The acupuncture point combination known as the “Four Gates” (Siguan – a combination of bilateral Hegu L.I.-4 and Taichong LIV-3) can elicit specific activities in the brain, conclude Chinese scientists. Thirty-one healthy volunteers were randomly divided into real acupoint and sham acupoint (needled at a location one cm away from the real points) groups. fMRI data were acquired during acupuncture stimulation. Results showed an extensive increase in neuronal activities with Siguan acupuncture and significant differences between stimulation at real and sham points. Brain regions that were activated more by real acupuncture stimulation than by sham point acupuncture included the somatosensory cortex, limbic-paralimbic system, visual-related cortex, basal ganglia and cerebellum.
An FMRI study of neuronal specificity in acupuncture: the multiacupoint siguan and its sham point. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:103491.