Healthy volunteers, ages 18-55, were invited to participate. Exclusion criteria were a history of diabetes, neuromuscular disease, bleeding disorder, collagen vascular disease, acute or chronic corticosteroid therapy, and extensive scarring or dermatological abnormalities in the areas tested. Volunteers taking anti-inflammatory or antihistamine medications were asked to discontinue their use three days before testing. Female volunteers were excluded if they were pregnant. Testing was not scheduled during menstruation to avoid possible discomfort due to cessation of anti-inflammatory medication.
Thirty-eight women and 22 men completed the testing protocol. The mean age and body mass index of the participants was 37.1 10.2 years and 26.5 5.3 kg/m2, respectively. There were no significant differences with respect to these subject characteristics between the groups of subjects randomized to the three needle-manipulation types.
Eight traditional acupuncture point locations were investigated. For each location, pairs of corresponding acupuncture points on the right and left sides of the body were identified and marked with a skin marker (16 acupuncture points total). Acupuncture points were identified according to traditional methods. Approximate position was determined in relation to anatomic landmarks (e.g., bones, tendons) and proportional measurements (e.g., fraction of the distance between wrist and elbow creases). Palpation, feeling for a slight depression or yielding of tissues determined the precise position of each acupuncture point. For each location, right and left sides of the body were then randomly selected for acupuncture point and control point. On the side selected for control point, a disk-shaped template was centered on the acupuncture point.
Throughout testing, subjects were neither told nor able to see or hear any indication of which side was used for each point (acupuncture and cont
Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society