After the four weeks of treatment both the intraocular pressure and the visual acuity improved significantly in the acupressure group. But here's the thing, the intraocular pressure returned to the initial level after acupressure had been discontinued for four weeks. So, if you have glaucoma and use this method of treatment, just like with the eye drops, you have to do it regularly. But here's the good news.
Auricular acupressure involves stimulating certain acupuncture points on the surface of the ear. The points can be stimulated with pressure using magnets, seeds, a pencil eraser, and even electrical stimulation. Acupuncturists use these points for treating pain, digestive problems, smoking cessation, weight loss, and anxiety. But the points also can be used to lower intraocular pressure.
Researchers looked at 33 men and women with glaucoma. They gave half of them auricular acupressure treatments twice a day for four weeks. They gave the other half placebo treatments. Before the experiment began, and at the end of the experiment, they checked the patients' intraocular pressure and their visual acuity. They also checked it again four weeks after the treatments had stopped to see if the effects persisted. Here's what they discovered.
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After the four weeks of treatment both the intraocular pressure and the visual acuity improved significantly in the acupressure group. But here’s the thing, the intraocular pressure returned to the initial level after acupressure had been discontinued for four weeks. So, if you have glaucoma and use this method of treatment, just like with the eye drops, you have to do it regularly. But here’s the good news.
Auricular acupressure is a treatment that you can easily give yourself. There is a lot of information and demonstrations on how to do it on YouTube. And there's a good website (http://seminoleheightsacupuncture.com/do-it-yourself-ear-acupressure/) that can teach you how to give yourself the treatments. The points that were used in this study were the kidney, liver, and eye points. And here are some other important facts you should know about glaucoma.
There is a one in fifty chance that you will get glaucoma. The problem is that it can go on for years without you even knowing about it. And all that time, it can be damaging your vision. So, get checked for it. Starting at the age of 40, even if your vision is good, have an eye doctor check your intraocular pressure. And then get it checked every five years after that. If you have had eye surgery or have diabetes, high blood pressure, or regularly use corticosteroid drugs, you are especially at risk for glaucoma. In that case you should be checked much more often.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Her JS, Liu PL, et al. Intraocular pressure-lowering effect of auricular acupressure in patients with glaucoma: a prospective, single-blinded, randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Nov;16(11):1177-84.