Patients suffering from stomach and duodenum ulcers often times look for help outside of mainstreem medicine. Clinical effectiveness of acupuncture as an auxiliary method in treatment of this illness is doubtless, yet there is no clinical survey that would provide it’s confirmation. When gastroesophageal reflux was discusted, it was said that acupuncture added to basic dose of proton pump inhibitor is more efficient than doubling the dose(source)1 . Influence of random techniques of needle acupuncture on electrical activity of stomach was also researched(source)2.

There is lot of reports considering experiments on animals that describe the influence of described method on function of stomach and prevention or treatment of stomach ulcers. Research shows that:

  • Electroacupuncture of points on YanMing meridians improve circulation in mucosa, regulates level of motilin and somatostatin, and also reduces stomach cramps of rats with stomach ulcers(source)3,
  • Electroacupuncture used on rabbits on points mentioned above protects mucosa against damage, probably thanks to secretion of wazoactive intestinale peptide and production of somatostatin(source)4,
  • Stimulation of Yan Ming points reduces damage of mucus, increases level of nitric dioxide in mucus, synthase of nitric oxide, E2 proglansyne and epidermal growth factor(source)5 
  • Electroacupuncture prevents rats from having stomach ulcers, probably thanks to influencing autonomic nervous system(source)6
  • Moxibustion of St36 and St21 protects mucus of rats with stress induced ulcers. This effect is closely tied to influence on TGF-alpha synthesis and proliferation of mucus cells, and also reduction of apotosis of mucus cells and higher expression of HSP70(source)7
1 Dickman R, Schiff E, Holland A, Wright C, Sarela SR, Han B, Fass R „Clinical trial: acupuncture vs. doubling the proton pump inhibitor dose in refractory heartburn” Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Nov 15;26(10):1333-44. Epub 2007 Sep 17.

2 Xing W, Li Q. “Effects of different manipulations of acupuncture on electrical activity of stomach in humans.” J Tradit Chin Med. 1998 Mar;18(1):39-42

3 Lin YP, Yi SX, Yan J, Chang XR. “Effect of acupuncture at Foot-Yangming Meridian on gastric mucosal blood flow, gastric motility and brain-gut peptide.” World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Apr 21;13(15):2229-33

4 Yi SX, Yang RD, Yan J, Chang XR, Ling YP “Effect of electro-acupuncture at Foot-Yangming Meridian on somatostatin and expression of somatostatin receptor genes in rabbits with gastric ulcer.” World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Mar 21;12(11):1761-5.

5 Yan J, Yang RD, He JF, Yi SX, Chang XR, Lin YP. “Effect of acupuncture at different meridian acupoints on changes of related factors for rabbit gastric mucosal injury.” World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Nov 7;11(41):6472-6.

6 Wang H, Wang CY, Zhang JS, Sun L, Sun JP, Tian QH, Jin XL, Yin L. “Acupuncture therapy for experimental stomach ulcer and c-Fos expression in rats.” World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Sep 21;11(35):5517-20

7 Yi SX, Peng Y, Chang XR, Peng N, Yan J, Lin YP. “Effect of pre-moxibustion on apoptosis and proliferation of gastric mucosa cells.” World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Apr 21;13(15):2174-8.