Electroacupuncture on Shenmen (HT 7) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6) are effective for insomnia, anxiety and depression

Objective: To observe the effect of electroacupuncture at Shenmen (HT 7) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6) on anxiety and depression in patients with insomnia, and to explore the mechanism of its compatibility effect.

Methods: Ninety patients of insomnia were randomly divided into a combination group, a Shenmen group and a Sanyinjiao group, 30 cases in each group. In addition, 37 cases with anxiety (12 cases in the combination group, 13 cases in the Shenmen group and 12 cases in the Sanyinjiao group) and 42 cases with depression (14 cases in the combination group, 14 cases in the Shenmen group and 14 cases in the Sanyinjiao group) were identified. The patients in the combination group, Shenmen group and Sanyinjiao group were treated with electroacupuncture (dilatational wave, frequency of 5 Hz/25 Hz) at Shenmen (HT 7)-Sanyinjiao (SP 6), Shenmen (HT 7) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6), respectively, 30 min each treatment, once a day. The consecutive 5 days of treatments were taken as a course of treatment, and 2 courses of treatment were given. The insomnia severity index, self-rating anxiety scale and self-rating depression scale scores were evaluated before and after treatment, and the serum contents of dopamine and norepinephrine were measured.

Results: Compared before treatment, the ISI, self-rating anxiety scale and self-rating depression scale scores in the three groups were all decreased after treatment (P<0.05), and the insomnia severity index score in the combination group was lower than that in the Shenmen group (P<0.05). Among the patients with anxiety, compared before treatment, the insomnia severity index, self-rating anxiety scale scores and serum contents of dopamine were all decreased after treatment in the three groups (P<0.05), and the serum contents of norepinephrine in the combination group and Shenmen group were decreased after treatment (P<0.05); the self-rating anxiety scale score and serum contents of norepinephrine in the combination group and Shenmen group as well as the insomnia severity index score in the combination group were lower than those in the Sanyinjiao group (P<0.05).

Among the patients with depression, compared before treatment, the insomnia severity index, self-rating depression scale scores and serum contents of dopamine were all decreased after treatment in the three groups (P<0.05), and the serum contents of norepinephrine in the combination group and Shenmen group were decreased after treatment (P<0.05); the insomnia severity index, self-rating depression scale scores and serum contents of norepinephrine in the combination group as well as self-rating depression scale score in the Shenmen group were lower than those in the Sanyinjiao group (P<0.05).

Conclusion: electroacupuncture at Shenmen (HT 7) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6) has advantages over electroacupuncture at Sanyinjiao (SP 6) on improving insomnia, anxiety and depression. Shenmen (HT 7) plays a major role in improving anxiety and depression. Shenmen (HT 7) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6) may play a compatibility effect of regulating consciousness and sleeping by reducing the level of serum norepinephrine.

Reference: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35025151/

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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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