Effect of Acupuncture on Heart Rate Variability in Normal Subjects Under Fatigue and Non-Fatigue State

Jockey Club Rehabilitation Engineering Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong, PR China.
Arbeitsphysiologie (Impact Factor: 2.19). 08/2005; 94(5-6):633-40. DOI: 10.1007/s00421-005-1362-z
Source: PubMed


The objective of this study was to assess the effects of acupuncture applied at Hegu (LI 4) points and Neiguan (PC6) points on heart rate variability (HRV) in normal subjects under fatigue and non-fatigue states using power spectral analysis. Twenty-nine normal male subjects were randomly divided into three groups. Subjects in Group A and Group B performed a simulated driving task for 3 h and acupuncture needles were then inserted perpendicularly into the LI 4 points in the middle of the dorsal thenar muscle and PC 6 points situated between the tendons of the palmaris longus and carpi radialis muscles for 15 min for Group A but inserted subcutaneously to the acupuncture points for Group B as a control. Acupuncture needles were directly inserted perpendicularly into the LI 4 points and PC 6 points for 15 min for Group C. Stimulations of the acupuncture points induced a significant decrease in heart rate (HR), HRV total power (TP), low frequency (LF) power and ratio of low frequency to high frequency (LF/HF), and a significant increase in the HF power in normalized units (NU) during the post stimulation period in fatigue state (P<0.05). Stimulation of acupuncture points resulted in a significant increase both in the LF power and HF power in absolute units (AU) (P<0.05) but no significant change in NU was found during the post stimulation period in non-fatigue state. It was concluded that the modulating effect of acupuncture on heart rate variability not only depended on the points of stimulation such as acupuncture or non-acupuncture points but also on the functional state of the subject, namely whether the subjects are in a state of fatigue or not.

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    • "A variety of mechanisms likely explain the therapeutic effect of acupuncture on ischemic heart disease, including decreasing lipid peroxidation , facilitating energy metabolism and myocardial enzyme activity, influencing cellular ultrastructure, inhibiting apoptosis , improving cell genesis, and reducing myocardial oxygen demand [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]. Scientists also implicated the potential roles of central nervous system and peripheral nervous system involved in the protection of acupuncture in myocardial ischemia injury [11] [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mechanisms for electroacupuncture (EA) in disease treatments are still enigmatic. Here, we studied whether hippocampus was involved in the protection of EA stimulation on myocardial ischemia injury. Acute myocardial ischemia (AMI) model was produced. EA stimulation at heart meridian from Shenmen (HT7) to Tongli (HT5) was applied to rats 3 times a day for continuous three days. Coronary occlusion related tachycardia and hypotension, indicated by heart rate, mean arterial pressure, and rate pressure product, were apparently impaired after AMI injury. By contrast, EA stimulating could ameliorate the impairments of heart function ( P < 0.05 ). Interestingly, lesion of CA1 region of hippocampus abolished the protection of EA. Neuronal activity in CA1 area was affected by AMI. As evidenced, cell counts, cell types, and frequency of the discharged neurons were facilitated after AMI, while EA stimulation attenuated the abnormalities. Furthermore, c-Fos expression was significantly facilitated in CA1 area after AMI, which was reduced by EA stimulation. Correlations were established between c-Fos expression and cell counts of discharged neurons, as well as between heart function and cell counts of discharged neurons. Taken together, EA stimulation at heart meridian protects against heart dysfunction induced by AMI possibly through suppressing the neuronal activity in CA1 region.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 07/2015; 2015(12):925987. DOI:10.1155/2015/925987 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "TENS combined Chinese acupuncture points have been administered as a physical and non-pharmacological therapy for perioperative management of complications caused by surgery [27], [28]. At present, accumulating clinical and animal studies reveal that TENS at acupuncture points, as well as EA treatment, affects hemodynamics and the sympathetic nervous system [19], [29]–[31]. In a recent study, it was suggested that nerve stimulation improves angina pectoris, with a concomitant improvement of myocardial perfusion in cardiac syndrome [32]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is commonly used in clinical practice for alleviating pains and physiological disorders. It has been reported that TENS could counteract the ischemic injury happened in some vital organs. To determine the protective effect of TENS on internal organs during CH in dogs, target hypotension was maintained for 60 min at 50% of the baseline mean arterial pressure (MAP). The perfusion to the brain, liver, stomach, and kidney was recorded and apoptosis within these organs was observed. Results showed that when arriving at the target MAP, and during the maintaining stage for 10 min, perfusion to the stomach and liver in the CH+TENS group was much higher than in the CH group (P<0.05). Perfusion to the cerebral cortex greatly declined in both the controlled pressure groups when compared with the general anesthesia (GA) group (P<0.05). After withdrawing CH, the hepatic blood flow in both the CH and CH+TENS groups, and the gastric and cerebral cortical blood flow in the CH+TENS group, were rapidly increased. By the end of MAP restoration, gastric blood flow in the CH group was still low. At 72 h after applying CH, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells in stomach and kidney tissue from the CH group were significantly increased compared with those in the GA group (P<0.05). There was no significant difference in TUNEL-positive cells in the liver and hippocampus among the three groups. Our results demonstrated that CH with a 50% MAP level could cause lower perfusion to the liver, stomach, cerebral cortex, and kidney, with apoptosis subsequently occurring in the stomach and kidney. TENS combined GA is able to improve the blood flow to the liver, stomach, and reduce the apoptosis in the stomach and kidney.
    PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e94368. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0094368 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "P = 0.21). Results in Chang et al. [24] and Streitberger et al. [16] did not support that effect of acupuncture while Hsu et al. [27], Hsu et al. [27], Kim et al. [28], and Li et al. [29] did. However, the overall effect (diamond) was insignificant and crossed the line of no effect. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: To summarize all relevant trials and critically evaluate the effect of acupuncture on heart rate variability (HRV). Method: This was a systematic review with meta-analysis. Keyword search was conducted in 7 databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Data extraction and risk of bias were done. Results: Fourteen included studies showed a decreasing effect of acupuncture on low frequency (LF) and low frequency to high frequency ratio (LF/HF ratio) of HRV for nonhealthy subjects and on normalized low frequency (LF norm) for healthy subjects. The overall effect was in favour of the sham/control group for high frequency (HF) in nonhealthy subjects and for normalized high frequency (HF norm) in healthy subjects. Significant decreasing effect on HF and LF/HF ratio of HRV when acupuncture was performed on ST36 among healthy subjects and PC6 among both healthy and nonhealthy subjects, respectively. Discussion: This study partially supports the possible effect of acupuncture in modulating the LF of HRV in both healthy and nonhealthy subjects, while previous review reported that acupuncture did not have any convincing effect on HRV in healthy subjects. More published work is needed in this area to determine if HRV can be an indicator of the therapeutic effect of acupuncture.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 02/2014; 2014(5):819871. DOI:10.1155/2014/819871 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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