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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 726510, 7 pages
Research Article

Acu-TENS and Postexercise Expiratory Flow Volume in Healthy Subjects

1Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2Department of Physical Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612-7249, USA

Received 26 May 2010; Revised 28 September 2010; Accepted 28 December 2010

Copyright © 2011 Shirley P. C. Ngai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation over acupoints (Acu-TENS) facilitates recovery of resting heart rate after treadmill exercise in healthy subjects. Its effect on postexercise respiratory indices has not been reported. This study investigates the effect of Acu-TENS on forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) in healthy subjects after a submaximal exercise. Eleven male subjects were invited to the laboratory twice, two weeks apart, to receive in random order either Acu-TENS or Placebo-TENS (no electrical output from the TENS unit) over bilateral Lieque (LU7) and Dingchuan (EX-B1) for 45 minutes, before undergoing exercise following the Bruce protocol. Exercise duration, rate of perceived exertion (RPE), and peak heart rate (PHR) were recorded. Between-group FEV1 and FVC, before, immediately after, at 15, 30, and 45minutes postexercise, were compared. While no between-group differences in PHR, RPE, and FVC were found, Acu-TENS was associated with a longer exercise duration (0.9 min ( )) and a higher percentage increase in FEV1 at 15 and 45 minutes postexercise (3.3 ± 3.7% ( ) and 5.1 ± 7.5% ( ), resp.) compared to Placebo-TENS. We concluded that Acu-TENS was associated with a higher postexercise FEV1 and a prolongation of submaximal exercise.