Acupuncture improves health of Heart Failure Patients

Heart failure is a progressive debilitating condition marked by the inability of the hear to pump blood for the body. Symptoms vary from shortness of breath to severe fatigue with exercise. A new study, completed by German scientists, placed patients into 2 groups. One group received "real Acupuncture" based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. While the second group received a placebo in which a stimulation of needle pin-prick is felt, but does not break the skin.

The results showed that Heart-Failure patients who received Acupuncture were able to walk longer and recover more quickly from exercise.

Dr. Arnt Kristen stated, "The blood level of a certain messenger, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) actually drops after the real acupuncture treatment. Since TNF alpha leads to a reduction of muscle mass and muscle strength among other things, this would explain the positive effect (of acupuncture) on skeletal muscle function."

The researchers noted that Heart-Failure is more complex involving an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system and various nerve transmitters. "This is precisely where acupuncture may intervene, by bringing these processes back into balance -- it influences the autonomic sympathetic nervous system (excitation), boosts the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation), and also has an anti-inflammatory affect."

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Alex Goldberg