Acupuncture May Help Improve Exercise Tolerance In Heart Patients


Acupuncture may help improve exercise tolerance in heart patients Over the past two decades an increasing number of Americans have begun utilizing acupuncture to help reduce the severity of symptoms related to a myriad of health conditions, including back pain, arthritis, menstrual cramps and headaches.

Meanwhile, results of a new German study suggest that the ancient Chinese therapy may also improve exercise tolerance in patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

For the study, lead investigator Johannes Backs, director of the Department of Internal Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital, and his colleagues recruited 17 congestive heart failure patients who were in stable condition yet who were physically limited by their condition. The participants were randomly assigned to blindly receive acupuncture or placebo treatment.

After 10 weeks of therapy, the patients who received acupuncture were able to walk greater distances and felt less exhausted than those in the control group.

"This is the first indication that acupuncture may improve exercise tolerance in CHF patients—when given in addition to optimized standard heart failure medication," said Backs.

He added that the treatment did not improve patients’ heart pump function, but may have benefited their skeletal muscle strength.

Personal Liberty

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.