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A new method for quantifying the needling component of acupuncture treatments.

Davis RT, Churchill DL, Badger GJ, Dunn J, Langevin HM - Acupunct Med (2012)

Bottom Line: Parameters calculated from the raw needling data were displacement amplitude, displacement frequency, rotation amplitude, rotation frequency, force amplitude and torque amplitude.The relationships between displacement and rotation frequencies, as well as between displacement and force amplitudes showed considerable variability across individual acupuncturists and subjects.Needling motion and force parameters can be quantified in a treatment-like setting.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Stromatec, Burlington, Vermont 05401, USA. rdavis@stromatec.com

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The highly variable nature of acupuncture needling creates challenges to systematic research. The goal of this study was to test the feasibility of quantifying acupuncture needle manipulation using motion and force measurements. It was hypothesised that distinct needling styles and techniques would produce different needle motion and force patterns that could be quantified and differentiated from each other.

Methods: A new needling sensor tool (Acusensor) was used to record needling in real time as performed by six New England School of Acupuncture staff from the 'Chinese acupuncture' (style 1) and 'Japanese acupuncture' (style 2) programmes (three from each). Each faculty expert needled 12 points (6 bilateral locations) in 12 healthy human subjects using tonification (technique 1) and dispersal (technique 2). Parameters calculated from the raw needling data were displacement amplitude, displacement frequency, rotation amplitude, rotation frequency, force amplitude and torque amplitude.

Results: Data analysis revealed significant differences in the amplitude of displacement and rotation between needling performed by staff from two different acupuncture styles. Significant overall differences in the frequency of displacement between techniques 1 and 2 that were not dependent of the style of acupuncture being performed were also found. The relationships between displacement and rotation frequencies, as well as between displacement and force amplitudes showed considerable variability across individual acupuncturists and subjects.

Conclusions: Needling motion and force parameters can be quantified in a treatment-like setting. Needling data can subsequently be analysed, providing an objective method for characterising needling in basic and clinical acupuncture research.

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Relationship between needle displacement and rotation. A–C. Examples of three acupuncturists showing different degrees of correlation between displacement frequency and rotation frequency. Within each graph, individual points correspond to individual subjects. The degree of correlation between displacement and rotation was high in both techniques for the acupuncturist shown in (A), and low in both techniques for the acupuncturist shown in (B). The acupuncturist shown in (C) had a high correlation for technique 1 but low correlation for technique 2. D,E. Needle displacement and rotation tracings illustrating synchronised versus non-synchronised needle motion. Displacement and rotation are occurring at the same frequency in (D) but at different frequencies in (E).
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Figure 4: Relationship between needle displacement and rotation. A–C. Examples of three acupuncturists showing different degrees of correlation between displacement frequency and rotation frequency. Within each graph, individual points correspond to individual subjects. The degree of correlation between displacement and rotation was high in both techniques for the acupuncturist shown in (A), and low in both techniques for the acupuncturist shown in (B). The acupuncturist shown in (C) had a high correlation for technique 1 but low correlation for technique 2. D,E. Needle displacement and rotation tracings illustrating synchronised versus non-synchronised needle motion. Displacement and rotation are occurring at the same frequency in (D) but at different frequencies in (E).

Mentions: We also observed that the correlation between displacement and rotation frequency was acupuncturist dependent: in some acupuncturists, linear and rotational movements were performed at a similar frequency (figure 4A), whereas in others the frequencies were more independent of each other (figure 4B). Furthermore, in some acupuncturists, this relationship was technique dependent (figure 4C shows high correlation between linear and rotation frequency for technique 1 but not technique 2). Figure 4 D,E show examples of synchronised (figure 4D) and non-synchronised (figure 4E) needle motion.


A new method for quantifying the needling component of acupuncture treatments.

Davis RT, Churchill DL, Badger GJ, Dunn J, Langevin HM - Acupunct Med (2012)

Relationship between needle displacement and rotation. A–C. Examples of three acupuncturists showing different degrees of correlation between displacement frequency and rotation frequency. Within each graph, individual points correspond to individual subjects. The degree of correlation between displacement and rotation was high in both techniques for the acupuncturist shown in (A), and low in both techniques for the acupuncturist shown in (B). The acupuncturist shown in (C) had a high correlation for technique 1 but low correlation for technique 2. D,E. Needle displacement and rotation tracings illustrating synchronised versus non-synchronised needle motion. Displacement and rotation are occurring at the same frequency in (D) but at different frequencies in (E).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3375586&req=5

Figure 4: Relationship between needle displacement and rotation. A–C. Examples of three acupuncturists showing different degrees of correlation between displacement frequency and rotation frequency. Within each graph, individual points correspond to individual subjects. The degree of correlation between displacement and rotation was high in both techniques for the acupuncturist shown in (A), and low in both techniques for the acupuncturist shown in (B). The acupuncturist shown in (C) had a high correlation for technique 1 but low correlation for technique 2. D,E. Needle displacement and rotation tracings illustrating synchronised versus non-synchronised needle motion. Displacement and rotation are occurring at the same frequency in (D) but at different frequencies in (E).
Mentions: We also observed that the correlation between displacement and rotation frequency was acupuncturist dependent: in some acupuncturists, linear and rotational movements were performed at a similar frequency (figure 4A), whereas in others the frequencies were more independent of each other (figure 4B). Furthermore, in some acupuncturists, this relationship was technique dependent (figure 4C shows high correlation between linear and rotation frequency for technique 1 but not technique 2). Figure 4 D,E show examples of synchronised (figure 4D) and non-synchronised (figure 4E) needle motion.

Bottom Line: Parameters calculated from the raw needling data were displacement amplitude, displacement frequency, rotation amplitude, rotation frequency, force amplitude and torque amplitude.The relationships between displacement and rotation frequencies, as well as between displacement and force amplitudes showed considerable variability across individual acupuncturists and subjects.Needling motion and force parameters can be quantified in a treatment-like setting.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Stromatec, Burlington, Vermont 05401, USA. rdavis@stromatec.com

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The highly variable nature of acupuncture needling creates challenges to systematic research. The goal of this study was to test the feasibility of quantifying acupuncture needle manipulation using motion and force measurements. It was hypothesised that distinct needling styles and techniques would produce different needle motion and force patterns that could be quantified and differentiated from each other.

Methods: A new needling sensor tool (Acusensor) was used to record needling in real time as performed by six New England School of Acupuncture staff from the 'Chinese acupuncture' (style 1) and 'Japanese acupuncture' (style 2) programmes (three from each). Each faculty expert needled 12 points (6 bilateral locations) in 12 healthy human subjects using tonification (technique 1) and dispersal (technique 2). Parameters calculated from the raw needling data were displacement amplitude, displacement frequency, rotation amplitude, rotation frequency, force amplitude and torque amplitude.

Results: Data analysis revealed significant differences in the amplitude of displacement and rotation between needling performed by staff from two different acupuncture styles. Significant overall differences in the frequency of displacement between techniques 1 and 2 that were not dependent of the style of acupuncture being performed were also found. The relationships between displacement and rotation frequencies, as well as between displacement and force amplitudes showed considerable variability across individual acupuncturists and subjects.

Conclusions: Needling motion and force parameters can be quantified in a treatment-like setting. Needling data can subsequently be analysed, providing an objective method for characterising needling in basic and clinical acupuncture research.

Show MeSH