Deqi sensation in placebo acupuncture: a crossover study on chinese medicine students.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013 29;2013:620671. Epub 2013 Jul 29.

The Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510120, China.

Objective. To evaluate the similarity of deqi sensation of real and noninvasive placebo acupuncture in healthy people with knowledge of Chinese medicine. Methods. In a crossover design, volunteers recruited from Chinese medicine college students were randomized to two groups to receive two phases of intervention with a one-week washout interval. In Group A, the participants were firstly treated by real acupuncture and then by sham needle, and the treatment sequence was reversed in Group B. VAS for pain intensity and deqi sensation was evaluated as outcomes. Results. Sixty-three volunteers were recruited and 60 were included and finished the study. In Group A, VAS was higher in Phase I than in Phase II (P = 0.017). Only treatment methods were selected as factor to VAS difference (P = 0.046) in ANOVA test. More positive deqi was reported in Group A in Phase I when treated by real acupuncture (P = 0.039), but the difference was not significant in Phase II (P = 0.301). Conclusion. The noninvasive placebo acupuncture device can effetely simulate the deqi sensation as real acupuncture, but it is less likely to evoke the active effect of deqi in real practice. This trial is registered with Chinese Clinical Trial Registry: ChiCTR-ORC-09000505.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/620671DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3745883PMC
August 2013
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