Acupuncture/ pressureAsthma/Allergy

Review: Ear acupressure to treat allergic rhinitis

Researchers at RMIT University, in Victoria, Australia reviewed the evidence.

First, the details.

  • 92 research papers were identified.
  • The methodological quality was assessed using the Jadad scale.
    • 5 studies were of sufficient quality to include in the review.

And, the results.

  • All included studies involved ear-acupressure treatment.
  • These studies mentioned randomization, but no details were given.
  • None of the 5 studies used blinding or intention-to-treat analysis.
  • Response
    • Ear-acupressure was more effective than herbal medicine.
    • It was as effective as body acupuncture or antihistamine for short-term effect.
    • It was more effective than antihistamine treatment for long-term effect.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “The benefit of ear-acupressure for symptomatic relief of allergic rhinitis is unknown due to the poor quality of included studies.”

Doing a poorly designed study is more detrimental to the treatment discipline and healthcare than doing nothing.

Someone is bound to write and claim anecdotal success. Those who are convinced become defensive, and those who doubt become emboldened.

5/8/10 17:58 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.