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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 145904, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/145904
Research Article

Biomedical Teleacupuncture between China and Austria Using Heart Rate Variability—Part 2: Patients with Depression

1Stronach Research Unit for Complementary and Integrative Laser Medicine, Research Unit of Biomedical Engineering in Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, and TCM Research Center Graz, Medical University Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 29, 8036 Graz, Austria
22nd Neurology Department, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, No. 24 Heping Road, 150040 Harbin, China
3School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, 7 Baptist University Road, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
4Department of Geriatrics, Kunming Medical University, Kunming, 650031, China
5Chinese Medicine Department, Privatklinik Laßnitzhöhe, Miglitzpromenade 18, 8301 Laßnitzhöhe, Austria

Received 12 January 2012; Accepted 2 February 2012

Academic Editor: Xinyan Gao

Copyright © 2012 Gerhard Litscher 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

It has been shown in previous studies that the autonomic nervous system can be affected by acupuncture. Within this study, teleacupuncture between China and Austria is used for quantifying the effects of heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in 33 Chinese patients (27 females, 6 males; mean age ± SD years; range 22–72 years) suffering from depression. Electrocardiographic signals before, during, and after acupuncture at the acupoint Baihui (GV20) were recorded in Harbin and analyzed in Graz using teleacupuncture. HRV data were analyzed in the time and frequency domain. Mean HR decreased significantly ( ) during and after acupuncture, whereas total HRV increased significantly after the third acupuncture stimulation period ( ) and also 5–10 minutes after ( ) acupuncture. The study shows that HRV could be a useful parameter for quantifying clinical effects of acupuncture on the autonomic nervous system.