Comparison of the Effects of Manual Acupuncture, Laser Acupuncture, and Electromagnetic Field Stimulation at Acupuncture Point BL15 on Heart Rate Variability

J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2016 Oct;9(5):257-263. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2016.06.002. Epub 2016 Jul 1.


The aim of this study was to compare the influences of manual acupuncture, laser acupuncture, and electromagnetic field stimulation on the autonomic nervous system. We monitored the heart rate variability before and after stimulation to check the influence on the autonomic nervous system. The heart rate variabilities at low frequency (LF; 0.04-0.15 Hz) and high frequency (HF; 0.15-0.4 Hz) were analyzed to acquire LF/HF ratio. Xinshu (BL15) was selected as the stimulation point. Methods included manual acupuncture with a 1-cm depth and laser acupuncture at a wavelength of 660 nm and output power of 50 mW. An electromagnetic field of 2 Hz and 460 gauss (46 mT) was chosen. The LF and the LF/HF ratio were found to be lower in the manual acupuncture and the electromagnetic field groups, but to be higher in the laser acupuncture group. The HF was found to be lower in the laser acupuncture group, but higher in the manual acupuncture and the electromagnetic field groups. In conclusion, we found that manual acupuncture and electromagnetic field stimulation at BL15 activated the parasympathetic nervous system, whereas laser acupuncture at BL15 activated the sympathetic nervous system.

Keywords: acupuncture; electromagnetic field; heart rate variability; laser acupuncture.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points
  • Acupuncture Therapy / instrumentation
  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Female
  • Heart Rate* / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Magnetic Field Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Young Adult