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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2012, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (2): 186-192.doi: 10.3736/jcim20120209

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Specificity of auricular acupoints in reflecting changes of qi and blood measured by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy

Liu Han-ping1,2(),Liang Bo3,Zhang He-ming1,Liu Xiao-yan1,2,Liu Song-hao1,2   

  1. 1. Laboratory of Photonics Chinese Medicine, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, Guangdong Province, China
    2. Tertiary Laboratory of Chinese Medicine and Photonics of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, Guangdong Province, China
    3. School Hospital, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, Guangdong Province, China
  • Received:2011-09-17 Accepted:2011-11-14 Online:2012-02-20 Published:2018-10-09

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the specificity of auricular acupoints in responding to changes of qi and blood which, in traditional Chinese medicine, are considered as the fundamental substances in the human body for sustaining normal vital activity.
METHODS: A miniature fiber optic system was used to invasively measure the diffuse reflectance spectra of three auricular acupoints, namely, Uterus (TF2), Gan (CO12) and Neifenmi (CO18), at different stages of menstruation, when the female body exhibits regular changes of qi and blood. The spectra of different acupoints were compared to find their difference in responding changes of qi and blood, especially the reflectivity of absorption peaks of hemoglobin.
RESULTS: The reflectivity of the same auricular acupoint during menstruation is higher than that before and after menstruation, and this trend is more obvious for the Uterus point compared with the points Gan and Neifenmi. The average reflectivity of the Uterus point during menstruation was significantly higher than that before or after menstruation (P<0.01). The D-values during and after menstruation of the Uterus point were greater than those of the points Gan and Neifenmi at 544.06 and 577.47 nm, respectively (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: The diffuse reflectance light of auricular acupoints changes as qi and blood fluctuates, and there is relative specificity among different auricular acupoints in reflecting changes of qi and blood. The Uterus point may be the most sensitive auricular acupoint in reflecting uterus function and subsequent changes of qi and blood.

Key words: otopoint uterus SV, spectrum analysis, reflectance spectrum, menstruation, qi-blood

Figure 1

Schematic plot of the instruments used in this study A: Sketch of experimental system for detecting diffuse reflectance spectrum in auricular acupoints. B: The beam path in spectrometer. 1: Fiber; 2: SMA905 connector; 3: Collimating lens; 4: Raster; 5: Condenser lens; 6: Charge-coupled device."

Figure 2

Diffuse reflectance spectra of auricular acupoints A: The diffuse reflectance spectra of Gan of the 24 participants before menstruation, the dark line shows the mean spectrum. B: The peaks of diffuse reflectance spectra. C: The mean spectra of Gan at three stages of menstruation. D: The mean spectra of the three auricular acupoints."


Wavelength (nm) n Reflectivity of Gan Reflectivity of Neifenmi
Before During After Before During After
544.06 24 36.80±7.44 40.01±7.36 39.02±9.52 31.75±7.45 34.62±5.93 30.03±8.16
555.17 24 37.69±7.29 41.10±7.23 39.79±9.44 32.91±7.53 35.63±5.73 31.06±8.09
577.47 24 34.89±7.13 37.83±6.79 37.04±9.02 30.32±7.10 33.20±5.95 28.75±7.87
Wavelength (nm) n Reflectivity of Uterus
Before During After
544.06 24 37.08±7.98** 41.49±5.94 34.18±9.29**
555.17 24 37.43±7.72** 41.65±5.94 34.42±8.83**
577.47 24 35.55±7.88** 39.79±5.60 32.77±8.95**

Figure 3

Comparison of D-A values among auricular acupoints D-A: Dvalues of during and after menstruation."

Figure 4

Comparison of D-B values among auricular acupoints △P < 0.05, vs TF2 at 544.06 nm; ▲P < 0.05, vs TF2 at 577.47 nm. D-B: D values of during and before menstruation."

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