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Jui Pandya, Martin Schardt, Daohai Yu, Jeffrey D Henderer; A Pilot Study on the Effect of Alternate Nostril Breathing and Foot Reflexology on Intraocular Pressure in Ocular Hypertension. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):4615.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Complementary and alternative methods (CAM) of intraocular pressure (IOP) treatment are often used by glaucoma patients. Alternate Nostril Breathing (ANB) and Foot Reflexology (FR), are two such treatments. However, peer-reviewed articles on the subject are limited. We conducted a pilot study to investigate the effects of ANB and FR to lower IOP in patients with ocular hypertension.
Eleven patients were recruited from Temple Ophthalmology between 2014 and 2016. Patients had ocular hypertension and were between the ages of 48-74. Patients were excluded if they currently performed ANB or FR, were unable to perform the task, had previous eye surgery or laser, were receiving other CAM for ocular hypertension, or were unable to complete a washout period. After a 30-day drug washout, patients completed either ANB or FR. After instruction, the assigned task was performed for 5 minutes. FR was done on a commercially available foot reflexology board (JAPAN TSUBO HH-700) focused at the base of the second and third toes of both feet. Two weeks later, patients completed the alternate task. IOP was measured before the task, immediately after the task and then every 30 minutes for two hours. Sign rank tests were used to evaluate IOP changes within and between each group.
Baseline IOP was 25.86 ± 3.19mmHg for ANB and 25.41 ± 3.54mmHg for FR (N= 22 eyes). There was a significant decrease in IOP at 30 min post task for both ANB and FR with IOP decrease of 1.98 ± 1.70mmHg for ANB and 3.59 ± 1.99mmHg for FR (both p<0.0001). There was also a significant IOP lowering effect at 60 min post task with an IOP decrease of 2.39 ± 2.05mmHg for ANB and 3.86 ± 1.89mmHg for FR (both p<0.0001). The decrease in IOP at 90 and 120 min post task was less but remained statistically significant (p<0.0001). IOP decreased significantly more in FR group than ANB group for the 30 and 60 min time intervals (p<0.01) but there was no significant difference at 90 and 120 min (p>0.40).
Both foot reflexology and alternate nostril breathing had an IOP lowering effect in these 11 patients with foot reflexology having the greater IOP lowering effect for up to 60 min. Further studies will be necessary to determine the optimal treatment parameters in the hope that this form of CAM may be an additional intraocular pressure lowering option.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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