treatment group compared with the initial readings with the most significant IOP effect at the 3-4 week mark.  The IOP did return to initial levels after no treatment for 4 weeks.  From clinical experience, however, one would expect more permanent changes from either needling the ears and/or the use of body acupuncture as well. 

Corrections in visual acuity were found in both treatment groups with a significant difference between the two only in week 3.  Again, clinical experience would show that needling and more broad treatment would lead to stronger results.  This is an important initial study, however, as acupressure can easily be performed as a self-treatment.

Auricular Acupressure Found Helpful for Glaucoma

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Authored by: Chad Dupuis on 1 May 2011

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