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J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2009 Dec;2(4):259-68. doi: 10.1016/S2005-2901(09)60066-2.

A multichannel system for continuous measurements of skin resistance and capacitance at acupuncture points.

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Helfgott Research Institute, National College of Natural Medicine, Portland, OR 97201, USA.


Electrodermal screening (EDS) is based on three commonly held assumptions: acupuncture points (APs) have lower electrical resistance than non-APs; resistance at APs varies with health and disease; and effective acupuncture treatments are associated with normalization of resistance at APs. Although evidence confirming these assumptions is limited, EDS is frequently practiced worldwide. Researchers are also beginning to assess EDS' utility as an outcome measure in acupuncture trials. Fundamental in developing EDS as a research tool is the need for an accurate and reliable measurement. We developed an automated multichannel prototype system, the Octopus, and recorded electrical resistance and capacitance at eight skin sites in 33 healthy participants over 2 hours. The Octopus accurately measured against known resistors (within 2.5% of the mean value) and capacitors (within 10% of the mean value), and yielded repeatable readings at all eight skin sites: LR 1 (r=0.79), SP 1 (r=0.79), toe non-AP (r=0.77), LU 9 (r=0.97), PC 6 (r=0.96), wrist non-APs (r=0.97), SP 6 (r=0.96), and leg non-APs (r=0.97). Resistance at APs was significantly lower than the nearby non-APs in one out of three comparisons.

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