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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 476064, 7 pages
Research Article

Pilot Study of Acupuncture Point Laterality: Evidence from Heart Rate Variability

Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, 16 Dongzhimennei, Nanxiaojie, Dongchen District, Beijing 100700, China

Received 16 September 2013; Revised 6 November 2013; Accepted 6 November 2013

Academic Editor: Gerhard Litscher

Copyright © 2013 Guangjun Wang 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.


The specificity of acupuncture points (acupoints) is one of the key concepts in traditional acupuncture theory, but the question of whether there is adequate scientific evidence to prove or disprove specificity has been vigorously debated in recent years. Laterality, or the tendency for acupoints on the right or left side of the body to produce different physiological effects, is an important aspect of acupoint specificity. Data is particularly scarce regarding the laterality of the same channel, same-named acupoint located on opposite sides of the body. The aim of this study was to investigate whether Neiguan (PC6) has laterality. A total of eighteen healthy female volunteers were recruited for this study. Electrocardiograms were recorded and heart rate variability was analyzed before, during, and after PC6 was stimulated on either the left or the right side. The results show that during acupuncture, there were significant differences in the standard deviation of RR intervals (STDRR), root mean square of successive differences between RR intervals (RMSSD), and total power between the left PC6 stimulation group and the right PC6 stimulation group, which indicates that PC6 may have laterality.