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Effect of Auricular Acupuncture on the Reduction of Symptoms Related to Sleep Disorders, Anxiety and Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

Background • Auricular acupuncture (AA) is a complementary/integrative therapy, and can be used as adjuvant treatment in sleep disorders, anxiety and the painful symptomatology of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). Objective • The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of AA in reducing the symptoms of sleep disorders, anxiety and TMDs by applying the Fletcher and Luckett, Beck-BAI and RDC/TMD questionnaires: Axis II, respectively. Design • This was a nonrandomized clinical trial in which AA was administered to patients between the ages of 20 and 45 years from the School of Dentistry at Ribeirão Preto, São Paolo, Brazil, who had at least one of the following: sleep disorder, anxiety or TMD. Intervention • Mustard seeds were applied to predetermined auricular acupoints including: Shen Men, neurovegetative system (sympathetic), kidney, anxiety, stomach, maxilla and mandible, liver and stress, once a week for 8 weeks. Outcome Measures • To analyze the reduction in sleep disorder symptoms, we used the Fletcher and Luckett questionnaire; for anxiety symptoms, the Beck-BAI questionnaire, and for the degree of chronic TMD pain, the RDC/TMD (Axis II) questionnaire. Results • Data on sleep, anxiety and TMD disorders were analyzed via Fisher’s exact, Wilcoxon and Chi-Square non-parametric tests (a = 0.05), respectively. Reduction in sleep disorder symptoms after the proposed intervention was verified, showed a statistically significant difference (P = .014). There was a reduction in mean anxiety score and a decrease in painful TMD symptoms, but no significant difference (P = .50; P = .947, respectively) before and after AA. Conclusion • In our study, AA was effective in reducing sleep disorder symptoms and our data suggests some relief of symptoms of anxiety and TMD pain.

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