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Does Acupuncture Treat Heart Disease?

Does Acupuncture Treat Heart Disease?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. And ethnicity doesn’t matter, as people of all racial and ethnic groups are impacted. With such serious statistics, many might wonder what treatment options are available. Did you know that acupuncture can help with treating heart disease, as well as many of its contributing factors? Read on to learn how.

Whether as a solo treatment or in combination with other traditional medical treatments, acupuncture is a great option for those suffering from heart disease, particularly as a preventative measure. Not surprisingly, the top three risk factors for developing heart disease are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. While lifestyle changes are also key to preventing heart disease, there are some additional steps you can take through regular acupuncture treatments to mitigate the risk factors of heart disease.

Acupuncture Points and Herbs for Treating Heart Disease

There are six common points related to treating heart disease:

  • HT1 (Ji Quan) – located under the arm and is used for heart pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, and palpitations.
  • HT9 (Shao Chong) – located on the pinky and is used for heart attack, stroke, and heart pain.
  • SP3 (Taibai) – located on the bottom of the foot and is used for heart pain.
  • UB15 (Xin Shu) – located near the spine and is used for heart palpitations, anxiety, and heart pain.
  • Hu Po – herbal formulation used for tremors, to stop palpitations, to help with insomnia, and used for coronary heart disease.
  • Xue Fu Zhu Yu Wan – herbal formulation used for coronary artery disease, angina, and other cardiovascular health issues.

What the Research Says

Northwestern Medicine is currently studying acupuncture as an effective treatment for heart rhythm disorders, pain, and nausea, and for use after cardiac surgery. Researchers sought to answer three main questions: 1. Would patients embrace acupuncture during heart surgery? 2. Is it logistically feasible in a cardiac surgery setting to provide daily acupuncture to patients? 3. Does acupuncture impact medical outcomes such as AFib and post-surgical symptoms like pain, nausea, stress, and anxiety?

According to lead researcher Dr. Kim Feingold, “We learned that acupuncture after open heart surgery is feasible in this fast-paced environment – even in the intensive care unit the day after surgery – and was well tolerated by patients with no adverse effects.” The research team concluded that acupuncture used after heart surgery produced lower rates of post-operative atrial fibrillation, reduced pain, nausea, stress and anxiety, less time in the intensive care unit, and a reduced need for antiarrhythmic medication.

Help with Risk Factors

As mentioned previously, acupuncture can also help patients address risk factors that can lead to future heart issues. For example, acupuncture is great at treating high blood pressure, helping people to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, and regulate sleep. Acupuncture looks to return balance to the body, thus improving overall health and wellness. If you suffer from one or more of these risk factors, it will likely take many sessions to address these issues. Your acupuncturist will work with you to conduct a complete health history and treatment plan addressing each of your concerns. The treatment plan may also include herbal formulas to help patients reach their health goals. 

Don’t wait until a more serious issue arises, if you are looking to jumpstart your New Year with new health goals, make an appointment today. Share your concerns, be honest with your practitioner and let them help you to achieve your health goals. Better health is within your reach and acupuncture can help you get there.

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