New research concludes that acupuncture improves cardiac function. Researchers applied electroacupuncture to acupoints LI4 (Hegu) and P6 (Neiguan) in laboratory rats. Measurements were taken of myocardial hypertrophy indices, electrocardiograph readings, structural changes of the heart, levels of plasma angiotensin II (Ang II) and endothelin (ET), protein expression of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and signal regulating kinase of the left heart ventricle. The researchers concluded, “Our experimental results showed that Ang II and ET participate in the formation of MH (myocardial hypertrophy) and that EA (electroacupuncture) can improve MH by regulating the role of neuroendocrine-cytokines.”
More Recent Research
This research is consistent with other recent findings demonstrating that acupuncture benefits heart tissue and prevents heart disease. One recent study shows that acupuncture improves HRV (heart rate variability). HRV measures that body’s flexibility in controlling the heart rate in stressful circumstances. The HRV research notes that acupuncture synchronizes the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems thereby enhancing HRV. Another recent study confirms this finding and measured that acupuncture improves HRV when acupoint CV17 is needled. In this study, it was discovered that acupuncture at CV17 regulates the heart rate by increasing vagal activity.
Another recent study demonstrates that acupuncture reduces atrial fibrillation and notes that acupuncture has “an antiarrhythmic effect.” Recent research also shows that acupuncture reduces high blood pressure. Investigators from the University of California in both Irvine and Los Angeles “have shown that electroacupuncture stimulation activates neurons” in specific brain regions thereby reducing hypertension.
About HealthCMi: Healthcare Medicine Institute authors and presenters provide acupuncture continuing education for acupuncture CEUs online and publish the HealthCMi web news service.
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 792820, 9 pages. doi:10.1155/2012/792820. Electroacupuncture at PC6 (Neiguan) Improves Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase Signaling Pathways Through the Regulation of Neuroendocrine Cytokines in Myocardial Hypertrophic Rats. Jia Li, Jing Li, Fengxia Liang, Yaqun Hong, Song Wu, Hongtu Tang, and Hua Wang. Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan, China. Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, China.
Acupuncture and heart rate variability: a systems level approach to understanding mechanism. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 12 (Suppl 1), P302. B Anderson, A Nielsen, B Kligler, and D McKee.
Kurono Y, Minagawa M, Ishigami T, Yamada A, Kakamu T, Hayano J. Auton Neurosci. Acupuncture to Danzhong but not to Zhongting increases the cardiac vagal component of heart rate variability. 2011 Apr 26;161(1-2):116-20. Epub 2011 Jan 7.
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 878673, 9 pages. doi:10.1155/2012/878673. Neuroendocrine Mechanisms of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Hypertension. Wei Zhou and John C. Longhurst. Department of Anesthesiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA. Department of Medicine, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA.