Electroacupuncture and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Written by: DrTonyWillcox | Apr 10, 2013

Electroacupuncture and Rheumatoid Arthritis

To explore the mechanism of electroacupuncture on rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Dr. Charlie in the inpatient department of Anhui University of Chinese Medicine where patients receive acupuncture for many conditions

Dr. Charlie was one of Dr. Tony Willcox’s mentors in Hefei under the tutelage and schooling of Professor Yang Jun.

In a randomized and controlled trial, sixty-three cases with RA were randomly divided into an electroacupuncture group (n = 32) and a simple acupuncture group (n = 31). Baihui (GV 20), Fengchi (GB 20), Quchi (LI 11), Waiguan (TE 5), Guanyuan (CV 4) and Zusanli (ST 36) were selected by coordination method combined whole and local acupoints. The electroacupuncture group was treated with electroacupuncture at the local acupoints near painful joints, continuous wave, retaining needle for 30 minutes, and then electroacupuncture at Back-shu acupoints, retaining needle for 15 minutes, and the simple acupuncture group was treated with the same acupoints selection and acupuncture manipulation without electroacupuncture apparatus. They were all treated once every other day for 20 days as one course. After 3 courses, changes of interleukins in peripheral blood and joint fluid of patients were observed.

Electroacupuncture and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Both of electroacupuncture and simple acupuncture had a significant effect on IL-1, IL-4, IL-6 and IL-10 in peripheral blood and joint fluid of patients with RA ( P 0.05), and after electroacupuncture, the improvement value of IL-10 in peripheral blood and joint fluid was super than those after simple acupuncture (both P

Electroacupuncture can effectively decrease the proinflammatory cytokine of IL-1 and IL-6 and increase the inhibition cytokine of IL-4 and IL-10 and improve the internal environment of occurrence and progression of RA.


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1- By Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Suzhou Municipal Hospital of TCM, Suzhou 215003, Jiangsu Province, China. All rights reserved.
– http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21058483

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