Research: TANAKA and colleagues, Pa

Listed in Issue 28


TANAKA and colleagues, Pacific Wellness Institute, Toronto, Ontario Canada studied the physiological effect of superficial acupuncture stimulation during a patients exhalation phase in a sitting position (SES).



: The response to SES was compared to stimulation applied continuously without considering the respiratory phase (CONT). The study evaluated the chronic tension-type headache patients electromyographic (EMG) activity, pain response, heart rate, pulse height and skin conductance level.


Compared to CONT stimulation, SES stimulation significantly decreased headache intensity and showed a strong trend towards decreasing static EMG activity.


Acupuncture, applied to the same point and at the same depth, produced varying physiological effects, depending upon whether the stimulation was applied during exhalation alone, or continuously applied. This result suggests that the effect of acupuncture derives not only from point selection matching symptoms, but also from the consideration and use of the patients respiratory phase during stimulation.


Tanaka TH et al. The physiological responses induced by superficial acupuncture: a comparative study of acupuncture stimulation during exhalation phase and continuous stimulation. Int J Neurosci 90(1-2): 45-58. Jun 1997.

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