Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation of Acupoints Changes Body Composition and Heart Rate Variability in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity.

Author: Chien LW, Lin MH, Chung HY, Liu CF.
Graduate Institute of Integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western, National Taipei College of Nursing, No. 365, Ming-De Road, Beitou, Taipei 11211, Taiwan.
Conference/Journal: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.
Date published: 2009 Sep 22
Other: Word Count: 258

This study aimed to evaluate the effect of transcutaneous electric acupoint stimulations (TEAS) on body composition and heart rate variability (HRV) in postmenopausal women with obesity. In this prospective study, 49 postmenopausal women were recruited in Taiwan. Body composition was used as a screening test for obesity (percentage body fat >30%, waist circumference >80 cm). The experimental group (n = 24) received TEAS treatment 30 min twice per week for 12 weeks at the Zusanli (ST 36) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6) acupoints. The control group (n = 25) did not receive any intervention. The study of HRV was analyzed by time [standard deviation of the normal-to-normal (NN) intervals (SDNN) and square root of the mean squared differences of successive NN intervals (RMSSD) indices] and frequency domain methods. Power spectral components were obtained at low (LF) and high (HF) frequencies. Body composition and HRV values were measured at the 4th, 8th and 12th weeks. A total of 40 subjects completed this study. Waist circumference and percentage body fat in the experimental group (n = 20) were significantly less than those of the control group (n = 20) at the 8th and 12th weeks (all P < 0.05). Additionally, at the same time points, percentage lean body mass in the experimental group was significantly greater than that in the control group (P < 0.05). SDNN values increased significantly at the 4th and 8th weeks when compared with the control group (all P < 0.05). At 12 weeks, SDNN value was not significantly different from that of the control group (P = 0.105). TEAS treatment improves body composition, and has a transient effect on the HRV in postmenopausal women with obesity.