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Repeated acupuncture treatment affects leukocyte circulation in healthy young male subjects: a randomized single-blind two-period crossover study

, : Repeated acupuncture treatment affects leukocyte circulation in healthy young male subjects: a randomized single-blind two-period crossover study. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 19(4): 318-324

Acupuncture is the most popular component of traditional Chinese medicine in western countries, which has been widely used in the treatment of numerous medical conditions, e.g., pain, emesis or asthma. However, the effects of acupuncture on neuroendocrine and immune functions in humans remain unclear. Therefore, the present study was performed to analyse whether acupuncture treatment affects leukocyte circulation as well as plasma levels of cortisol and norepinephrine in humans. Ten healthy young male subjects were enrolled in a randomized single-blind two-period crossover study. Each period contained three sessions of either acupuncture or sham acupuncture (placebo) treatment. After randomisation, the group 1 (n = 5) received acupuncture treatment at acu-points ST36, LI11, SP10, and GV14, while sham acupuncture was performed for group 2 (n = 5). Two weeks later, each group received the alternative treatment. Blood samples were taken before needling, 10 min after, and 30 min after removing the needles in the first and the third session. In addition, blood pressure and heart rate were determined simultaneously. Although acupuncture treatment did not affect leukocyte circulation in peripheral blood after the first session, we observed a significant decrease in leukocyte and lymphocyte values after the third session. In contrast, cortisol and norepinephrine plasma levels remained unchanged by acupuncture. These data indicate that repeated acupuncture treatment can affect leukocyte circulation in healthy humans by still unknown mechanisms. (c) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


PMID: 15944071

DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2004.10.001

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