Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Dielectric properties of human skin at an acupuncture point in the 50-75 GHz frequency range: A pilot study med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2011; 32 (5): 360-366

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the dielectric properties of an acupuncture point on the forearm skin within the 50-75 GHz range and to compare these properties with those of a neighboring ipsilateral and a corresponding contralateral control area (excluding any pre-identified acupuncture points).

Background/further details

Acupuncture points have been suspected to exhibit particular direct current, low frequency electrical and optical properties compared to surrounding skin. Acupuncture points are exposed in some applications of millimeter wave therapy.
Ten healthy volunteers participated (one female) and the so-called PC4 (PeriCardium No.4) Xi-men point on the pericardium meridian of hand was exposed.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50–75 GHz
Exposure duration: not given in the article

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50–75 GHz
Exposure duration not given in the article
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup open-ended rectangular waveguide with a 0.8 mm thick teflon plug in the 3.76 mm x 1.88 mm aperture; waveguide aperture pressed on the skin at the measuring points; measurements taken in a 6 mm x 12 mm area, consisting of 3 x 3 aperture-sized rectangles around the acupuncture point; control points 2.5 cm away from the acupuncture point at an angle of 45° on the same arm and on the other arm
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 14 mW/cm² - - - -

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • during exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The data tended to show that the permittivity of the PC4 acupuncture site is different from that of surrounding non-acupuncture sites in the 50-61 GHz range. Thus, it is possible that the response of the body to millimeter waves differs if this acupuncture site is used as an exposure site, rather than surrounding skin. Further research is needed to determine whether the application of millimeter wave therapy at acupuncture sites is truly more efficacious than at non-acupuncture sites.

Study character:

Study funded by

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