- Posted on: Jan 16 2020
Electroacupuncture enhances the immune system promoting longevity.
Electroacupuncture is very similar to manual acupuncture, except practitioners of traditional Chinese
medicine introduce a trickle of electrical current through the needle into an acupuncture point at specific
frequencies to achieve a desired effect. The sensation of current is very mild, and can range from a tingle
to a twitch. This technique is becoming increasingly popular as modern research grows in support of the
health benefits of electroacupuncture.
A team of researchers from Hubei University of Chinese Medicine discovered that electroacupuncture
stimulation of acupuncture point ST36 (Zusanli) enhanced the level of immune cytokines (interferon-γ,
interleukin-2, interleukin-17), and was responsible for the differentiation, proliferation and activation splenic
CD4+ T cells. 
The findings are significant because CD4+ T cells are of paramount importance in human immune systems
as these cells are referred to as helper T cells and are active in the immune system’s defense against
microbes, including viruses. CD4+ T cells have the ability to differentiate into many different types of cell
subsets in the body’s effort to activate immune system cells, immunoregulation, and cytotoxic defense
mechanisms. This investigation updates our understanding with specific, quantifiable, and repeatable
biochemical changes elicited by electroacupuncture stimulation of ST36. 
Furthermore, scientists from the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Science (IMS) and Keio University
School of Medicine in Japan have found that supercentenarians — meaning people over the age of 110 —
had an excess of CD4+ helper T-cells, which made them relatively immune to illnesses such as infections
and cancer during their whole lifetimes. 
So what does that mean for you? Electroacupuncture is a viable option to help strengthen your immune
system against sickness and disease and maybe even add healthful years to your life!
By: Andrew Godenick ND; L.Ac
1. Chen, Longyun, Anli Xu, Nina Yin, Min Zhao, Zhigang Wang, Tao Chen, Yisheng Gao, and Zebin Chen. “Enhancement of immune
cytokines and splenic CD4+ T cells by electroacupuncture at ST36 acupoint of SD rats.” PloS one 12, no. 4 (2017): e0175568.
2. Kosuke Hashimoto, Tsukasa Kouno, Tomokatsu Ikawa, Norihito Hayatsu, Yurina Miyajima, Haruka Yabukami, Tommy Terooatea, Takashi
Sasaki, Takahiro Suzuki, Matthew Valentine, Giovanni Pascarella, Yasushi Okazaki, Harukazu Suzuki, Jay W. Shin, Aki Minoda, Ichiro
Taniuchi, Hideyuki Okano, Yasumichi Arai, Nobuyoshi Hirose, Piero Carninci Single-cell transcriptomics reveals expansion of cytotoxic
CD4 T cells in supercentenarians. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019; 201907883 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1907883116
Posted in: Acupuncture