Research has shown that acupuncture can improve the health of patients who experience severe heart problems by dramatically reducing the activity in the sympathetic nervous system that regulates heartbeat and blood pressure.
The study conducted through the Los Angeles School of Medicine suggests that acupuncture can be used “successfully with long-range results in improving hypertension, and it may also be beneficial in lowering sympathetic nerve activity.”
Overactivation of the sympathetic nervous system is common with patients who suffer from heart problems. Over time, this may cause the heart to work harder, forcing blood to flow through blood vessels that are constricted due to heightened nerve activity. The study showed that sympathetic nerve activation was significantly reduced in those individuals who received acupuncture care compared to those who only received a placebo. The lead physician in the study, Dr. Middlekauff, suggests, “that more study is needed before acupuncture can be recommended, but acupuncture has been used successfully and with long-range results in improving hypertension, and it may also be beneficial in lowering sympathetic nerve activity.” Middlekauff HR. Acupuncture in the treatment of heart failure. Cardiol Rev. 2004 May-Jun;12(3):171-3