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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 979067, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/979067
Research Article

Acupuncture Point Laterality: Investigation of Acute Effects of Quchi (LI11) in Patients with Hypertension Using Heart Rate Variability

1Research 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, 8036 Graz, Austria
2Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin 150040, China
3The First Hospital Affiliated to Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin 150040, China
4Clinical Medicine of Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin 150040, China
5Privatklinik Laßnitzhöhe, 8301 Laßnitzhöhe, Austria

Received 1 April 2014; Accepted 24 April 2014; Published 12 May 2014

Academic Editor: Wei-Bo Zhang

Copyright © 2014 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

Hypertension is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease worldwide. Over 70 % of the patients use antihypertensive drugs, so nonpharmacological treatments in addition to the medication are important. Our goal was to investigate acupuncture treatment on the Quchi acupoint using heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) and to find out whether there is a laterality in acute effects. Sixty hypertensive patients (36 female, 24 male; mean age ± SD 55.8 ± 9.7 years) were randomly assigned to two manual needle acupuncture groups (group A: left Quchi (LI11) acupoint, group B: right Quchi acupoint). There was a significant () decrease in HR immediately after inserting and stimulating the needle at the left and the right Quchi acupuncture point. In contrast, total HRV increased immediately after inserting the needle, but this increase was significant only towards the end of the stimulation phase and after removing the needle. There were some differences between stimulation of the left and right Quchi acupoint, but they remained insignificant. This study provides evidence that there is a beneficial effect on heart rate variability in patients with hypertension and that there are some effects of laterality of the acupoint Quchi.