Transcontinental and translational high-tech acupuncture research using computer-based heart rate and "Fire of Life" heart rate variability analysis.

Author: Litscher G; Asian-Austrian High-tech Acupuncture Research Network.
Unit of Biomedical Engineering in Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, TCM Research Center Graz, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 29, Austria.
Conference/Journal: J Acupunct Meridian Stud.
Date published: 2010 Sep
Other: Volume ID: 3 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 156-64 , Word Count: 208

A variable heartbeat was considered a sign of good health by ancient Asian physicians. Today, new computer-based methods (e.g., "Fire of Life" analysis) allow quantification of heart rate and heart rate variability during acupuncture. The objective of this article is to compare different acupuncture methods to evaluate the influence of acupuncture on heart rhythm in short-term and long-term measurements. There were four main sections in this study: (A) a randomized controlled study using needle acupuncture and acupressure at Yintang (Ex1); (B) an innovative blue (violet) laser acupuncture randomized controlled study in Asian volunteers; (C) a comparative study using moxibustion methods; and (D) teleacupuncture. A total of 72 patients (mean age ± SD: 27.9 ± 8.6 years) were monitored over periods of 20 minutes to 24 hours in Asia and Austria. Acupuncture was performed with metal needles (in sections A, C and D) or blue laser (in section B) on Yintang, Neiguan, Guanyuan or a special acupuncture regimen for stress disorders (in sections A, B, C and D, respectively). Significant decreases in heart rate after verum intervention at Yintang, Neiguan and Guanyuan were found. Improvements in state of health following teleacupuncture were also noted. Computer-based heart rate and heart rate variability analysis was demonstrated to be effective in evaluating the status of health during acupuncture.