Acupunct Med. 2013 Nov 5. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2013-010372. [Epub ahead of print]
Analysis of interspike interval of dorsal horn neurons evoked by different needle manipulations at ST36.
Zhou T, Wang J, Han CX, Torao I, Guo Y.
Source
College of Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, , Tianjin, China.
Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
Previous research has suggested that different manual acupuncture (MA) manipulations may have different physiological effects. Recent studies have demonstrated that neural electrical signals are generated or changed when acupuncture is administered. In order to explore the effects of different MA manipulations on the neural system, an experiment was designed to record the discharges of wide dynamic range (WDR) neurons in the spinal dorsal horn evoked by MA at different frequencies (0.5, 1, 2 and 3 Hz) at ST36.
METHODS:
Microelectrode extracellular recordings were used to record the discharges of WDR neurons evoked by different MA manipulations. Approximate firing rate and coefficient of variation of interspike interval (ISI) were used to extract the characteristic parameters of the neural electrical signals after spike sorting, and the neural coding of the evoked discharges by different MA manipulations was obtained.
RESULTS:
Our results indicated that the neuronal firing rate and time sequences of ISI showed distinct clustering properties for different MA manipulations, which could distinguish them effectively.
CONCLUSIONS:
The combination of firing rate and ISI codes carries information about the acupuncture stimulus frequency. Different MA manipulations appear to change the neural coding of electrical signals in the spinal dorsal horn through WDR neurons.
KEYWORDS:
Neurophysiology




Acupunct Med. 2014 Feb 7. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2013-010483. [Epub ahead of print]
Effect of bidirectional rotation of an acupuncture needle at LI10 on acupuncture needle sensation and experimentally-induced contact heat pain in healthy human volunteers.
Benham A, Johnson MI.
Author information


Abstract
INTRODUCTION:
There is insufficient evidence of a relationship between acupuncture needle sensations (de qi) and hypoalgesia. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of bidirectional needle rotation at LI10 on acupuncture needle sensations and heat pain thresholds.
METHODS:
Twenty-two healthy participants received one acupuncture needle at LI10 with bidirectional rotation of the needle in one experimental session and one acupuncture needle at LI10 with mock rotation in a separate session, in a randomised order. Measurements of heat pain thresholds were taken before needle insertion, during needle retention and 15 min after needle removal. At each measurement time point, participants rated needle sensations using the Massachusetts Acupuncture Sensation Scale (MASS) and a visual analogue scale (VAS) of overall intensity of needle sensation.
RESULTS:
Bidirectional needle rotation produced significantly higher scores for VAS, MASStotal, MASSpain and MASSsensation compared with mock rotation (all p<0.001). There were significantly higher pain thresholds relative to pre-intervention baseline during (p=0.014) and after (p<0.001) bidirectional needle rotation but not during (p=0.1) or after (p=0.62) mock bidirectional needle rotation. Bidirectional needle rotation increased the pain threshold relative to baseline 15 min after the needles were removed (p=0.009). A significant but low correlation between needle sensation and change in pain threshold after needling was only found when data from mock and rotation interventions were combined.
CONCLUSIONS:
Needle rotation increases the magnitude of hypoalgesia. There is tentative evidence that needle sensation may be associated with the amount of change in pain threshold.
KEYWORDS:
Acupuncture, Acupuncture Needle Sensation, De qi, Experimental Pain, Hypoalgesia, Pain



Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2016 Jan;36(1):48-52.
[Effects of slow twisting needle insertion and tubing needle insertion at Neiguan (PC 6) on cardiovascular function: a comparative study].
[Article in Chinese]
Ning S, Zhao L, Xu L, Huang Y, Pang Y, Huang D.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To compare the effects between slow twisting needle insertion and tubing needle insertion.
METHODS:
With cross-over design, 100 healthy young subjects (half male and half female) aged from 19 to 23 years were randomly divided into two groups by random digital table, 50 cases in each one. At the first stage, subjects in the group A were treated with slow twisting needle insertion while, subjects in,the group B were treated with tubing needle insertion. One week later, the procedure of second stage was performed alternately. The needle was inserted into Neiguan (PC 6) with two methods by one acupuncturist. The needle was retained for 5 min before removal. Five min before needle insertion as well as needle withdrawal and 30 min after needle withdrawal, ZXG-E automatic cardiovascular diagnostic apparatus was used to test cardiovascular function.
RESULTS:
At the tim of needle withdrawal, slow twisting needle insertion could improve effect work of kinetics (EWK), effective blood volume (BV) and reduce elastic expansion coefficient of blood vessel (FEK) and left ventricular spray blood impedance (VER), which was significantly different from tubing needle insertion (all P < 0.05). Thirty min after needle withdrawal, the differences of the indices of cardiovascular function between the two groups were not significant (all P > 0.05).
CONCLUSION:
The slow twisting needle insertion is significantly superior to tubing needle insertion on lowering vascular tension and VER, improving EWK and BV.




Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2016 Apr;41(2):154-8.
[Clinical Trials for Observing the Influence of Acupuncture Needle-stimulation Induced Sharp Pain on Curative Effect in Primary Dysmenorrhea Patients].
[Article in Chinese]
Ru SQ, Zhang P, Li J, Wang P, Lin C, Hu NJ, Hao J, Hao MY, Sun JJ, Wang YF, Zhu J.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To observe the influence of acupuncture needle stimulation-induced sharp pain on the curative effect of acupuncture therapy for primary dysmenorrhea (PD) patients with cold damp stagnation syndrome (CDSS).
METHODS:
A total of 87 PD patients with CDSS experiencing abdominal pain (> or =40 mm in visual analogue scale, VAS) were randomly asigned to deqi-expectation group and no-deqi-expectation group which were further divided into deqi-expectation + sharp pain (n = 31), deqi-expectation + no-sharp pain (n = 12), no-deqi-expectation + sharp pain (n = 17), no-deqi-expectation + no- sharp pain (n =27) groups. On the first day of abdominal pain attack, bilateral Sanyinjiao (SP 6) were punctured respectively with thicker needles with deeper insertion for deqi-expectation patients and thin filiform needles with shallow insertion for no-deqi-expectation patients. The needles were manipulated for 30 s with uniform reinforcing-reducing method for all the deqi-expectation patients, which was repeated once again every 10 min during 30 min of needle retention. The VAS was used to evaluate the patients' abdominal pain severity before treatment and 0, 10 min after acupuncture needle withdrawal.
RESULTS:
Following acupuncture stimulation of SP 6, the VAS scores of menstrual pain at both 0 min and 10 min after withdrawing acupuncture needles were significantly decreased in the deqi-expectation + sharp pain group, deqi-expectation + no-sharp pain group, no-deqi-expectation+sharp pain group and no-deqi-expectation + no-sharp pain group (P<0. 05), and that of 10 min post-needle withdrawal was markedly lower than that of 0 min in the deqi-expectation + sharp pain group ( P<0. 05). No significant differences were found in the VAS difference values at different time-points between deqi-expectation plus sharp pain and deqi- expectation + no-sharp pain groups, and between no-deqi-expectation + sharp pain and no-deqi-expectation + no-sharp pain groups (P>0.05).
CONCLUSION:
Acupuncture stimulation of SP 6 has an immediate analgesic effect in PD women with cold damp stagnation syndrome, which was not affected by needling-induced sharp pain, deqi-expectation, and thicker or thinner needle with shallow and deeper insertion.



Acupunct Med. 2016 Oct 6. pii: acupmed-2016-011071. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2016-011071. [Epub ahead of print]
Effect of acupuncture 'dose' on modulation of the default mode network of the brain.
Lin YJ1, Kung YY1,2, Kuo WJ3,4, Niddam DM4,5, Chou CC4, Cheng CM4, Yeh TC4,5, Hsieh JC4,5, Chiu JH1,6.
Author information


Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
Recent functional MRI (fMRI) studies show that brain activity, including the default mode network (DMN), can be modulated by acupuncture. Conventional means to enhance the neurophysiological 'dose' of acupuncture, including an increased number of needles and manual needle manipulation, are expected to enhance its physiological effects. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of both methods on brain activity.
METHODS:
58 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned into four groups that received single needle acupuncture (SNA, n=15) or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS, n=13) as active controls, or enhanced acupuncture by way of three needle acupuncture (TNA, n=17) or SNA plus manual stimulation (SNA+MS, n=13). Treatment-associated sensations were evaluated using a visual analogue scale. Central responses were recorded before, during, and after treatment at LI4 on the left hand using resting state fMRI.
RESULTS:
TNA and SNA+MS induced DMN-insula activity and extensive DMN activity compared to SNA, despite comparable levels of de qi sensation. The TNA and SNA+MS groups exhibited a delayed and enhanced modulation of the DMN, which was not observed followed SNA and TENS. Furthermore, TNA increased precuneus activity and increased the DMN-related activity of the cuneus and left insula, while SNA+MS increased activity in the right insula.
CONCLUSIONS:
The results showed that conventional methods to enhance the acupuncture dose induce different DMN modulatory effects. TNA induces the most extensive DMN modulation, compared with other methods. Conventional methods of enhancing the acupuncture dose could potentially be applied as a means of modulating brain activity.