A New York based Acupuncturist is doing a Clinical Trial on Reducing Blood Glucose in Patients with Type Two Diabetes
This is the first time an auricular (ear) acupuncture protocol is being tested for this outside of China.
Joan Boccino, L.Ac. a doctoral candidate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, is trying to determine if ten small needles inserted in both ears have any effect on blood glucose levels . The “ear only” or auricular point combination she will use is derived from published literature and a survey of practitioners in the field. It is similar to another ear protocol known as the “NADA Protocol.” That combination was originally developed in the context of drug detoxification treatment in the 1970’s. However, it proved so effective that it’s use has expanded for use in general wellness and stress reduction including PTSD. In the US it is used in private practices, community settings, hospitals and by the US military.
Joan developed #BoccinoProtocol with NADA in mind as the NADA protocol has historically been taught to community members who are not “medically trained” in addition to those within the healthcare field.
Dr. BOccino knows the immediate need for pragmatic intervention in diabetes since she has been working in the Mayan Highlands since 2011. In 2012 colleagues and senior students from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine joined Professor Boccino in founding a mission that is still on-going at the Barbara Ford Center for Peace in Quiche. Last year, she brought a successful Traditional Chinese Medicine Jornada to the District of Solola.
This year, her study is being coordinated with the assistance of The Diabetes Club which will provide patients and office space for the research in Panajachel. The study’s criteria calls for patients with a history of blood glucose levels above +125 They also must have the ability to test blood glucose levels — two times a day for four consecutive weeks. Twenty participants will all be issued meters, materials and given instructions for recording their data prior, during and after the study. During the second and third weeks of the study they will receive the acupuncture treatment.
If this study is successful Joan can seek alliances with the Guatemalan government and educational institutions to discuss running a larger study. If results of that larger study are also successful, Joan can work with the appropriate agencies to develop a curricula of certification (and professional acknowledgement) for practitioners trained in this protocol.
The study is set to begin in April pending final IRB board approval. Afterwards, the protocol could be made readily available in underserved areas where access to conventional treatment is unavailable or unaffordable. It could also be used in cases where the conventional treatment is contra-indicated or has unacceptable side effects. Joan has already given instruction in auricular acupuncture to more than 90 Guatemalan midwives, community health promoters and students. Acupuncture has been well accepted and popular in the community. Her work is supported in part by the Integrated Health Project.