Search JIM Advanced Search

Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (12): 1319-1325.doi: 10.3736/jcim20111207

• Original Chinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Ryodoraku as a tool monitoring the effects of walking exercise

Se-Der Wu1, Jen-Tzer Gau2, Yuh-Hai Wang3()   

  1. 1. Department of Emergency, Pingtung Christian Hospital, Pingtung, Taiwan, China
    2. Department of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701, USA
    3. Institute of Natural Healing Sciences, Nanhua University, Chiayi, Taiwan, China
  • Received:2011-07-26 Accepted:2011-08-22 Online:2011-12-20 Published:2011-12-15

Objective: To investigate the possibility of using Ryodoraku as a tool to indicate sympathetic neuronal activity.
Methods: Twenty-two female college students were assigned to an treadmill exercise program (three times a week for six weeks), and another 25 were assigned as controls. Skin conductance levels of the subjects were measured at 24 Ryodoraku points on the wrists and the ankles, along with heart rate variability (HRV) analysis, during and after the treadmill exercise period.
Results: The six-week exercise training resulted in a significant elevation of the average electrical conductance, which returned to the pre-training level after three months of cessation of the exercise training.
Conclusion: HRV data have shown no similar changes, suggesting that Ryodoraku is a useful tool in detecting subtle, non-cardiovascular physical responses.

Key words: Ryodoraku, galvanic skin response, heart rate, acupuncture points


Group n Age (years) BMI (kg/m2) HR (beats/min) MEC (μA)
Exercise 22 21.4±0.8 19.4±1.6 69.9±8.5 51.3±21.8
Control 25 21.0±0.9 20.0±1.9 75.2±9.7 56.9±17.6


Index Exercise Control P-value (between-subjects)
Number of subjects (n) 22 25
HR (beats/min)
Before 69.9±8.5 75.2±9.7 0.054
After 71.9±9.4 74.9±9.9 0.291
P-value (within-subjects) 0.201 0.911
BMI (kg/m2)
Before 19.4±1.6 20.0±1.9 0.318
After 19.2±1.4 20.0±1.9 0.103
P-value (within-subjects) 0.004* 0.718
SDNN (ms)
Before 47.3±17.4 44.0±14.2 0.470
After 44.1±17.6 44.5±18.2 0.948
P-value (within-subjects) 0.349 0.867
RMSSD (ms)
Before 46.3±25.4 40.9±16.3 0.387
After 44.7±23.9 44.4±23.9 0.963
P-value (within-subjects) 0.751 0.399
LF (ms2)
Before 666±513 560±560 0.503
After 533±414 485±478 0.712
P-value (within-subjects) 0.272 0.463
HF (ms2)
Before 978±104 1 766±646 0.400
After 981±107 7 937±973 0.885
P-value (within-subjects) 0.991 0.231
Before 54.4±17.4 58.0±16.2 0.471
After 57.3±17.5 61.8±17.3 0.386
P-value (within-subjects) 0.386 0.347

Figure 1

Electrical current of the exercise group and the control group Data were expressed as mean±standard deviation; n=22 in exercise group, n=25 in control group, and n=17 in exercise group after three-month follow-up. Between-subjects significance was set at P<0.05. **P<0.01, vs baseline data of respective group; ΔΔP<0.01, vs exercise group."

Figure 2

Scatterplot of body mass index vs meridian electrical current (n=94) r=-0.023 (P>0.05) by Pearson's test."

