New research concludes that “acupuncture may be an effective non-invasive and safe antiarrhythmic tool” for the treatment of A-fib (atrial fibrillation, AF). A-fib is a common cardiac arrhythmia and is often associated with palpitations, chest pain and syncope. In A-fib, the normal P wave measured with an electrocardiogram is pathologically absent.
The researchers applied acupuncture points P6 (Neiguan), HT7 (Shenmen) and UB15 (Xinshu). Acupuncture was applied once per week for a total of ten weeks. All participants in the study had normal ventricular function. The researchers concluded that acupuncture “was associated with an antiarrhythmic effect.” Notably, true acupuncture was found significantly effective for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and sham acupuncture (non-acupoint) was not. In addition, acupuncture had similar efficacy to amiodarone, an antiarrhythmic pharmaceutical medication, in the prevention of A-fib recurrence. Moreover, acupuncture was effective for the treatment of both persistent and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.
World J Cardiol. 2012 March 26; 4(3): 60–65. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v4.i3.60. Acupuncture for paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation: An effective non-pharmacological tool? Federico Lombardi, Sebastiano Belletti, Pier Maria Battezzati, and Alberto Lomuscio.