We read with great interest an article in your journal on vagus nerve stimulation reducing levels of inflammatory factors COVID-19 (1). In the face of this sudden respiratory infectious disease, we continue to try a variety of drug interventions, but their clinical effects and side effects significantly affect clinical treatment. Therefore, exploring and testing effective and less invasive interventions will dramatically improve the clinical outcome of patients with COVID-19. Here we would like to highlight the potential value of electroacupuncture in the treatment of COVID-19.
As a classic therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), electroacupuncture plays a neuroelectrophysiological role by stimulating acupuncture points. Electroacupuncture is inexpensive, reusable, has small side effects, and is widely used in the treatment of several diseases. Some researchers have used electroacupuncture to stimulate the Feishu point (BL 13) on the lung index to regulate inflammatory mediators to achieve a good viral pneumonia reducing effect (2). Additionally, studies have shown that Zusanli point electroacupuncture stimulation can significantly reduce gastrointestinal symptoms caused by severe acute pancreatitis, such as relief of abdominal pain and abdominal distension (3, 4). Clearly, this evidence also provides a strong basis and a benchmark for electroacupuncture to regulate the inflammatory response in the treatment of COVID-19.
Although the exact mechanism of electroacupuncture treatment is not yet fully understood, it has remarkable potential value in the regulation of inflammation and the treatment of inflammatory disorders. Current theories suggest that acupuncture points are somehow related to nerves. Therefore, an in-depth exploration of the specific mechanism of electroacupuncture will be helpful in understanding its function. Especially in the face of the sudden and continued spread of COVID-19, a large number of controlled clinical studies are now needed to verify the clinical effectiveness of electroacupuncture in COVID-19. We also expect TCM to play a larger role in the face of COVID-19.
Declaration of paternity
Xianqiang Yu has completed the design and writing of the article and all relevant content of the manuscript.