“Research carried out at the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine has shown that acupuncture can dramatically reduce the pressure on the heart in patients with severe heart failure. Over-activation of the sympathetic nervous communication between the brain and the heart is common in heart failure patients, with advanced heart failure patients often having two or three times more sympathetic nerve activity than normal. This may damage their long-term prospects because it forces the weakened heart to work harder, as the blood has to be forced through blood vessels that are constricted by the nervous activity. It also makes it more likely that the heart will develop potentially lethal rhythm patterns. It has been shown that the greater this activity is, the worse the outlook for the patient. Although beta-blockers are normally prescribed, some patients with heart failure do not respond to them, while others cannot take them at all. The researchers divided 14 critically ill chronic heart failure patients referred for heart transplantation evaluation into three groups. One group received acupuncture at traditional acupuncture sites, the second received “non-acupoint” acupuncture in which needles were placed at sites not traditionally believed to be useful in acupuncture, and the third group had a “no-needle” simulation of the treatment, in which a needle holder was tapped onto the back of their neck, but no needle was inserted. Blood pressure, heart rate and sympathetic nerve activity were measured in all the patients following a four-minute mental stress test. There was a 25% increase in sympathetic nerve activity after the mental stress tests without active acupuncture, while with a single session of real acupuncture, sympathetic nerve activation was significantly reduced and was similar to what it had been before the patients underwent the stress test (Middlekauf HR, Proceedings of the American Heart Association 2001 Scientific Sessions conference, Anaheim, 14/11/2001).”

( viewed September 2012 )


By | 2016-11-28T09:01:30+00:00 September 26th, 2012|Cardiovascular|0 Comments