Acute and Chronic Periocular Massage for Ocular Blood Flow and Vision: a Randomized Controlled Trial

  • Naoyuki Hayashi, PhD Institute for Liberal Arts, Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Lanfei Du, MSc Tokyo Institute of Technology
Keywords: periocular massage; ocular blood flow; visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, adult subject


Introduction: The ocular blood flow (OBF) is responsible for supplying nutrition to the retina, which plays a fundamental role in visual function. Massage is expected to improve the blood flow and, consequently, vascular function. The aim of this study was to determine the shortterm and long-term effects of periocular massage on OBF and visual acuity.

Methods: The OBF and visual acuity were measured in 40 healthy adults aged 20–30 years before and after massage, and also in control subjects. Three massage methods were used: applying periocular acupressure (“Chinese eye exercise”: CE), using a facial massage roller (MR), and using an automated eye massager (AM). The OBF and visual acuity were first measured before and after applying each type of massage for 5 min. Eye massage was then applied for 5 min once daily over a 60-day period, while the control group received no massage. The same measurements were then performed again.

Results: Performing short-term periocular massage showed significant interactions in time and massage effects on visual acuity in CE and AM groups, and on OBF in AM group, while 60-day massage period exerted no significant effects. No significant relationship was found between OBF and visual acuity changes.

Conclusions: These results suggest that short-term periocular massage with Chinese eye exercise and automated eye massager can improve OBF and visual acuity, although no causal relationship was supported.

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How to Cite
Hayashi, PhD, N., & Du, MSc, L. (2021). Acute and Chronic Periocular Massage for Ocular Blood Flow and Vision: a Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork Research Education &Amp; Practice, 14(2), 5–13.