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Acupuncture Relief for Congestive Heart Failure

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Acupuncture is an ancient traditional Chinese practice which involves using needles to restore the flow of Qi (a vital force forming part of a living entity). Acupuncture has been used to treat pain conditions, disorders, and diseases since ancient times. Some ailments that respond well to acupuncture include skin problems, digestive disorders, tendinitis, and arthritis. Over the years, different studies have been conducted to find the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating different types of chronic pain and health conditions. One such study conducted by the Affiliated Hospital of Yanbian University, China, found that acupuncture can help increase the effectiveness of medications for treating congestive heart failure.

An Overview of the Study

For the study, researchers enrolled 60 patients with stage 2-4 congestive heart failure after they were admitted to the hospital. The acupuncture group included 18 male and 12 female respondents (mean age – 72.5 years), whereas the control group consisted of 17 males and 13 females (mean age – 71.9 years).

Researchers used multiple methods such as conducting exercise tolerance tests to confirm the results of the study. Blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels of the participants were closely monitored during the study. Respondents were divided into two groups. While participants in one group were given traditional pharmacological medications with Sheng Ma herbal injections, respondents in the other group, in addition to these medications, received acupuncture treatment. The total effective rate of the group that did not receive acupuncture was 86.7 percent, whereas the total effective rate of the group that received acupuncture was an impressive 93.3 percent.

The Study

Both groups were given a combination of ancient Chinese herbs and medications for CHF. Some patients were prescribed vasodilators, digitalis, and diuretics (depending on individual needs). Every patient in both groups was given Sheng Mai intravenous fluid once every day. Patients in the acupuncture group also received regular acupuncture treatments at the following acupuncture points:

  • Neiguan
  • Shenmen
  • Gongsun
  • Auricular
  • Sanyinjiao
  • Taichong (patients with qi stagnation)
  • Fenglong (patients diagnosed with phlegm obstruction)
  • Xuehai (patients with symptoms of blood stasis)

Acupuncturists treating the patients stimulated needles using the reinforcing-reducing method. A typical session lasted for 20 minutes. While treatment was conducted once a day for most patients, two sessions were conducted for those with severe CHF.


To evaluate results, researchers closely monitored the cardiac and renal function and the treatment total effective rate for both groups. To assess cardiac function, color doppler echocardiography was conducted.

Mean pre-treatment EF scores of the control group and the acupuncture group were 38.9 and 39.3 respectively. Mean posttreatment EF score of the acupuncture group was significantly more (48.6) than the control group (40.3).

Mean post-treatment FS score of the control group and the acupuncture group rose to 24.7 (from 21.8) and 27.3 (from 21.6) respectively.

Mean post-treatment blood urea nitrogen levels fell to 7.38 (from 8.12) and 7.35 (from 8.37) for the control group and the acupuncture group respectively.

This is just one of the many studies that validate the effectiveness of acupuncture as a form of treatment. Acupuncture has more health benefits than you could imagine. At Monarch Acupuncture & Wellness, we have mastered the art of harnessing the power of acupuncture. Practicing acupuncture near Pleasant Hill, CA, we have dedicated our lives to perfecting acupuncture techniques. To book a session, visit