15. February 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Ear Acupuncture

The analgesic effects of auricular acupuncture (AA) may be explained by stimulation of the auricular branch of the vagal nerve (ABVN). German investigators extracted data on the localisation of AA points commonly used to treat pain from a meta-analysis of 17 RCTs, and evaluated them according to an anatomical map of auricular afferent nerve supply. Fifteen out of 20 AA points used in the treatment of pain were found to be situated in areas mostly innervated by the ABVN, whereas sham points were generally located on the helix of the auricle, which is innervated by cervical nerves.

Transcutaneous auricular vagal nerve stimulation (taVNS) might be a mechanism behind the analgesic effects of auricular acupuncture. Brain Stimul. 2017 Aug 2. pii: S1935-861X(17)30853-7.

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