Effects of single-point acupuncture (HT7) in the prevention of test anxiety : results of a RCT

  • Background: The number of students using neuro enhancement to improve their performance and to prevent test anxiety is increasing. The acupuncture point Heart 7 (HT7) has been described as being prominent in reducing states of anxiety. Methods: We conducted a randomized placebo-controlled, two-armed pilot trial to investigate the efficacy of a single-point acupuncture treatment at bilateral HT7 compared to sham laser acupuncture on test anxiety. Test anxiety was induced applying the standardised protocol of the Trier Social Stress Test. Outcome measures included saliva samples analysed for cortisol and amylase, anxiety questionnaires and heart rate variability. Results: Twenty-five male subjects (age 28 ± 5 years) were allocated to either verum acupuncture (n = 12) or sham laser acupuncture (n = 13). Cortisol peaked 20 min after the stress test (2-fold, 18.11 ± 2 nmol/l) and amylase 10 min after (2-fold, 259 ± 49 U/ml) with no difference between groups. There were no differences between groups regarding either anxiety questionnaires or physiological parameters. Compared to reference data (3-fold increase in cortisol), increase in stress hormones and heart rate seemed somewhat reduced. Conclusions: Acupuncture may be a possible approach for the treatment of anxiety. Due to the lack of a no control treatment group, we cannot determine the magnitude of possible specific needle effects at HT7 to promote specific effects in the neuroendocrine system. Finally this study only examines the efficacy of a single time treatment.
Author:Johannes FleckensteinORCiDGND, Peter Krüger, Karl-Peter Ittner
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30161153
Parent Title (English):PLoS one
Place of publication:Lawrence, Kan.
Contributor(s):Ethan Moitra
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/08/30
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/09/04
Tag:Acupuncture; Anxiety; Cortisol; Heart; Heart rate; Lasers; Psychological stress; Saliva
Issue:(8): e0202659
Page Number:12
First Page:1
Last Page:12
Copyright: © 2018 Fleckenstein et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
7 Künste und Unterhaltung / 79 Sport, Spiele, Unterhaltung / 790 Freizeitgestaltung, darstellende Künste, Sport
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0