Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of wrist–ankle acupuncture (WAA) for precompetition nervous syndrome and provide data for further research.
Methods: The study was designed as a randomized controlled, single-blind trial on the sprinting distance items during the annual track and field events (2013–2015) of a university in Shanghai, China. A total of 103 enrolled participants (age 18–40 years, both males and females) were randomly assigned to receive WAA therapy (n = 52) or sham acupuncture (n = 51). The group allocations and interventions were concealed to participants and statisticians. The competition state anxiety scale was used as the primary outcome measure. Expectation and treatment credibility scale (ETCS) and participants’ feeling of acupuncture questionnaire were applied as secondary outcome measures.
Results: A significant difference was observed in somatic state anxiety and cognitive state anxiety in the WAA group from pre- to post treatment. No significant change in the score of selfconfidence state was found in both the groups. Cognitive state anxiety improved significantly in the post treatment WAA group compared with the sham group. Moreover, the result of ETCS showed participants in the WAA group had more expectation and treatment credibility. The visual analogue scale scores indicated no significant difference between groups for the participants’ feeling of acupuncture.
Conclusions: WAA therapy could efficiently alleviate anxiety state, especially in terms of the improvements in the somatic and cognitive status, under certain circumstances.