Over view of our lab

Takakura lab

Takakura lab in the Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Faculty of Health Sciences, Tokyo Ariake University of Medical and Health Sciences is located close to ARIAKE GARDEN in Tokyo.

Research Interest

To discover the true efficacy of acupuncture and understand its physiological mechanisms.

Current research themes

  1. Development of double blind acupuncture needles and validation of their blinding effect.
  2. Efficacy of acupuncture on neck pain (stiff neck/shoulder)
  3. Efficacy of acupuncture on low back pain and its mechanism.
  4. Efficacy of acupuncture on chronic pain in patients with vulvodynia.
  5. Placebo effect associated with acupuncture in clinical studies.
  6. Acupuncture and moxibustion on blood circulation in the skin, the muscle and the tendon.
  7. Acupuncture and moxibustion on vibration induced finger reflex.
  8. Needle pain associated with tapping insertion technique.
  9. DeQi sensation with acupuncture.
  10. Usefulness of acupuncture on eSports athletes’ conditioning.
  11. Activities of peripheral nerves associated with penetrating, skin-touch placebo, no-touch placebo needles.
  12. Comparison between Katakori in Japan and neck pain in Western world.
  13. Effectiveness of acupuncture on menopause patients.

Experimental machines using in our research.

  • Electromyography, Electroencephalography, Microneurography, Laser Tissue Blood
  • Flowmeter, Thermography, Vibrator to induce finger flexion reflex. Tapping machine to insert the needle with constant tapping force.

Members

Select Publications

  • Takakura N, Yajima H. A double-blind placebo needle for acupuncture research. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007 Oct 10;7:31. PubMed PMID: 17925042; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2176062.
  • Takakura N, Yajima H. A placebo acupuncture needle with potential for double blinding - a validation study. Acupunct Med. 2008 Dec;26(4):224-30. PubMed PMID: 19098693.
  • Takakura N, Yajima H, Takayama M, Kawase A, Homma I. Inhibitory effect of needle penetration on vibration-induced finger flexion reflex in humans. Acupuncture in Medicine. 2010;28(2):78-82.
  • Masaoka Y, Yajima H, Takayama M, Kawase A, Takakura N, Homma I. Typical dipole locations can be estimated using averaged somatosensory -evoked potentials and a standard brain model-. The Journal of Physiological Sciences. 2009;59(4):299-305.
  • Takakura N, Takayama M, Kawase A, Kaptchuk TJ, Yajima H. Double blinding with a new placebo needle; a further validation study. Acupuncture in Medicine. 2010;28(3):144-148.
  • Takakura N, Takayama M, Kawase A, Yajima H. Tapping-in method (skin penetration technique) with a placebo needle for double-blind acupuncture trials. J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Apr;19(4):308-12. PubMed PMID: 23098695.
  • Yajima H, Takayama M, Kawase A, Takakura N, Izumizaki M, Homma I. Inhibitory effect of acupuncture on vibration-induced finger flexion reflex in humans: Comparisons among radial, median, and ulnar nerve stimulation. Medical Acupuncture. 2013;25(4):269-274.
  • Vase L, Baram S, Takakura N, Yajima H, Takayama M, Kaptchuk TJ, Schou S, Jensen TS, Zachariae R, Svensson P. Specifying the nonspecific components of acupuncture analgesia. Pain. 2013;154(9):1659-1667.
  • Takayama M, Yajima H, Kawase A, Homma I, Izumizaki M, Takakura N. Is Skin-Touch Sham Needle Not Placebo? A Double-Blind Crossover Study on Pain Alleviation. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:152086. PubMed PMID: 26064153; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4439487.
  • Schlaeger JM, Takakura N, Yajima H, Takayama M, Steffen AD, Gabzdyl EM, Nisi RA, Gruber KM, Bussell JM, Wilkie DJ. Double-blind acupuncture needles: a multi-needle, multi-session randomized feasibility study. BMC Pilot and Feasibility Studies. 2018;4:72.
  • Nishiwaki M, Takayama M, Yajima H, Nasu M, Kong J, Park J, Takakura N. A double-blind study on acupuncture sensations with Japanese style of acupuncture: comparison between penetrating and placebo needles. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018; 2018: 8128147.
  • Kubo K, Iizuka Y, Yajima H, Takayama M, Takakura N. Acupuncuture- and intermittent compression-induced changes in blood circulation of tendon. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. J Altern Complement Med. 2020 Mar;26(3):231-238.
  • Takakura N, Hiramatsu Y, Takanashi T, Takayama M, Patil CL, Schlaeger JM, Yajima H.  Acupuncture for eSport athletes. Acupuncture in Medicine. 2020 Apr;38(2):121-122

Research Support

  • 2010/04-2015/03
    The fiscal year 2010 Scientific Research Funds Furtherance Business (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research Subsidy (Base study (B)) (Research Representative) 22390147 [Is acupuncture a placebo? The world’s first study on the efficacy of acupuncture for functional neck/shoulder stiffness and its mechanism -using double-blind needles-]
  • 2011/04-2015/03
    The fiscal year 2011 Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research Subsidy (Base study (C)) (Allotment Researcher) 23500622 [Mechanisms of alleviation for the skeletal muscles tension with stimulation on the small afferent fibers-What is happened in the brain-]
  • 2015/04-2018/03
    The fiscal year 2015 Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research Subsidy (Base study (C)) (Allotment Researcher) 15K08938 [Placebo and nocebo effects lurking in placebo controlled blind acupuncture clinical trials]
  • 2016/04-2020/03
    The fiscal year 2016 Scientific Research Funds Furtherance Business (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research Subsidy (Base study (C)) (Research Representative) 16K09266 [Is acupuncture really effective on neck/shoulder stiffness? –Randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical trials.]
  • 2017/04-2020/03
    The fiscal year 2017 Scientific Research Funds Furtherance Business (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research Subsidy (Base study (C)) (Research Representative) 17K09329 [Effect of acupuncture on non-specific low back pain. –the world’s first double blind placebo controlled clinical trials-]
  • 2017/09/01-2022/05/31
    Schlaeger JM (PI contact), Wilkie DJ (Co-I), Steffen AD (Co-I), Kobak W (Co-I), Kaptchuk TJ (Consultant), Takakura N (Consultant). Double-blind Phase 2 RCT: Effect of Acupuncture on Patient Vulvodynia Outcomes, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, R01HD091210-01A1. $2,036,320 awarded.
  • 2019/04/01-2023/04/31
    Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) 19K01233 [Reexamination of KATAKORI - through comparison with neck pain in the USA]

Patent

  • Title: Safe needle, placebo needle and needle set for double blinding.
    ・Taiwan patent 150135(2002)
    ・U.S. patent 6575992B1(2003)
    ・South Korean patent 0478177(2005)
    ・Canadian patent CA 2339223 (2006)
    ・Chinese patent ZL00800894.9(2007)
    ・Hong Kong patent ZL00800894.9 (2007)
    ・GB patent (2015)
    ・DE patent (2015)
    ・FR patent (2005)
  • Japanese patents 4061397 (Title: Placebo needle, and needle set for double-blinding) , Japan(2008)
  • Japanese patents 4315353 (Title: Safe needle), Japan (2009)