CECCHERELLI F., GAGLIARDI G., CARAVELLO M., ZAMPIERI S., BARBAGLI P., FACCO E.
The aim of the present work is to confirm whether an auricle symptomatologic somatotopia exists, that is, if there is, in man, an activation of the same auricular point in response to the stimulation of the corresponding body district; whether electroacupuncture raises the somatic pain threshold and whether a stimulation of the point evidenced in the auricle elevates the pain threshold only at the original afferent zone, or at a complete somatic level.
Twelve healthy volunteers aged between 25 and 35 years have taken part in the study. It was a crossover study divided in various phases:
– irritation of the wrist and search of auricular points eventually hypersensitive to pressure;
– minimal (placebo) or real acupuncture electrostimulation at a distance of a week one from the other, of the evidenced acupoint associated with the Shenn Menn.
The pain threshold was measured before each stimulation, it was repeated at the end of the session and every 30 minutes for the next two hours.
The results point out how the electrical stimulation of the auricle determines a raise in the generalized pain threshold.
The stimulation of the auricle determines the raise in pain threshold in the whole body and not only in the zone somatotopically correspondent to the auricular point.
In conclusion one can state that the existence of an “afferent” somatotopic representation is evidenced (the nociceptive stimulation of a specific zone of the body activates an auricular point), this does not occur as an “efferent” pathway or phenomenon.
Minerva Medica, vol.96, Suppl.2 to N°3, giugno 2005, 1 – 5, ISSN 0026-4806.