Excellent Paper Award Presentation
A COMPARATIVE STUDY ON ACUPUNCTURE STIMULATION DURING A PATIENT’S EXHALATION PHASE ONLY AND CONTINUOUS STIMULATION
Tim H. TANAKA, Ph.D., Kazushi NISHIJO, Ph.D.
(Paper Presented at the 4th World Conference on Acupuncture, New York, 1996)
Aim: Recent studies have indicated that acupuncture produces varying physiological effects depending on the patient’s physiological state during stimulation. The purpose of this study was to compare the response to acupuncture stimulation applied during a patient’s exhalation phase only and continuous stimulation
Method: Ten chronic tension-type headache patients were administered two types of acupuncture stimulation: Type I – Stimulation applied during the subject’s exhalation phase only and Type II – Stimulation applied continuously without considering respiratory phases. Both forms of stimulation (needle insertion followed by a repetitive tapping stimulation) were administered on the Waiguan (TE 5) point, superficially (2 mm. depth) in a sitting position for 1 minute. Frontalis and upper trapezius (UT) EMG activity response, pulse rate, pulse height, skin conductance level (SCL) and headache intensity were measured before and after each procedure.
Results: 59.1 % pain reduction occurred after Type I; 21.9 % pain reduction occurred after Type II (P=0.005). UT EMG activity significantly decreased after Type I. Frontalis EMG activity trended towards greater reduction after Type I. Both forms of stimulation decreased pulse rate and increased SCL. A significant correlation was found between changes in pain and UT EMG activity (P=0.014).
Conclusion: Our study found a significantly different response to Type I stimulation and Type II stimulation in headache intensity and muscle activity, suggesting that the effect of acupuncture derives not only from point selection matching symptoms, but also from a consideration of the patient’s respiratory state during stimulation..