If you are looking to improve your heart health, your ear might hold the answer. Auricular acupuncture is a type of acupuncture that involves stimulating external points on the ear — and a study shows the technique can improve heart health.
According to research conducted by a team based in China and Austria, auricular acupuncture increases heart rate variability (HRV). HRV indicates the body’s ability to regulate the time interval between heart beats and to control the heart beat rate.
Increasing HRV with auricular acupuncture
Unhealthy individuals may demonstrate low HRV. HRV is associated with conditions like congestive heart failure, mortality after myocardial infarction and diabetic neuropathy. Low HRV is also found in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and individuals with increased heart rates caused by high stress. Auricular acupuncture's ability to reduce HRV can help with these conditions.
“HRV changes significantly during auricular acupuncture, and HRV increases during auricular acupuncture,” the researchers noted in the study.
Auricular acupuncture — which is also called ear acupuncture — comes from principles of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The many acupuncture points on the ear help regulate various functions and organs of the body. In TCM, specific ear acu-points are used for sedation, pain relief, clearing the heart and relaxing the mind.
Adopting a heart healthy lifestyle
By integrating acupuncture into your health routine, you can reduce your risk for heart disease. Steps to prevent heart disease include quitting smoking, managing high blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, and keeping a balanced sleep cycle. Acupuncture — including auricular acupuncture — can help with all these health goals.
In addition to improving general well-being, auricular acupuncture has been used successfully for many years to treat a wide range of health conditions and ailments, such as addiction, withdrawal symptoms, stress, anxiety, mood swings and heart problems, among others.
The benefits of receiving auricular acupuncture for general heart health include that it:
- Helps with smoking cessation
- Lowers blood pressure
- Combats weight gain by suppressing appetite
- Manages stress and anxiety
- Improves sleep and treats a wide array of sleep problems
- Increases HRV
Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of acupuncture? Call the Acupuncture and Massage College for information on how to enroll in an acupuncture and Oriental medicine program in Miami at (305) 595-9500.