[1] Wichi RB, De Angelis K, Jones L, Irigoyen MC . A brief review of chronic exercise intervention to prevent autonomic nervous system changes during the aging process. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2009; 64(3):253-258.
doi: 10.1590/S1807-59322009000300017
[2] Wilmore JH, Costill DL, Kenney WL. Adaptations to aerobic and anaerobic training. In: Wilmore JH, Costill DL, Kenney WL. Physiology of sport and exercise. 4th ed. Champaign: Human Kinetics>. 2008 : 220-250.
[3] Kukielka M, Seals DR, Billman GE . Cardiac vagal modulation of heart rate during prolonged submaximal exercise in animals with healed myocardial infarctions: effects of training[J]. Am Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2006; 290(4):H1680-H1685.
doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.01034.2005
[4] Katona PG, McLean M, Dighton DH, Guz A . Sympathetic and parasympathetic cardiac control in athletes and nonathletes at rest.[J] Appl Physiol. 1982 ; 52(6):1652-1657.
doi: 10.1152/jappl.1982.52.6.1652
[5] Sugawara J, Murakami H, Maeda S, Kuno S, Matsuda M . Change in post-exercise vagal reactivation with exercise training and detraining in young men[J]. Eur Appl Physiol. 2001; 85(3-4):259-263.
doi: 10.1007/s004210100443
[6] Iwasaki K, Zhang R, Zuckerman JH, Levine BD . Dose-response relationship of the cardiovascular adaptation to endurance training in healthy adults : how much training for what benefit?[J] Appl Physiol. 2003 ; 95(4):1575-1583.
doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00482.2003
[7] Maeda S, Miyauchi T, Kakiyama T, Sugawara J, Iemitsu M, Irukayama-Tomobe Y, Murakami H, Kumagai Y, Kuno S, Matsuda M . Effects of exercise training of 8 weeks and detraining on plasma levels of endothelium- derived factors, endothelin-1 and nitric oxide, in healthy young humans. Life Sci. 2001; 69(9):1005-1016.
doi: 10.1016/S0024-3205(01)01192-4
[8] Danson EJ, Paterson DJ . Enhanced neuronal nitric oxide synthase expression is central to cardiac vagal phenotype in exercise-trained mice.[J] Physiol. 2003 ; 546(Pt 1):225-232.
doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2002.031781
[9] Berntson GG, Bigger JT Jr, Eckberg DL, Grossman P, Kaufmann PG, Malik M, Nagaraja HN, Porges SW, Saul JP, Stone PH, van der Molen MW. Heart rate variability: origins, methods, and interpretive caveats. Psychophysiology. 1997; 34(6):623-648.
doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1997.tb02140.x pmid: 9401419
[10] Levy WC, Cerqueira MD, Harp GD, Johannessen KA, Abrass IB, Schwartz RS, Stratton JR . Effect of endurance exercise training on heart rate variability at rest in healthy young and older men[J]. Am Cardiol. 1998; 82(10) : 1236-1241.
doi: 10.1016/S0002-9149(98)00611-0
[11] Borresen J, Lambert MI . Autonomic control of heart rate during and after exercise: measurements and implications for monitoring training status. Sports Med. 2008; 38(8) : 633-646.
doi: 10.2165/00007256-200838080-00002
[12] Carter JB, Banister EW, Blaber AP . The effect of age and gender on heart rate variability after endurance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003; 35(8):1333-1340.
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000079046.01763.8F pmid: 12900687
[13] Melanson EL, Freedson PS . The effect of endurance training on resting heart rate variability in sedentary adult males[J]. Eur Appl Physiol. 2001; 85(5):442-449.
doi: 10.1007/s004210100479 pmid: 11606013
[14] Bonaduce D, Petretta M, Cavallaro V, Apicella C, Ianniciello A, Romano M, Breglio R, Marciano F . Intensive training and cardiac autonomic control in high level athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998; 30(5):691-696.
doi: 10.1097/00005768-199805000-00008 pmid: 9588610
[15] Loimaala A, Huikuri H, Oja P, Pasanen M, Vuori I . Controlled 5-mo aerobic training improves heart rate but not heart rate variability or baroreflex sensitivity.[J] Appl Physiol. 2000; 89(5):1825-1829.
doi: 10.1152/jappl.2000.89.5.1825
[16] Critchley HD . Electrodermal responses: what happens in the brain. Neuroscientist. 2002; 8(2):132-142.
doi: 10.1177/107385840200800209
[17] Darrow CW, Gullickson GR . The peripheral mechanism of the galvanic skin response. Psychophysiology. 1970 ; 6(5) : 597-600.
doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1970.tb02248.x pmid: 5485543
[18] Nadel ER, Pandolf KB, Roberts MF, Stolwijk JA . Mechanisms of thermal acclimation to exercise and heat.[J] Appl Physiol. 1974; 37(4):515-520.
doi: 10.1007/BF00421479 pmid: 4414615
[19] Roberts MF, Wenger CB, Stolwijk JA, Nadel ER . Skin blood flow and sweating changes following exercise training and heat acclimation.[J] Appl Physiol. 1977 ; 43(1):133-137.
doi: 10.1007/BF00423055 pmid: 893254
[20] Takeno Y, Kamijo YI, Nose H . Thermoregulatory and aerobic changes after endurance training in a hypobaric hypoxic and warm environment.[J] Appl Physiol. 2001 ; 91(4) : 1520-1528.
doi: 10.1152/jappl.2001.91.4.1520
