How Electro Acupuncture can Reduce the Inflammation

Research published in Evidence Based Complement Alternative Medicine in 2011 explains how electro-acupuncture can reduce the inflammation by increasing one of the anti-inflammatory chemicals called vasoactive intestinal peptide in rats with rheumatoid arthritis induced by chemicals. In this study, Dr. TF He et. al used chemicals to induce the RA, with symptoms of swelling and redness of the rat paws. This group of researchers then applied electro-acupuncture to the rats at ST36, GB39 and UB23 acupuncture points. They found that the rats that received electro-acupuncture showed significant reduction of the paw swelling. Furthermore, inflammation in the synovial tissue, which lines the inside of the joint cavities, is reduced. However, the electrical acupuncture at a non-acupoint did not produce a similar result. Interestingly, electro-acupuncture increased vasoactive intestinal peptide, a potent anti-inflammatory neuropeptide, in the synovial tissue, but this did not occur in the non-acupuncture points group. Dr. He et. al also noticed that the higher the level of vasoactive intestinal peptide was, the less inflammation occurred in the synovial tissue.

Then why some people respond better to acupuncture treatment than other people, two factors can be involved in the efficiency of acupuncture treatment: sufficient dosage and diet. If a person has acupuncture once a week and does not move around with a poor diet, the circulation around the joints will not be improved as much as a person who eats a lot of fruit and vegetables and have treatment three times a week for 12 to 24 treatments.

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