List your Practice List a School List an Event Contact Us
Account Login View Cart Cart ($0.00)

Acufinder.com is the leading resource for everything to do with Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Asian Medicine. It is the premier Web destination for those seeking health and wellness for themselves and their loved ones through the principles of Oriental Medicine. We are the voice of authority for up-to-date health and wellness information from an Eastern Medicine perspective.

Search for Acupuncturists Search for Acupuncture Schools Search for Acupuncture Events
Explore Acufinder

Learning & Resource Center Articles

Print Page Print Page
Send to a Friend
Bookmark and Share
Acupuncture for Dry Mouth: Point Increases Saliva Production and Brain Activity
By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM

A study published in the July, 2008 issue of BMC Complementary Alternative Medicine found that the acupuncture point, Large Intestine 2 (LI 2), increased saliva production as well as brain activity that is associated with saliva production.

Researchers from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York decided to study the effects of stimulating the acupuncture point, LI 2, because previous clinical trials showed that acupuncture appeared to reduce dry mouth or xerostomia in patients previously treated with head and neck radiation therapy.  This study involved the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to analyze the extent to which stimulating LI 2 affected saliva production.  

Large Intestine 2 (LI 2) is an acupuncture point located just above the knuckle on the side of the index finger.  It is part of the Large Intestine meridian, an energetic pathway that traverses the neck, cheek and mouth.

For this study, volunteers underwent true acupuncture the acupuncture point LI-2 and sham acupuncture while their saliva production and brain activity were measured. The researchers reported that saliva production was significantly higher during true acupuncture than during sham acupuncture.  Activation of the parietal operculum, rolandic operculum, frontal operculum, and insula bilaterally were noted, whereas sham acupuncture did not activate these or any other regions.  There was a good correlation between saliva production and insula/operculum activation.

Source: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2008, 8:37