Medical Acupuncture

Long-Lasting Reduction of Blood Pressure by Electroacupuncture in Patients with Hypertension

Results: After 8 weeks, 33 patients treated with EA at PC 5-6+ST 36-37 had decreased peak and average SBP and DBP, compared with 32 patients treated with EA at LI 6-7+GB 37-39 control acupoints. Changes in blood pressures significantly differed between the two patient groups. In 14 patients, a long-lasting blood pressure–lowering acupuncture effect was observed for an additional 4 weeks of EA at PC 5-6+ST 36-37. After treatment, the plasma concentration of norepinephrine, which was initially elevated, was decreased by 41%; likewise, renin was decreased by 67% and aldosterone by 22%.

Conclusions: EA at select acupoints reduces blood pressure. Sympathetic and renin-aldosterone systems were likely related to the long-lasting EA actions.

Hypertensive patients benefit from acupuncture treatments, UCI study finds

UCI researchers have found that electroacupuncture – a form of acupuncture that employs low-intensity electrical stimulation – can reduce high blood pressure in hypertensive patients for up to six weeks. Chris Nugent / UCI

Long-Lasting Reduction of Blood Pressure by Electroacupuncture in Patients with Hypertension: Randomized Controlled Trial

Medical AcupunctureVol. 27, No. 4

Hypertensive patients benefit from acupuncture treatments, UCI study finds

Ancient Chinese practice lowers blood pressure, may lessen stroke, heart disease risks

August 19, 2015

 

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Medical Acupuncture

Acupuncture Effect and Central Autonomic Regulation

“Acupuncture has clinical efficacy on various autonomic nerve-related disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases, epilepsy, anxiety and nervousness, circadian rhythm disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and subfertility. An increasing number of studies have demonstrated that acupuncture can control autonomic nerve system (ANS) functions including blood pressure, pupil size, skin conductance, skin temperature, muscle sympathetic nerve activities, heart rate and/or pulse rate, and heart rate variability. Emerging evidence indicates that acupuncture treatment not only activates distinct brain regions in different kinds of diseases caused by imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic activities, but also modulates adaptive neurotransmitter in related brain regions to alleviate autonomic response. This review focused on the central mechanism of acupuncture in modulating various autonomic responses, which might provide neurobiological foundations for acupuncture effects.”

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Figure 1
Acupuncture autonomic regulation mechanism. Blue indicates the area involved in acupuncture parasympathetic regulation. Orange indicates the area involved in acupuncture sympathetic regulation.

 

Acupuncture Effect and Central Autonomic Regulation

Published online 2013 May 26. doi:  10.1155/2013/267959

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Medical Acupuncture

Monitoring Acupuncture Effects on Human Brain by fMRI

“Our studies of several classical acupoints indicate that acupuncture modulates the limbic network, an important intrinsic regulatory system of the human brain. The network shows significant overlap with the default mode of the resting brain. These associated autonomic nervous function changes can be demonstrated by physiological monitoring.”

Monitoring Acupuncture Effects on Human Brain by fMRI

J Vis Exp. 2010; (38): 1190.
Published online 2010 Apr 8. doi:  10.3791/1190
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Medical Acupuncture

Randomized clinical trial of five ear acupuncture points for the treatment of overweight people

acupmed-2014-April-32-2-132-F2.large.jpg

Abstract

Objective To evaluate the efficacy of the five ear acupuncture points (Shen-men, Spleen, Stomach, Hunger, Endocrine), generally used in Korean clinics for treating obesity, and compare them with the Hunger acupuncture point.

Methods A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted in 91 Koreans (16 male and 75 female, body mass index (BMI)≥23), who had not received any other weight control treatment within the past 6 months. Subjects were divided randomly into treatment I, treatment II or sham control groups and received unilateral auricular acupuncture with indwelling needles replaced weekly for 8 weeks. Treatment I group received acupuncture at the five ear acupuncture points, treatment II group at the Hunger acupuncture point only and the sham control group received acupuncture at the five ear acupuncture points used in treatment I, but the needles were removed immediately after insertion. BMI, waist circumference, weight, body fat mass (BFM), percentage body fat and blood pressure were measured at baseline and at 4 and 8 weeks after treatment.

Results For the 58 participants who provided data at 8 weeks, significant differences in BMI, weight and BFM were found between the treatment and control groups. Treatment groups I and II showed 6.1% and 5.7% reduction in BMI, respectively (p<0.004). There were no significant differences between the two treatment groups.

Conclusions This finding suggests that the five ear acupuncture points, generally used in Korean clinics, and the Hunger point alone treatment are both effective for treating overweight people.

https://aim.bmj.com/content/32/2/132.long

https://www.kmcric.com/database/ebm_result_detail?cat=RCT&access=R201312045

 

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Medical Acupuncture

Neurophysiological Basis of Acupuncture-induced Analgesia—An Updated Review

This article presents an up-to-date review of the various neurophysiologic mechanisms that have been proposed to produce acupuncture-induced analgesia.

Figure 4. Schematic diagram of the best explanation of the physiologic basis of acupuncture-induced analgesia.

Blue arrows = activation; red arrows = inhibition. 5-HT = 5-hydroxytryptamine; DNIC = diffuse noxious inhibitory control; LTD = long-term depression; LTP = long-term potentiation.

 

Neurophysiological Basis of Acupuncture-induced Analgesia—An Updated Review

Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies

Volume 5, Issue 6, December 2012, Pages 261-270

 

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Medical Acupuncture

Critical roles of TRPV2 channels, histamine H1 and adenosine A1 receptors in the initiation of acupoint signals for acupuncture analgesia

The mast cell is the central structure of acupoints and is activated by acupuncture through TRPV2 channels. The mast cell transduces the mechanical stimuli to acupuncture signal by activating either H1 or A1 receptors, therefore triggering the acupuncture effect in the subject.

Figure 3

Critical roles of TRPV2 channels, histamine H1 and adenosine A1 receptors in the initiation of acupoint signals for acupuncture analgesia

Scientific Reports, volume 8, Article number: 6523 (2018)

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Medical Acupuncture

Electroacupuncture for Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

The participants in the EA group received EA treatment with a mixed current of 2 Hz/120 Hz at 12 acupuncture points (bilateral Zusanli [ST36], Xuanzhong [GB39], Yinlingquan [SP9], Sanyinjiao [SP6], Taichong [LR3], and Zulinqi [GB41]) twice per week for 8 weeks. Depending on the sites of pain, the additional acupuncture point Bafeng (EX-LE10) was available.

Electroacupuncture for Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy A Multicenter Randomized Assessor Blinded Controlled Trial

“To our knowledge, this is the first multicenter randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of EA treatment for the management in PDN. One limitation is that neither a placebo nor sham EA was used as an active control; therefore, the possibility of a placebo effect was not excluded. In conclusion, the results of this study
demonstrate that EA treatment is effective for reducing pain and improving sleep disturbance and quality of life in PDN. In addition, EA treatment was well tolerated and safe during this study. These findings suggest that EA treatment may be recommended as a nonpharmacological treatment for pain reduction in PDN.”

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