Medical Research

Acupuncture Effect on Upper and Lower Abdominal Symptoms

Kristen Sparrow • May 20, 2012

This is one more paper looking at the effect of acupuncture on gastric slow waves and includes HRV.  There was a recent paper out of Germany (reviewed here) showing equivocal results on gastric slow waves, but increased HRV with acupuncture at PC6, and St36.  In this post, I summarize the results of studies done by Takahashi looking at gastric motility and HRV.  This is an obviously fruitful area for neuro/autonomic research because the gut is so densely innervated. Please click through to read the whole abstract, excerpted below.

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2012 May 16.
Effects and possible mechanisms of Acupuncture at ST36 on upper and lower abdominal symptoms induced by rectal distension in healthy volunteers.
AP(Acupuncture) but not sham-AP or no-AP significantly increased the vagal activity assessed by the spectral analysis of the HRV (p<0.05)… AP at ST36 is able to improve upper and lower abdominal symptoms and impaired gastric slow waves induced by RD, possibly mediated via the vagal pathway.