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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 763631, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/763631
Research Article

Ear Acupressure, Heart Rate, and Heart Rate Variability in Patients with Insomnia

1Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin 150040, China
2Stronach Research Unit for Complementary and Integrative Laser Medicine, Research Unit of Biomedical Engineering in Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, TCM Research Center Graz, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 29, 8036 Graz, Austria

Received 21 December 2012; Accepted 16 January 2013

Academic Editor: Wei He

Copyright © 2013 Lu Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This high-tech “teleacupuncture study” describes a neurovegetative ear acupressure effect in patients with chronic insomnia by using heart rate variability analysis. Heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) measurements in 31 patients (mean age ± SD: 54.3 ± 10.6 years) were performed under standardized conditions in Harbin, China, and the data analysis was performed in Graz, Austria. Similar to our previous clinical and basic teleacupuncture research works, the electrocardiograms (ECGs) were recorded by an HRV Medilog AR12 system during ear acupressure of the Shenmen point on the left ear. HR decreased significantly ( ) during and after acupressure stimulation. The effect was not visible after the first stimulation, rather it appeared in the phase following the second acupressure stimulation (10 min after the first stimulation). Total HRV showed significant stimulation-dependent increases ( ), immediately after each acupressure stimulation with a maximum after the third stimulation (20 min after the first stimulation), but there was no long-lasting effect. The present results can serve as a solid basis for the further investigations of auricular point stimulation for noninvasive complementary use in treating insomnia.