Acupoint dependence of depressor and bradycardic responses elicited by manual acupuncture stimulation in humans
The cardiovascular effects of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) are modulated by inputs from peripheral sensors and other brain regions. However, it currently remains unknown whether the manual acupuncture (MA) stimulation of different acupuncture points evokes different responses by the heart and vasculature, a phenomenon known as “site specificity”. Sixty healthy subjects were randomly divided into a control group and MA stimulation groups at the lower leg, ear, abdomen, and forearm. MA was performed at 1 Hz for 2 min. A depressor response was observed only in the lower leg stimulation group, in which mean blood pressure significantly decreased from 83.4 ± 10.1 to 80.9 ± 11.7 mmHg (p < 0.003). A bradycardic response was elicited in all MA stimulation groups. There was no significant differences in the magnitude of the bradycardic response between groups. MA-induced cardiovascular responses, which may be mediated by the modulation of ANS, differ depending on acupuncture points.
KeywordsAcupuncture Blood pressure Heart rate
HN and TM: designed the study, analyzed data, and drafted the manuscript; SU and EK: drafted the manuscript and acquired data; TK, HY, and MS: interpreted data and drafted the manuscript; HN, TK, SU, EK, HY, MS, and TM: edited and revised the manuscript and approved the final version.
This study was supported in part by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 24700768.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Experimental protocols were approved (No. 4) by the Ethics Committee of Morinomiya University of Medical Sciences. The present study was conducted in accordance with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.
Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects after they were given full explanations of the objectives, methods, and potential risks of the study.
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