A naturalistic study of the effect of acupuncture on heart-rate variability.

Author: Fasmer OB, Liao H, Huang Y, Berle JØ, Wu J, Oedegaard KJ, Wik G, Zhang Z.
Affiliation: Department of Clinical Medicine, Section for Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen, Norway; Haukeland University Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Bergen, Norway.
Conference/Journal: J Acupunct Meridian Stud.
Date published: 2012 Feb
Other: Volume ID: 5 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 15-20 , Word Count: 174

To study the effect of acupuncture on heart rate variability (HRV) by using linear and non-linear methods of analysis.
40 patients were recruited consecutively, including patients with insomnia, stomachache, diarrhea, dizziness, cervical syndrome, lower back pain, gonarthritis, peripheral facial paralysis, post-traumatic organic brain syndrome and urinary retention. Different acupoint prescriptions were used, according to the textbook for 5-years' education on traditional Chinese medicine specialty, which is used in Chinese Universities. HRV was recorded before, during, and after acupuncture.
Acupuncture substantially reduced variability, causing a 41% reduction in the standard deviation. Using a Fourier analysis, the variances both in the low frequency (LF) and the high frequency (HF) ranges were markedly reduced, but the LF/HF ratio (an indication of sympatho-vagal balance) was not altered. The HR was unchanged. The sample entropy, which is a measure of the complexity of time series, was significantly increased (+35%).
Acupuncture produced a pattern of changes different from that seen in pathological conditions, where increased variability and reduced complexity is expected.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V.
PMID: 22309903