The Effects of Electroacupuncture (EA) and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) on the EEG and Heart Rate Variability

This study, by David Mayor and Tony Steffert, was first proposed in 2001, and has been has been in progress since Summer 2011. Here you can find some formal and informal reports, updates and background information (in date order).

1. Short presentation, ARRC Symposium, London, 2012 (video + slides)

2. EEG and eyeblink response to different acupuncture modalities. Poster 1, ARRC Symposium, London, 2013

Also available on the ARRC site, here

This poster and the following ones can also be viewed by searching ‘acupuncture’ at: https://f1000research.com/

3. Does the cortical response to electroacupuncture depend on stimulation frequency? Poster 2, AACP Conference, near Reading, 2013

4. Expectation and experience of the ‘nonspecific’ effects of acupuncture: developing and piloting a set of questionnaires. Poster 3, BMAS/PMAS Meeting, Porto, 2013

5. The Technical Acupuncturist. Tongue-in-cheek, from The Acupuncturist, Summer 2013

6. The fickleness of data: Estimating the effects of different aspects of acupuncture treatment on heart rate variability (HRV). Initial findings from three pilot studies. Poster 4, ARRC Symposium, London, 2014

7. Expectation and experience of ‘nonspecific’ (whole person) feelings elicited by acupuncture: Content validity of a set of questionnaires. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Akupunktur/German Journal of Acupuncture and Related Techniques. 2014; 57(1): 14-19 link

8. What do we mean by the ‘nonspecific’ effects of acupuncture treatment? A survey of experienced acupuncture practitioners and researchers. European Journal of Oriental Medicine. 2014; 7(6): 38-43
PDF and link

9. Changes in finger temperature and blood flow in response to different frequencies of transcutaneous electroacupuncture at LI4 (hegu). Interim analysis and ‘real life’ methodological issues: many factors, missing data and a multiplicity of measures. Poster 5, ARRC Symposium, London, 2015

10. Measuring mood – relative sensitivity of numerical rating and Likert scales in the context of teaching electroacupuncture. Initial findings and the influence of response style on results. Poster 6, ARRC Symposium, London, 2016

11. Mood changes in response to electroacupuncture treatment in a classroom situation. Personality type, emotional intelligence and prior acupuncture experience, with an exploration of Shannon entropy, response style and graphology variables. Poster 7, ARRC Symposium, London, 2017

12. Nonspecific feelings expected and experienced during or immediately after electroacupuncture: a pilot study in a teaching situation. Medicines. 2017; 4(2):19 link

13. Personality and treatment response to electroacupuncture. A new measure of mood change and further analysis of questionnaire response styles. Poster 8, ARRC Symposium, London, 2018

14. Individual differences in responsiveness to acupuncture: an exploratory survey of practitioner opinion. Medicines. 2018; 5: 85 link

15. Exploring amplitude in transcutaneous electroacupuncture stimulation (TEAS). Presentation, AACP Leeds Conference, Leeds, 13 October 2018

16. Does electrical stimulation to the hands (transcutaneous electroacupuncture stimulation, TEAS) have frequency-specific effects on heart rate variability (HRV)? Poster 9, ARRC Symposium, London 2019

17. The effects of transcutaneous electroacupuncture stimulation (TEAS) on heart rate variability (HRV) and nonlinearity: Is stimulation frequency or amplitude more important? Poster 10, AACP Conference, London 2019

18. ProcessSignals. Detection of real EGG and BVP peaks from noisy biosignals: an innovative MATLAB-based Graphical User Interface (GUI). Poster, 2nd Annual Engineering and Computer Science Research Conference, University of Hertfordshire, 8 April 2020 (postponed)

19. CEPS: An Open Access MATLAB Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the Analysis of Complexity and Entropy in Physiological Signals. Entropy. 2021, 23(3), 321 link

20. Beyond HRV. Extending the range of autonomic measures associated with heart rate variability – the effects of transcutaneous electroacupuncture (TEAS). Poster 11, ARRC Symposium, Virtual event, 2021

21. Electroacupuncture (EA) and the EEG: An unfinished personal journey, 2001-2022. From simple hypothesis to artificial intelligence (AI). Presentation, AACP Virtual Conference, May 2022

22. Classification of the central effects of transcutaneous electroacupuncture stimulation (TEAS) at different frequencies: a Deep Learning approach using wavelet packet decomposition with an entropy estimator (co-authored with Çağlar Uyulan, Tim Watson and Duncan Banks). Applied Sciences. 2023; 13(4), 2703 link 

23. In collaboration with Neil Spencer, Professor of Applied Statistics at the University of Hertfordshire (UK), and Ciarán D Beggan of the British Geological Survey, we have started exploring the effects of terrestrial and space weather on the physiological data we have gathered:

Spencer NH, Mayor D, Steffert T, Beggan CD. From a Berkshire Farm to a Fishing Expedition via Random Points. Presentation at the Royal Statistical Society, London, 29 March 2023. Click here for more information.

We have also advised Ronakben Bhavsar, a PhD candidate at the University of Hertfordshire, on her project using data that she collected as part of our own research:

24. Time series analysis using embedding dimension on heart rate variability. Procedia Computer Science. 2018; 145: 89–96  Link

25. Efficient methods for calculating sample entropy in time series data analysis. Procedia Computer Science. 2018; 145: 97-104  Link

If you have any problems with this website, please contact David Mayor at +44 (0) 1707 320782 or