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J Acupunct Res > Volume 30(5); 2013 > Article
Han, Jo, Son, Lee, Kim, and Lee: Comparative Study of Needle Sensations in ST36 and 6 Models with Quantifying Measurement System※
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In this study, we intended to make the foundation of the development of acupuncture tissue model as comparing the needle sensation of six kinds of tissue models and Zusanli (ST36) with the needle force measurement system.


When practitioners did twisting-rotating acupuncture needle manipulation after inserting the needle into six kinds of tissue models, they quantified the similarity sense to the sensation of Zusanli (ST36) with the NRS (Numeric Rating scale).
As needle force measurement system did twisting-rotating Acupuncture needle manipulation after inserting needle into Zusanli (ST36) of human and six kinds of tissue models, it can calculate the coefficient of viscosity by measuring the torsion friction.
We compare the NRS of practitioners’ needle sensation to the coefficient of viscosity of needle force measurement systems.


As practitioners’ NRS assessment to quantify needle sensation, apple and cucumber showed 70% similarity to Zusanli (ST36). As needle force measurement system’s coefficient of viscosity, apple and cucumber’s coefficient of viscosity were similar to Zusanli (ST36) ’s.


In this study, We compared the practitioners’ needle sensation of Zusanli (ST36) and six kinds of tissue models with needle force measurement system that can quantify the needle sensation. As the result, we concluded that practitioners’ needle sensation is similar to measured needle sensation. It seems that the acupuncture practice model implementing the needle sensation to specific acupuncture points can be built based on the system in this study.

Fig. 1.
Experimental setup for data collection under needle force measuring system
The tissue model is suspended in tissue container, and small holes on the container allow the needle to pass through.
Fig. 2.
Diagram of torque Z forces
Toque Z forces detected by motion and force sensors needle ‘force’ is the linear force acting on the needle parallel to its longitudinal axis; needle ‘torque’ is the rotational force(torque) acting on the needle to resist its rotation.
Fig. 3.
Blind box
A·B·C : people. 1·2·3 : number of experiments.
Fig. 4.
Needle tissue model group-specific changes over time graph
(a) Changes in torque Z axis friction.
(b) Changes in the angle of rotation.
(c) Changes in torque Z axis speed.
Fig. 5.
Needle tissue model group-specific coefficient of viscosity
Data are presented as mean.
p< 0.05 by Bartlett’s test for equal variances after one-way ANOVA.
Table 1.
NRS Value of Similarity between ST36 and Tissue Model by Practitioners
Tissue model Mean±SD Minimum Maximum
Agar gel 1.00±0 1 1
Ham 2.00±1 1 3
Sweet potato 3.89±1.27 2 6
Carrot 4.00±1.22 3 6
Cucumber 7.89±1.76 4 10
Apple 6.89±2.76 2 10

SD : standard deviation.

Table 2.
Coefficient of Viscosity in Tissue Model Group
Tissue model Mean±SD Maximum Minimum
Agar gel −6.6±44.14 46.7 −76.9
Ham 76.14±17.97 106.4 42.4
Sweet potato 6282.77±367.34 6965.1 5813.2
Carrot 5191.04±293.31 5599 4738.4
Cucumber 1189.31±25.81 1226.9 1132.4
Apple 1406.05±85.96 1540.5 1297.2
Human(ST36) 1267.58±107.06 1455.2 1106.6

The number is coefficient of viscosity X 106.

SD : standard deviation.

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