Acupressure, reflexology, and auricular acupressure for insomnia: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Wing Fai Yeung, Ka Fai Chung, Maggie Man Ki Poon, Fiona Yan Yee Ho, Shi Ping Zhang, Zhang Jin Zhang, Eric Tat Chi Ziea, Vivian Taam Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have shown that acupuncture may be efficacious for insomnia. Instead of needling, acupressure, reflexology, and auricular acupressure are procedures involving physical pressure on acupoints or reflex areas. These variants of acupuncture are gaining popularity, perhaps due to their non-invasive nature. A systematic review has therefore been conducted to examine their efficacy and safety for insomnia. Two independent researchers searched five English and 10 Chinese databases from inception to May 2010. Forty RCTs were identified for analysis. Only 10 studies used sham controls, four used double-blind design, nine studies scored three or more by the Jadad scale, and all had at least one domain with high risk of bias. Meta-analyses of the moderate-quality RCTs found that acupressure as monotherapy fared marginally better than sham control. Studies that compared auricular acupressure and sham control showed equivocal results. It was also found that acupressure, reflexology, or auricular acupressure as monotherapy or combined with routine care was significantly more efficacious than routine care or no treatment. Owing to the methodological limitations of the studies and equivocal results, the current evidence does not allow a clear conclusion on the benefits of acupressure, reflexology, and auricular acupressure for insomnia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-984
Number of pages14
JournalSleep Medicine
Volume13
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acupressure
  • Acupuncture
  • Auricular acupressure
  • Meta-analysis
  • Reflexology
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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