Exploring amplitude in transcutaneous electroacupuncture stimulation (TEAS)

AACP Presentation slides

AACP Presentation video


Background. This presentation is based on data from a recent study exploring the sensory (ST) and tolerance (TT) thresholds of ‘strong but comfortable’ (SbC) TEAS. Our objectives were to identify factors that may affect the intensity levels of stimulation that recipients report, and what effects different levels have on mood and physiological measures.

Methods. 66 participants were recruited, attending for four sessions each, in which TEAS was applied for 20 minutes to each hand between LI4 (hegu) and the ulnar border. In each session, TEAS was delivered at SbC intensity and at either 2.5, 10 or 80 pps. In the fourth session, for sham TEAS, amplitude was set at zero and frequency at 160 pps. Mood questionnaires and physiological measures were used. Results were analysed using nonparametric methods.

Results are presented.

Some conclusions. ST increases with age, but TT is unlikely to be so affected; ST may be lower in women than in men. Prior experience of EA or TENS, recent stress, fatigue and room temperature will affect thresholds. With minor adjustments, these findings are likely to be applicable to electroacupuncture (EA) as well as TEAS. Any acupuncture-related treatment responses (e.g. in mood) are likely to be highly individual.

Note. Some slides show text with a large letter ‘X’ across it. These sections mostly present results from subgroup analyses that may usefully indicate directions for further research, but which will require verification.