Acupuncture and Angina

When reliable, controlled studies are published that reveal or confirm the efficacy acupuncture on various ailments, we can’t help but get excited.

Recently, according to MedPage Today, a study in Shanghia revealed something we’ve yet to cover —”true” acupuncture can help with chest pain. (AKA angina.)

When properly applied, acupuncture reduced the frequency of chest pains that those with chronic, yet stable angina experienced within a controlled trial setting.

It explained, “those assigned to 4 weeks of acupuncture on the acu-points on the disease-affected meridian (DAM) had roughly eight fewer angina attacks per 4-week interval during the subsequent 16 weeks, from a pretreatment baseline of 13.5 attacks per 4 weeks, according to Fanrong Liang, MD, of the Acupuncture and Tuina School at Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, and colleagues.

This reduction was “significantly better” than the three control groups.

The experiment revealed:

  • Acupuncture on the non-affected meridian (NAM): patients had about four fewer attacks per 4 weeks

  • Sham “fake” acupuncture: about three fewer attacks

  • No acupuncture: about two fewer attacks

Suzanne Arnold, MD, of Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City (not involved in the trial) said, "I think that this appears to be a well-done study, with appropriate levels of sham procedures. You clearly observe that there is some placebo effect -- with both the sham and NAM procedures, which have similar outcomes -- but the effect of DAM appears to be real.”

We believe it is real, too.

Acupucnture can help relieve symptoms such as anxiety and depression which is correlated with chest pain, as well. MedPage also quotes Arnold as saying, “It isn't completely crazy to think that some treatment, that is not directly associated with increased myocardial blood flow, might be associated with less angina.”