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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 128721, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/128721
Research Article

Improvement of the Dynamic Responses of Heart Rate Variability Patterns after Needle and Laser Acupuncture Treatment in Patients with Burnout Syndrome: A Transcontinental Comparative Study

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 of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 29, 8036 Graz, Austria
2Acupuncture and Moxibustion Center, Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine Affiliated to Capital Medical University, No. 23 Meishuguanhou Street, Beijing 100010, China
3Department of Neurobiology, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China

Received 19 September 2013; Accepted 25 September 2013

Academic Editor: Wei He

Copyright © 2013 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

We investigated manual needle and laser needle acupuncture as a complementary therapy for patients with burnout syndrome. Twenty patients with a mean age ± SD of 38.7 ± 8.4 years were assigned to two groups, each consisting of ten patients. One group was treated with manual needle acupuncture and the other with laser needle acupuncture. Heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), and a new score called dynamic acupuncture treatment score (DATS) served as evaluation parameters. The study documented significant effects on heart rate after needle acupuncture treatment and significant effects on HRV caused by both needle and laser needle acupuncture. Based on new neurovegetative acupuncture treatment evaluation scores, it can be stated that both noninvasive laser needle acupuncture and manual needle acupuncture have the potential to be a powerful approach for evidence-based complementary treatment of patients with burnout syndrome. Further transcontinental studies to verify or refute the preliminary findings are in progress.