Effect of transcutaneous nerve stimulation on esophageal function in normal subjects -evidence for a somatovisceral reflex

Full Young Chang, William Y. Chey, Ann Ouyang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transcutaneous stimulation (TNS) at esophageal acupuncture points decreases lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressures in patients with achalasia. We examined the effect of TNS on esophageal motility and vasoactive intestinal peptide ( VIP) levels in normal subjects. TNS was applied to either hand or foot (placebo) in 10 volunteers. Esophageal and LES pressures were recorded and blood was drawn for VIP analysis. Hand TNS improved LES relaxation and percent of peristaltic contractions to swallows, and decreased the number of spontaneous contractions. Foot TNS decreased only spontaneous contractions while LES pressures and VIP levels were unchanged. We conclude that a somatovisceral pathway involving the esophagus exists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-192
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Chinese Medicine
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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