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Title: Acu-TENS lowers blood lactate levels and enhances heart rate recovery after exercise
Authors: Jones , A
Ngai, S 
Keywords: Acu-TENS
Blood lactate
Heart rate
Heart rate variability
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and Tsinghua University Press
Source: Journal of traditional Chinese medical sciences, 2014, v. 1, no. 1, p. 73-80 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of traditional Chinese medical sciences 
Abstract: Objective
The primary aim of this study is to investigate the effect of application of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation over acupuncture points (Acu-TENS) on post-exercise blood lactate level. The secondary aim is to explore the effect of Acu-TENS on heart rate recovery and its association with autonomic nervous system.
Twenty healthy subjects (mean age 26.9 ± 1.3) acting as their own controls, were randomized to receive either Acu-TENS or Placebo-TENS as the first of two intervention protocols, implemented one week apart. During Acu-TENS, subjects received 45 min TENS bilaterally over the acupoints Neiguan (PC6). Subjects receiving Placebo-TENS had identical electrode placement but with no electrical output from the TENS unit despite an active output light. Interventions were followed by a 10-min ergometer exercise at 70% age-predicted maximal heart rate. Oxygen consumption and heart rate (HR) were recorded continuously throughout exercise. Blood lactate and blood pressure were taken at 4 time points: prior to, immediately after, at 15-min after exercise, and when HR had returned to baseline values.
The post-exercise blood lactate level in the Acu-TENS group was lower than that of the placebo group by 1.12 ± 0.39 mmol/L (p = 0.01). The Acu-TENS group also had a faster return of HR to pre-exercise level compared to placebo (9.98 ± 4.54 min, p = 0.047). Heart rate variability analysis inferred reduced sympathetic modulation during exercise after Acu-TENS. There was no between-group difference in post-exercise oxygen consumption.
Acu-TENS lowered post-exercise blood lactate level and enhanced heart rate recovery after moderate exercise. The role of Acu-TENS in exercise performance and energy metabolism warrants further investigation. ( Identifier: NCT01102634)
ISSN: 2095-7548
DOI: 10.1016/j.jtcms.2014.11.006
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