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.
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