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August 2019

Jpn J Physiol. 1995 ; 45(2): 337-45.

Transient increase in human muscle sympathetic nerve activity during manual acupuncture.

Sugiyama Y, Xue YX, Mano T.

Department of Autonomic and Behavioral Neurosciences, Nagoya University, Japan.

To clarify the effects of manual acupuncture on the autonomic nervous system, we measured efferent muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) from the right peroneal nerve while simultaneously recording blood pressure and heart rate both during the resting period and after manual acupuncture applied to the Tsusanli acupoint of the same limb. The needle was rotated intermittently for 30 s at 5-min intervals. MSNA increased transiently with the suppression of heart rate during rotation of the acupuncture needle. No consistent change in blood pressure was found throughout the acupuncture session. After removal of the needle, both the MSNA and heart rate returned to the initial control values, and the mean blood pressure showed an increase over the resting value. MSNA showed a negative correlation with heart rate in four out of five subjects who received acupuncture. These results suggest that the coactivation of cardiac vagal and muscle sympathetic nerves is evoked by the acupuncture maneuver.

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