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October 2022

Exp Neurol. 1986 Oct; 94(1): 1-10.

Sympathetic effects of manual and electrical acupuncture of the Tsusanli knee point: comparison with the Hoku hand point sympathetic effects.

Ernst M, Lee MH.

Sympathetic effects of manual and electrical acupuncture of the Tsusanli knee point were evaluated by thermography in 19 normal subjects under the same procedure used in a previous study using the Hoku hand point. A generalized long-lasting warming (sympathetic inhibition) effect was observed under manual and electrical acupuncture of the Tsusanli point. In addition, a segmentally related short-lasting cooling (sympathetic activation) effect occurred with Tsusanli electrical acupuncture only. The warming effect is consistent with the results of the Hoku study and appears to be a central sympathetic inhibition evoked by acupuncture. The cooling effect was segmentally related to the acupuncture site in both studies. This cooling effect most likely reflects a segmental activation of vasomotor spinal reflexes and not a general emotional arousal. These sympathetic mechanisms may be functionally correlated with central and peripheral mechanisms of acupuncture analgesia.


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