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A new study concludes that acupuncture is more effective than anticonvulsant drug therapy for the treatment of blepharospasms, an abnormal contraction or twitch of one or more of the eyelids. In severe cases, the eyelids may clamp shut and cause functional blindness. Acupuncture had over a 93% success rate for the treatment of blepharospasms whereas medications had a 75% success rate.

Eye twitches are treated with acupuncture. The main focus of the study was comparing the effective rate of acupuncture versus anticonvulsant medication. However, interesting patient vignettes emerged wherein the study participants had tried other procedures without successful long-term results. In one case, the study noted that a patient had tried botox injections to control the eyelid spasms but the results only lasted three months. The acupuncture treatments successfully resolved the condition for the patient.

The anticonvulsant medications used in the control group were benzhexol hydrochloride and baclofen. Clonazepam was added to the treatment regime on an as needed basis. Acupuncture points used in the study were LI4 (Hegu), GB20 (Fengchi), DU20 (Baihui), UB2 (Zanzhu), TB23 (Sizhukong) and Taiyang (Ex-Hn5). Ahshi point were added for local spasms of the orbicularis oculi muscles. The ashi needles were 0.25mm in length and Ahshi points were spaced at a distance of 0.3cm between needles. Up to 2 or 3 rows of needles were applied to the muscles as needed with up to 5 needles per row. Sedation technique was applied to LI4 and GB20 after the arrival of Qi. All other primary acupuncture points were stimulated with even reinforcing-reducing manual techniques. The needles were administered up to one treatment per day and needle retention time was 30 minutes.

The acupuncture treatment group had a total of 46 randomly chosen patients of which 32 were completely cured. A total of 7 had marked relief with only increased blinking due to external stimuli, 4 experienced partial relief marked by only a mild quivering of the eyelids and no functional impairment and 3 patients did not respond to treatment. The drug therapy group consisted of 32 patients of which 19 were cured, 4 showed marked improvement, 1 showed partial relief and 8 did not respond to treatment.

Acupuncture Shop Talk
Many studies only test one acupuncture point for its efficaciousness whereas other studies such as this investigate an acupuncture point prescription. Acupuncturists use a variety of acupoints such as SI6, LV3 and GB37 for the treatment of eye disorders. The points chosen for the study represent a standard acupuncture treatment in that the point selection is in common use. Let’s take a look at some of the acupuncture points used in the study.

TB23 (Sizhukong), translated as silken bamboo hollow, is located in the depression at the lateral end of the eyebrow. It is traditionally indicated for the treatment of headaches, eye disorders and facial paralysis. This point is particularly effective for the treatment of eye disorders due to wind-heat. A branch of the main acupuncture channel separates behind the ear, enters the ear and then emerges in front of the ear where it then intersects SI19, GB3 and finally crosses the cheek to terminate at TB23, the final acupuncture point on the triple burner (Sanjiao) channel. This point is needled transversely either medially or posteriorly along the eyebrow.

UB2 (Zanzhu), translated as gathered bamboo, is located in the supraorbital notch at the medial extremity of the eyebrow. Together, TB23 and UB2 effectively needle both ends of the eyebrow as a matched pair. Like TB23, UB2 is indicated for the treatment of headaches and eye disorders.

LI4 is also indicated for headaches and eye disorders but is also a Source Point and Entry Point. LI4 disperses wind, relieves exterior conditions, suppresses pain and clears the channels. LI4 is also commonly used for the treatment of toothaches, deafness, facial edema and paralysis, sore throat, trismus and for febrile conditions. LI4 may be connected to SP6 with electroacupuncture to induce labor. LI4 is also combined with HT6 for the treatment of night sweating and with K7 to induce diaphoresis. LI4 is also combined with LU7 in a Source-Luo point combination.

Du, Hai-ying, and Xing-yuan Yu. "Clinical observation on aligned needling in treating idiopathic blepharospasm." Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science 11.2 (2013): 101-103.

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Acupuncture CEU & PDA Online Courses FAQs

Below are a few of the most frequent questions we field. You can also find more on our SUPPORT page. If you still haven’t found your answer, please feel free to contact us anytime. We would love to hear from you.

Are acupuncture CEUs & NCCAOM PDAs valid in my state or province?

HealthCMi CEUs are valid in every state in the USA, including Washington DC and other regions such as Puerto Rico. Most states use the NCCAOM acupuncture CEU/PDA certification that comes with every HealthCMi course.

All courses are valid for specialty certifications from the California Acupuncture Board and the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners. HealthCMi courses are approved for Florida Board of Acupuncture CEs for acupuncture license renewal credit along with other specialty certifications such as the State of Illinois (IDFPR) acupuncture CE sponsor program. If you don’t see your state listed (North Carolina, New York, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Utah, etc.), that is because the rest of the USA is covered by the NCCAOM certification that comes with every HealthCMi course. We even have courses approved through the specialty programs of the State of Nevada Board of Oriental Medicine, ABORM, IVAS, and more. An added bonus, all courses are California Board of Registered Nursing approved, so nurses can get acupuncture CEUs and nursing continuing education credit simultaneously.

In addition, HealthCMi acupuncture CEUs are valid throughout New Zealand, Canada (including CTCMA, BC and CAAA), and Australia for acupuncture continuing education credit.

Check our interactive map to learn more about your CEU credits >

Do acupuncture webinars count as live CEUs?

Yes. In many states that require in-person attendance, live acupuncture webinars count for face-to-face CEU credit. For example, the California Acupuncture Board allows 25 CEUs via distance learning and the other 25 must be live (in a classroom or a live webinar online). New Jersey acupuncturists also benefit from live webinars for in-class requirement fulfillment. In the USA, no quiz is required for live webinars and for CTCMA acupuncturists in British Columbia (Canada), the survey fulfills the 2-way requirement and no quiz is required.

For live webinars, do I need to take a quiz?

Quizzes are not required for live webinars, only for anytime distance learning courses. You may see a quiz button on the learning management system control panel; however, if you try to take a quiz, the system will tell you that it is unnecessary. Make sure to click the download button to get the link to the live webinar. We will also send you a link via email the day before the event.

How do I purchase Acupuncture CEU courses online?

Click on Acupuncture CEUs in the top menu to view all course listings and follow the links. Simply choose the courses you like, add to cart, and get CEU credit from our online learning system.

HealthCMi courses are NCCAOM Diplomate PDA (applies to most States), California CEU, Florida CE, Texas CAE, CTCMA (BC, Canada), CAAA, Illinois, and State of Nevada Board of Oriental Medicine approved for continuing education credit hours and more. Massachusetts licensed acupuncturist can obtain their herbal medicine hours or acupuncture category required hours. All 50 states and territories in the USA are approved for acupuncture CEU credit for HealthCMi courses. Our acupuncture CEUs are also valid throughout Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and much more.

Check listings for ABORM approved courses. All courses for acupuncturists are also California Board of Registered Nursing approved.

How long do I have to take the Acupuncture CEU courses online?

There is no time limit for course completion of your Acupuncture CEU or PDA courses.

How many times can I retake Acupuncture CEU course quizzes?

You make re-take quizzes until a passing grade is achieved. A certificate of completion is automatically generated, and you may print it. There is no extra charge to re-take quizzes.