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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1947315, 7 pages
Research Article

Effects of Combined Far-Infrared Radiation and Acupuncture at ST36 on Peripheral Blood Perfusion and Autonomic Activities

1Department of Electrical Engineering, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien 97401, Taiwan
2Department of Chinese Medicine, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Hualien 97002, Taiwan
3Department of Medicine, Hualien-Armed Forces General Hospital, Hualien 97144, Taiwan
4Department of Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei 114, Taiwan
5Department of Medical Research, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Hualien 97002, Taiwan
6Department of Chinese Medicine, Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Taichung 42743, Taiwan
7School of Chinese Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien 97002, Taiwan
8Department of Emergency Medicine, E-Da Hospital, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung 82445, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Cheuk-Kwan Sun

Received 7 April 2017; Revised 5 July 2017; Accepted 6 July 2017; Published 13 August 2017

Academic Editor: Woojin Kim

Copyright © 2017 Cheng-Chan Yang 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.


Using four-channel photoplethysmography (PPG) for acquiring peripheral arterial waveforms, this study investigated vascular and autonomic impacts of combined acupuncture-far infrared radiation (FIR) in improving peripheral circulation. Twenty healthy young adults aged were enrolled for 30-minute measurement. Each subject underwent four treatment strategies, including acupuncture at ST36 (Zusanli), pseudoacupuncture, FIR, and combined acupuncture-FIR at different time points. Response was assessed at 5-minute intervals. Area under arterial waveform at baseline was defined as AreaBaseline, whereas AreaStim referred to area at each 5-minute substage during and after treatment. AreaStim/AreaBaseline was compared at different stages and among different strategies. Autonomic activity at different stages was assessed using low-to-high frequency power ratio (LHR). The results demonstrated increased perfusion for each therapeutic strategy from stage 1 to stage 2 (all ). Elevated perfusion was noted for all treatment strategies at stage 3 compared to stage 1 except pseudoacupuncture. Increased LHR was noted only in subjects undergoing pseudoacupuncture at stage 3 compared to stage 1 (). Reduced LHR at stage 2 compared to stage 1 was found only in combined treatment group (). In conclusion, the results support clinical benefits of combined acupuncture-FIR treatment in enhancing peripheral perfusion and parasympathetic activity.