American Heart Association:
Acupuncture Improves Heart Function And Inhibits Sympathetic Activation During Mental Stress in Advanced Heart Failure Patients…
Acupuncture improved the health prospects of individuals with severe heart failure, according to a unique study reported today at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2001 conference. Acupuncture is the practice of piercing the skin with needles at specific points to treat illness or relieve pain. In this study Acupuncture dramatically reduced sympathetic nerve activity among heart failure patients. The sympathetic nervous system regulates involuntary movements such as heartbeat and blood pressure. Over-activation of sympathetic nerves is common in heart failure patients and associated with a poor prognosis because it forces the weakened heart to work harder and predisposes the heart to potentially lethal heart rhythms.
“There is an ever-increasing interest in alternative medicine. But until now, no one had looked at acupuncture’s effect on the very sickest heart failure patients. Our research represents a promising first step”, says lead author Holly R. Middlekauff, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine. Advanced heart failure patients often have two or three times more sympathetic nerve activity than normal individuals,” she says.
“It has been shown that the greater this activity is, the worse the outlook for the patient, so reducing it could be crucial. Sympathetic nerve activation was significantly reduced in the acupuncture group,” she says. “in our clinical experience, acupuncture has been used successfully and with long-range results in improving hypertension, and it also is useful in lowering sympathetic nerve activity.”
Animal studies completed in recent years demonstrate that acupuncture works very well in the extreme cases of sympathetic nerve increases, also known as stress, but the factors that increase stress and nerve elevation are complex and are being researched, Middlekauff notes.
Other doctors and researches who demonstrated that Acupuncture Improves Heart Function:
Jun Liang Yu; Kakit Hui, M.D.; Michele Hamilton, M.D.; Gregg Fonarow, M.D.; Jaime Moriguchi, M.D.; and Antoine Hage, M.D.
To see the article on pubmed click here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12528093
And to obtain a PDF of the article as originally published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure Vol. 8 No. 6 2002, click here: