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

Herbal Medicines, Integrative Cancer Care

Efficacy and Safety of the Traditional Herbal Medicine, Gamiguibi-tang, in Patients With Cancer-Related Sleep Disturbance

Efficacy and Safety of the Traditional Herbal Medicine, Gamiguibi-tang, in Patients With Cancer-Related Sleep Disturbance: A Prospective, Randomized, Wait-List-Controlled, Pilot Study

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Figure 2. Changes in the ISI (A) and BFI (B) scores in the GGBT and wait-list groups. The ends of whiskers represent the upper and lower limit of the values and columns represent 25th and 75th percentile with the median value. The connecting lines represent changes of mean values. *Represents change that was statistically significant (P < .05). White columns represent GGBT group, whereas gray columns represent wait-list group. ISI, Insomnia Severity Index; BFI, Brief Fatigue Inventory; GGBT, Gamiguibi-tang.


This study showed that GGBT significantly improved sleep quality and fatigue level but not depression and cognitive impairment in patients with cancer after 2 weeks of intervention without serious adverse events.

Patients with cancer have difficulty maintaining good sleep quality because of their psychosocial and physical stresses. However, standard nonpharmacological and pharmacological approaches to alleviate sleep disturbance in patients with cancer are still lacking. The duration and depth of sleep in these patients is affected by physical problems such as respiratory failure or pain, stressful decisions about cancer therapies and therapy-induced adverse events, as well as circadian disturbance caused by the cancer itself.7,24 In addition, sleep insufficiency arouses immunosuppression and increases the incidence of cardiac, metabolic, and inflammatory diseases.25,26 However, cognitive behavior therapy—one of the nonpharmacological approaches and the current standard recommendation—requires sufficient amount of time and workforce to administer. The possibilities of impaired liver or renal function due to chemotherapies or cancer-related issues call for safer pharmacological approaches for patients with cancer and survivors of cancer.


Herbal Medicines

CRF receptor 1 antagonism and brain distribution of active components contribute to the ameliorative effect of rikkunshito on stress-induced anorexia

In conclusion, we demonstrated that the initiation of novelty stress-induced anorexia in aged mice is due to 5-HT2CR and CRFR1/MC4R activation. Our results also indicate that brain distributed components of RKT possessing CRFR1 and 5-HT2CR antagonistic activities may be partly involved in its ameliorative effect in this model. However, further investigation of other active components or combinations of these components is required to fully understand the effects of RKT.


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Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 27516 (2016)