The transport of extremely low-frequency electrical signals through an acupuncture meridian compared to nonmeridian tissue.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the manner in which extremely low-frequency (ELF) electrical energy is transported through biologic tissues, focusing on the differences between an acupuncture meridian and nonmeridian tissues. DESIGN: Using inserted needles as the electrodes, the energy transport properties of the Large Intestine (LI) meridian were compared to a control channel that had the same length as the meridian channel and comprised similar soft tissue. SUBJECTS: Twenty (20) participants were tested at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, with ages ranging from 22 to 60 years old. INTERVENTION: A Gaussian pulse with spectral energy extending into the kilohertz range was launched using a low-impedance amplifier at the distal point on either the LI meridian or a nearby control channel. The signal launched was measured at the proximal point using a high-impedance instrumentation amplifier. The ground reference for both the launch and receiver locations was a needle inserted in the lower leg. After taking the Fast Fourier Transform, power spectral measurements were calculated, giving a single value representing power density of the measured potential in the 2-100-Hz range. RESULTS: A paired, two-sided signed rank test was performed. For the data pairs in this study, p = 0.035, indicating that they are dissimilar with a statistical significance. CONCLUSIONS: The ELF electric energy is transported somewhat more efficiently through the LI meridian compared to a nonmeridian control. The results were not dramatic, with some participants giving greater values on the control channel, but they were statistically significant.
  • Authors

  • Spaulding, Keith
  • Chamberlin, Kent
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • February 2011
  • Keywords

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupuncture Points
  • Adult
  • Biological Transport
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Electrodes
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Meridians
  • Middle Aged
  • Needles
  • Young Adult
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 21345090
  • Start Page

  • 127
  • End Page

  • 132
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 2