Kristen Sparrow • October 29, 2016
The aim of this study was to compare the influences of manual acupuncture, laser acupuncture, and electromagnetic field stimulation on the autonomic nervous system. We monitored the heart rate variability before and after stimulation to check the influence on the autonomic nervous system. The heart rate variabilities at low frequency (LF; 0.04-0.15 Hz) and high frequency (HF; 0.15-0.4 Hz) were analyzed to acquire LF/HF ratio. Xinshu (BL15) was selected as the stimulation point. Methods included manual acupuncture with a 1-cm depth and laser acupuncture at a wavelength of 660 nm and output power of 50 mW. An electromagnetic field of 2 Hz and 460 gauss (46 mT) was chosen. The LF and the LF/HF ratio were found to be lower in the manual acupuncture and the electromagnetic field groups, but to be higher in the laser acupuncture group. The HF was found to be lower in the laser acupuncture group, but higher in the manual acupuncture and the electromagnetic field groups. In conclusion, we found that manual acupuncture and electromagnetic field stimulation at BL15 activated the parasympathetic nervous system, whereas laser acupuncture at BL15 activated the sympathetic nervous system.