[21] Colbert AP, Hammerschlag R, Aickin M, McNames J . Reliability of the Prognos electrodermal device for measurements of electrical skin resistance at acupuncture points.[J] Altern Complement Med. 2004; 10(4):610-616.
doi: 10.1089/acm.2004.10.610
[22] Becker RO, Reichmanis M, Marino A, Spadaro JA . Electrophysiological correlates of acupuncture points and meridians. Psychoenerg Syst. 1976; 1:105-112.
[23] Lee MS, Jeong SY, Lee YH, Jeong DM, Eo YG, Ko SB . Differences in electrical conduction properties between meridians and non-meridians[J]. Am Chin Med. 2005; 33(5) : 723-728.
doi: 10.1142/S0192415X05003405 pmid: 16265984
[24] Kramer S, Winterhalter K, Schober G, Becker U, Wiegele B, Kutz DF, Kolb FP, Zaps D, Lang PM, Irnich D . Characteristics of electrical skin resistance at acupuncture points in healthy humans.[J] Altern Complement Med. 2009; 15(5):495-500.
doi: 10.1016/j.dza.2010.01.025 pmid: 19422323
[25] Ahn AC, Colbert AP, Anderson BJ, Martinsen OG, Hammerschlag R, Cina S, Wayne PM, Langevin HM . Electrical properties of acupuncture points and meridians : a systematic review. Bioelectromagnetics. 2008; 29(4):245-256.
doi: 10.1016/j.dza.2008.08.002 pmid: 18240287
[26] Ahn AC, Martinsen OG . Electrical characterization of acupuncture points: technical issues and challenges.[J] Altern Complement Med. 2007 ; 13(8) : 817-824.
doi: 10.1089/acm.2007.7193 pmid: 17983337
[27] Litscher G, Wang L . Biomedical engineering meets acupuncture — development of a miniaturized 48- channel skin impedance measurement system for needle and laser acupuncture. Biomed Eng Online. 2010 ; 9:78.
doi: 10.1186/1475-925X-9-78
[28] Nakatani Y . Skin electric resistance and Ryodoraku.[J] Auton Nerv Syst. 1956; 6:52-83.
[29] Warburton DE, Nicol CW, Bredin SS . Prescribing exercise as preventive therapy. CMAJ. 2006; 174(7):961-974.
doi: 10.1503/cmaj.1040750 pmid: 16567757
[30] Warburton DE, Nicol CW, Bredin SS . Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ. 2006; 174(6):801-809.
doi: 10.1503/cmaj.1060139 pmid: 16534088
[31] Kreibig SD . Autonomic nervous system activity in emotion: a review. Biol Psychol. 2010; 84(3):394-421.
doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2010.03.010 pmid: 20371374
[32] Lacey JI. Somatic response patterning and stress : some revisions of activation theory. In: Appley MH, Trumbell R. Psychological stress. New York: Appleton-Century- Crofts. 1967: 14-37.
[33] Berntson GG, Cacioppo JT, Quigley KS, Fabro VT . Autonomic space and psychophysiological response. Psychophysiology. 1994; 31(1):44-61.
doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1994.tb01024.x pmid: 8146254
[34] Joyner MJ, Dietz NM . Sympathetic vasodilation in human muscle. Acta Physiol Scand. 2003; 177(3):329-336.
doi: 10.1046/j.1365-201X.2003.01090.x pmid: 12609003
[35] Ichinose TK, Inoue Y, Hirata M, Shamsuddin AK, Kondo N . Enhanced heat loss responses induced by short-term endurance training in exercising women. Exp Physiol. 2009; 94(1):90-102.
doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.2008.043810 pmid: 18945758
[36] Weng CS, Hung YL, Shyu LY, Chang YH . A study of electrical conductance of meridian in the obese during weight reduction[J]. Am Chin Med. 2004; 32(3):417-425.
doi: 10.1142/S0192415X04002077 pmid: 15344425
[37] Gamelin FX, Berthoin S, Sayah H, Libersa C, Bosquet L . Effect of training and detraining on heart rate variability in healthy young men[J]. Int Sports Med. 2007 ; 28(7):564-570.
doi: 10.1055/s-2007-964861 pmid: 17373601
[38] Gomez-Amor J, Martinez-Selva JM, Roman F, Zamora S . Electrodermal activity in menstrual cycle phases: a comparison of within- and between-subjects designs[J]. Int Psychophysiol. 1990; 9(1):39-47.
doi: 10.1016/0167-8760(90)90006-Y
[39] van den Akker O, Steptoe A . Psychophysiological responses in women reporting severe premenstrual symptoms. Psychosom Med. 1989; 51(3):319-328.
doi: 10.1097/00006842-198905000-00006 pmid: 2734424
[1] Georg Seifert, Jenny-Lena Kanitz, Carolina Rihs, Ingrid Krause, Katharina Witt, Andreas Voss. Rhythmical massage improves autonomic nervous system function: A single-blind randomised controlled trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(3): 172-177.
[2] A. Mooventhan, L. Nivethitha. Effects of ice massage of the head and spine on heart rate variability in healthy volunteers. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2016, 14(4): 306-310.
[3] Hidetoshi Mori, Hiroshi Kuge, Tim Hideaki Tanaka, Eiichi Taniwaki, Kazuyo Hanyu, Tateyuki Morisawa. Effects of acupuncture treatment on natural killer cell activity, pulse rate, and pain reduction for older adults: An uncontrolled, observational study. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2013, 11(2): 101-105.
[4] Cai Rong-lin, Hu Ling, Wu Zi-jian, Wang Ke-ming, He Lu, Zhou Yi-ping, Zhao Lun, Hu Wu-bin. Effects of acupuncture at Shenmen (HT7) or Taiyuan (LU9) on P3a and P3b of event-related potentials in healthy young adults. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(1): 48-53.
Full text



[1] Jun Hu, Jian-ping Liu. Non-invasive physical treatments for chronic/recurrent headache. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 31
[2] Yi-ting He, Qing-lin Zha, Jian-ping Yu, Yong Tan, Cheng Lu, Ai-ping Lv. Principal factor analysis of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and their correlations with efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 32-36
[3] Jun Cai, Hua Wang, Sheng Zhou, Bin Wu, Hua-rong Song, Zheng-rong Xuan. Effect of Sijunzi Decoction and enteral nutrition on T-cell subsets and nutritional status in patients with gastric cancer after operation: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 37-40
[4] Dong Yang, Yong-ping Du, Qing Shen, Wei Chen, Yan Yu, Guang-lei Chen. Expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin in renal tubulointerstitium in patients with kidney collateral stasis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 41-44
[5] Zhi-chun Jin. Problems in establishing clinical guideline for integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 5-8
[6] Hai-feng Wei, Bai-liu Ya, Ling Zhao, Cui-fei Ye, Li Zhang, Lin Li. Evaluation of tongue manifestation of blood stasis syndrome and its relationship with blood rheological disorder in a rat model of transient brain ischemia. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 73-76
[7] A-gao Zhou, Yong Zhang, Gang Kui, De-Yun Kong, Hai-liang Ge, Qiu-hua Ren, Jia-rong Dong, Sheng Hong, Xu-ming Mao, Yin Wang, Hui-zheng Zhang, Shu-jun Wang. Influence of traditional Chinese compound recipes with different efficacy on body weight, tumor weight and immune function in H22 cancer-bearing mice. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 77-82
[8] Xi Lin, Jian-ping Liu. Tai chi for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 82
[9] Guo-hong Yuan, Xiao-jing Pang, He-chao Ma. Synergic effects of Danggui Buxue Decoction in reducing toxicity of cytoxan in tumor-bearing mice. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 83-88
[10] Li Zhou, Hong-xing Zhang, Ling-guang Liu, Wen-jun Wan. Effect of electro-acupuncture at Fenglong (GV 16) on nitric oxide and endothelin in rats with hyperlipidemia. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 89-92