Effects of Auricular Acupressure on Women With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Gastroenterol Nurs. 2020 Mar/Apr;43(2):E24-E34. doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000332. Epub 2019 Jun 25.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of auricular acupressure on bowel symptoms, stress, mental health, and heart rate variability in women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A quasi-experimental study design with a nonequivalent control group assessed a total sample of 56 women diagnosed with IBS according to Rome III criteria. There were 29 women in the experimental group who received auricular acupressure; 27 women were in the control group. Semen sinapis albae seeds were used to administer acupressure to four auricular points: endocrine, large intestine, lung, and Shenmen for 5 days/week for 4 weeks; the control group received no treatment. Bowel symptoms, stress, mental health, and heart rate variability were measured twice, once before and once after the intervention. Chi-square tests, t tests, and paired t tests were used for analysis. The experimental group had decreased loose stools, abdominal pain, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, stress, and heart rate variability compared with the control group (p < .05). Auricular acupressure was effective for symptom improvement in patients with IBS.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupressure*
  • Adult
  • Ear Auricle*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / complications
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / psychology
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / therapy*
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult