Table 1:

Protocol for acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis

GroupMeridianAcupuncture point (WHO nomenclature)De qi* sensation sought?Frequency; current; duration
Shaoyang-specific acupunctureShaoyang
  • Waiguan (TE5)

Yes2 Hz, 100 Hz;
0.1–1.0 mA;
30 min
  • Yanglingquan (GB34)

  • Qiuxu (GB40)

  • Fengchi (GB20)

Shaoyang-nonspecific acupunctureShaoyang
  • Luxi (TE19)

Yes2 Hz, 100 Hz;
0.1–1.0 mA;
30 min
  • Sanyangluo (TE8)

  • Xiyangguan (GB33)

  • Diwuhui (GB42)

Yangming-specific acupunctureYangming
  • Touwei (ST8)

Yes2 Hz, 100 Hz;
0.1–1.0 mA;
30 min
  • Pianli (LI6)

  • Zusanli (ST36)

  • Chongyang (ST42)

Sham acupuncture (control)None
  • The medial side of the arm at the anterior border of the insertion of the deltoid muscle at the junction of the deltoid and biceps muscles

No2 Hz, 100 Hz;
0.1–1.0 mA;
30 min
  • The edge of the tibia (1–2 cm lateral and horizontal to the Zusanli [ST36])

  • Half way between the tip of the elbow and the axilla

  • On the ulnar side of the arm, half way between the epicondylus medialis of the humerus and the ulnar side of the wrist.

  • Note: GB = gallbladder meridian, LI = large intestine meridian, ST = stomach meridian, TE = triple energizer meridian, WHO = World Health Organization.

  • * De qi sensation is a range of sensations typically generated by the insertion of a needle into an acupuncture point and the manipulation of the needle.

  • Pulses alternated between 2 Hz and 100 Hz.