Case Studies

TAVNS (transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation) and HRV: Jo.Ru., La.Ja. edition

Kristen Sparrow • August 15, 2017

photo of San Francisco Acupuncture Clinic Dr. Sparrow
Stories from the Clinic With Data

As blog readers may know, I’ve been experimenting with TAVNS in patients, not only to see how they feel with/after treatment, but also to study their HRV (stress levels) with it.  As with most of my clinical work, the results are always somewhat equivocal.  Since I can never tell if the result is real, ie. the result of the treatment, or just normal variation unrelated to treatment.

Lately, I’ve been using alternating auricular (ear) stimulation between Left and Right ears.  There are a few reasons this might be more effective.  The data here is from two patients.

The first patient, Jo.Ru. is a 30+ year old with lifelong migraines.  He has responded beautifully to acupuncture treatment with only rare migraines now.  The peculiar thing about this particular patient, is that his overall stress levels are somewhat high for a person of his age.  We discussed it and laughed about it since he seems quite “chill” to me.  But with this alternating auricular stim, his stress levels seem to have responded nicely.

The second patient is a 70+ year old man with chronic nasal congestion and various other clinical problems.  He is better able to sleep since receiving acupuncture treatment, but though his nasal congestion improved initially, now it remains intractable.  His HRV remained stubbornly high and increasing during treatment time on the table.  Using the alternating TAVNS seems to have helped the HRV.  We will see if his symptoms are improved.






Patient 1
















Patient 2