While you may know by now that acupuncture can help treat a variety of pain and other ailments, one specific pain may surprise you — chest pain.
The Philadelphia Enquirer reported today on a new study examining angina (AKA chest pain) that cardiac patients can experience. The highly regarded study utilized, “rigorous scientific methods including randomization, careful patient selection, blinding, and a placebo group to show a significant improvement in the chest pain (angina) that cardiac patients experience.”
There were a total of 404 patients in the study which was conducted in China, and all received standard cardiac medications for their stable angina for four weeks before the trial began, and continued to take them throughout the 16 week study. Then, they were divided in to four groups, three of which received acupuncture treatment.
One group received needling, but not real acupuncture, while another received traditional acupuncture therapy along meridians known to treat heart disease. The third group received acupuncture but in arbitrary meridians, and the final group received no acupuncture, just medication.
The article explains," “Participants in the three active treatment groups received 12 sessions of treatment lasting 30 minutes each. Licensed acupuncturists used disposable steel needles and electroacupunture (the needle was hooked up to a nerve stimulator) was used as it has been shown to relieve pain and prevent heart injury in other studies compared to manual acupuncture.”
The results were very promising.
The group that received traditional acupuncture along cardiac meridians had, “significantly fewer attacks of angina during the 16 weeks after randomization.” And, “other measures such as quality of life and intensity of attacks also were significantly improved.”
The reporter reflected on a possible hypothesis of acupuncture efficacy in the study, saying, “Acupuncture seemed to help the autonomic nervous system by improving the balance between the vagus nerve and sympathetic nervous systems, and targeting to the specific area used in traditional acupuncture made a significant difference.”
So, it seems that angina is yet another ailment we can add to the long list of issues acupuncture can help with!