Table 2

Studies examining the effect of neurophysiological dose

(# participants)
InterventionComparator group(s)Outcome measureTreatment outcome for pain
Xiong et al26
MA with de qi (n= 67)MA without de qi
VASImmediate: Pain scores decreased in both groups from baseline (p<0.01). Acupuncture with strong manual stimulation produced a greater reduction in both pain intensity (W=2410.0, p<0.01) and pain duration (W=3181.0, p<0.01)
Li et al27
MA using ‘Qinglong Baiwei’ method (MAQB)
Herbal medicine: Yueyueshu granules
Self-reported improvement scale (cured/marked effect/effective/no effect)Immediate:
MAQB was superior to MA and herbal medicine (p<0.01)
The cured rate and the total effective rate were 75.0% and 100.0% in the MAQB group, 60.0% and 95.0% in the MA group, and 25.0% and 90.0% in the herbal medicine group, respectively, with MAQB and MA being significantly better than group C (p<0.01)
Zhi et al28
Superficial EA (ESA)
Superficial MA (SA)
Control group: ibuprofen 300 mg sustained release
Self-reported improvement scale (cured/marked improvement/failed)Immediate:
ESA was superior to SA in the onset of pain reduction within 30 min of treatment (p<0.05)
Total effective rates were 94.74% in the ESA group, 91.23% in the SA group and 77.19% in the control group. The effective rates of ESA and SA groups were significantly higher than that of medication group (p<0.01)
  • EA, electroacupuncture; MA, manual acupuncture; VAS, visual analogue scale.