Neuropathy, including pain, numbness, and tingling, can be one of the more uncomfortable to downright frightening side effects of chemotherapy. But a smart, simple intervention— auricular point pressure—has shown promise in a pilot study by Chao Hsing Yeh, PhD, and her international, multidisciplinary team (including Nada Lukkahatai, PhD, Sylvanus Mensah, MSN, Courtney Garry, MSN, and Mariela Pinedo, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing).
“Preliminary Effectiveness of Auricular Point Acupressure on Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy: Part 1; Self-Reported Outcomes” suggests that relief might be on the horizon.
Auricular point acupressure targets locations on the human ear said by traditional Chinese medicine to channel energy to and from various other body systems and organs. In the study, vaccaria seeds were affixed to specific ear points with waterproof tape. Participants (who could shower and wash their hair during the treatment) were instructed to gently and evenly press the seeds for three-minute intervals, three times a day, for four weeks.
“Patients had improved … self-reported outcomes after [auricular point acupressure], and the effectiveness was sustained at the 1-month follow-up,” the authors report.
Pain Management Nursing May 2019