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Needling the acupoint Tongli HE-5 on the right forearm results in activation of bilateral language-related areas in the brain, according to Chinese investigators. Acupuncture was administered to ten healthy volunteers while fMRI brain scanning was undertaken. Electrical stimulation (2Hz) was applied at right Tongli HE-5, right Tongli HE-5-Xuanzhong GB-39, left Tongli HE-5, and left Tongli HE-5-Xuanzhong GB-39 acupoints. Sham acupuncture was also applied at right Tongli HE-5. Electro-acupuncture at the right Tongli HE-5 acupoint only resulted in activation of multiple regions of the bilateral cerebral hemispheres that were closely related to language regions. Stimulation at right Tongli HE-5 caused greater activation to left side language-related areas compared with those on the right side. This point is traditionally used for speech disorders, and the study authors suggest that it might be useful in the treatment of aphasia caused by stroke.

An fMRI study of the effects on normal language areas when acupuncturing the Tongli (HT5) and Xuanzhong (GB39) acupoints. J Int Med Res. 2017 Dec;45(6):1961-1975.


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