Acupunct Electrother Res. 1993 Apr-Jun; 18(2): 103-15.
Modulatory effect of acupuncture on the cardiovascular system: a cross-over study.
Department of Anesthesiology, Kurume University, School of Medicine, Fukuoka, Japan.
The effect of acupuncture on the cardiovascular system was studied in 23 healthy males in a cross-over design comparing acupuncture and a placebo pill by measuring skin blood flow and the function of the heart. Acupuncture was found to have a modulatory effect on skin blood flow (correlation coefficient (r) = -0.68; p < 0.0005) and heart rate (r = -0.56; p < 0.005), as well as Blood-Pressure-Heart-Rate-Product (r = -0.70; p < 0.0002). The combination of rest and a placebo pill had no modulatory effect on skin blood flow, but did have a delayed effect on the heart when compared with acupuncture. The results indicate that acupuncture has the ability to enhance the regulatory mechanisms of the cardiovascular system. The possible underlying mechanism is discussed. The findings represent a physiological explanation for the possible utility of acupuncture in maintaining cardiovascular homeostasis in healthy people.