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Int J Sports Med. 1992 Aug; 13(6): 486-91.

Influence of acupuncture on physical performance capacity and haemodynamic parameters.

Ehrlich D, Haber P.

Department of Sport and Performance Medicine, Klinik für Innere Medizin IV, University of Vienna.

In a single blind study the question as to whether the needling of specific acupuncture points is able to produce an increase in physical performance capacity and better regulation of heart rate and blood pressure was examined. Thirty-six healthy young men were assigned at random to three groups, receiving either actual acupuncture, placebo acupuncture or no stimulation. Performance was determined by means of a spiro-ergometer test which was carried out at the beginning and at the end of five weeks of treatment consisting of one session per week. The subjects from the group which actually received acupuncture were able to increase maximum performance capacity significantly and also physical performance at the anaerobic threshold. This may be interpreted as a sign of functional improvement in haemodynamic and metabolic mechanisms. There was, on the whole, no noticeable effect produced by the placebo acupuncture. The control group, which received no stimulation, showed unfavourable changes in the values obtained compared with the results of the performance test at the commencement of the study.

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