Rat models of Alzheimer’s disease were used by Zhang et al 13 to show that EA of GV20, CV14, KI3, BL23, and ST36 increased superoxide dismutase activity in the hippocampus. A study 14 of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats found that nitric oxide and nitric oxide synthase were increased and that intracellular Ca2 + was decreased by EA of PC6. Electroacupuncture of the sham point, LU7 and LI4, did not have the same result. In this situation, these 2 free radicals are desired because they mitigate myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. Results of the study suggest that acupuncture points are specific and targeted to organs on their meridian, as PC6 addresses the Pericardium and Heart in both the Western and TCM sense even though it is remote from the heart. The findings also underscore that quenching of free radicals is not always the desired result of a treatment. Reducing, but not tonifying, needling of LR3 was found to decrease blood pressure and levels of calcitonin gene–related peptide and nitrogen monoxidum in the blood plasma and hypothalamus of rats stressed by hypertension. 15 The reducing technique was twirling the needle clockwise, and the tonifying technique was twirling the needle counterclockwise. Findings in this study suggest that reducing LR3 can resolve Liver yang rising and have antioxidant abilities. Because the blood plasma was measured and the point was on the Liver meridian, this study may be applicable to liver detoxification protocols.
Noxious input to the spinal cord is known to produce central sensitization, which consists of allodynia , exaggeration of pain, and punctuate hyperalgesia , extreme sensitivity to pain. Two types of mechanical hyperalgesia can occur: 1) touch that is normally painless in the uninjured surroundings of a cut or tear can trigger painful sensations (touch-evoked hyperalgesia), and 2) a slightly painful pin prick stimulation is perceived as more painful around a focused area of inflammation (punctuate hyperalgesia). Touch-evoked hyperalgesia requires continuous firing of primary afferent nociceptors, and punctuate hyperalgesia does not require continuous firing which means it can persist for hours after a trauma and can be stronger than normally experienced. In addition, it was found that patients with neuropathic pain, histamine ionophoresis resulted in a sensation of burning pain rather than itch, which would be induced in normal healthy patients. This shows that there is spinal hypersensitivity to C-fiber input in chronic pain.