Placebokontrollierte untersuchung zerebraler und vegetativer effekte von akupunktur an Di 4

Translated title of the contribution: Placebo-controlled investigation of cerebral and vegetative effects of acupuncture at LI 4

K. Streitberger, J. Steppan, K. Plaschke, C. Maier, H. Hill, J. Backs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Many neurophysiologic effects have been observed during acupuncture. So far there is no placebo-controlled trial studying the correlation between changes in the central nervous system and vegetative effects. In consideration of a reliable blinding of the volunteers, the aim of this study was to examine specific cerebral and vegetative effects of verum-acupunture (VA) compared to placebo-acupuncture (PA). Methods: Healthy volunteers received either VA at LI 4 (Hegu) with a verum-needle or PA at a non-acupuncture point with a placebo needle. EEG and ECG recordings were performed in parallel followed by an evaluation of pain, skin penetration and vegetative effects. Results: The feeling of skin penetration was not significantly different (p = 0.057). Vegetative effects and Deqi occurred significantly more often during VA (p = 0.022). Pain was increased during VA-stimulation compared to PA (p > 0.01). Verum stimulation markedly increased occipital EEG power (p < 0.03). The increase in the fast alpha1 waves was accompanied by a decrease in the theta frequencies and the ratio alpha1/theta was shifted to the benefit of alpha1 (p < 0.04). This was paralleled by a short increase of the ECG ratio between low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) (p < 0.02), followed by an increase of HF-power (p < 0.04). Conclusions: Volunteers were unable to distinguish between VA and PA. The EEG and ECG changes measured during VA stimulation are pointing towards a modulation of cerebral functions by vegetative acupuncture effects compared to PA.

Translated title of the contributionPlacebo-controlled investigation of cerebral and vegetative effects of acupuncture at LI 4
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalDeutsche Zeitschrift fur Akupunktur
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Acupuncture
  • ECG
  • EEG
  • LI 4
  • Placebo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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