Electroacupuncture May Improve GERD Symptoms

A recent Chinese study reported in an issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology has found that electroacupuncture at the Pericardium Meridian Point 6 (or PC6) may decrease the frequency of symptoms behind GERD. The researchers found elctroacupuncture to decrease the GERD inducing transient lower sphincter relaxation function (or TLESR) in cats. This effect appeared to act at the brain stem, and may be mediated through nitric oxide and mu-opioid receptors.

Principal investigator Peng-Yan Xie notes, "Acupuncture has been used to treat functional gastrointestinal disorders in Eastern countries for centuries. Our research aimed to investigate the relationship between acupuncture and TLESR and to discuss its mechanisms."

 The main conclusion reported by investigators found the electro acupoint stimulation at the PC6 site had a significant reduction in rate of sphincter relaxations induced by gastric distention. Researchers have been aware of the effects of acupuncture on reducing reflux symptoms but they had been unable to understand the underlying mechanism. The opioid recepters through the brain stem appear to be responsible for effect that acupuncture has on reflux disease.


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