TCM Kongress Rothenburg o.d.T.

TCM Kongress Rothenburg o.d.T.

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The Earth School, Gastro and Neurogastroenterology, Li Gao: Pi Wei Lun

Acupuncture Effects on Autonomic Regulation are Point Specific

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Theme Days
Therapy Styles
Scientific Research
Friday, 31st May 2019
Practical experience
all levels
Practical Orientation

The scientific investigation of acupuncture has long focused on pain. However, some of its strongest effects (e.g. on nausea and vomiting, hypertension, and inflammation) are most likely mediated by the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which coordinates central processes such as circulation, digestion or immune functions. In this talk I am going to report our recent results on the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on sympathetic and parasympathetic regulation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brainstem and hypothalamus together with specific autonomic tests, such as lower body negative pressure, isometric handgrip and slow breathing, we were able to identify relevant nuclei of the central autonomic network and monitor their activity changes during continuous electroacupuncture stimulation. Comparing EA at two sets of acupuncture points that had previously shown strong (ST36-37) or weak (GB37-39) effects on autonomic function in animal studies we found that ST36-37 had a significantly stronger effect on heart rate and blood pressure than GB37-39. This point-specific effect was consistent with a reduction of sympathetic excitability. Furthermore, we identified a set of hypothalamic nuclei mediating this effect and were able to detect their connectivity changes to autonomic nuclei in the lower brainstem. Our results underline that the ANS has a central role in mediating acupuncture effects and that some of these effects are point specific.

  • Hands-on with practical exercises
  • all levels
  • Advanced
  • Beginners
  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal Therapy
  • Tuina/Massage
  • Qi Gong/Tai Ji
  • Dietetics
  • Diagnostics
  • Classics/Philosophy
  • Scientific Research
  • bookable
  • only a few places free
  • fully booked