The research, which was conducted by a team of experts at the Department of Internal Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany found that acupuncture could help patients with chronic weakness of the heart muscle to exercise for longer.
The condition is one of the most frequent causes of death in Europe and shortness of breath and fatigue brought on by physical exercise is a common indicator of the disease.
The pilot clinical study involved experts treating a third of a group of individuals with heart failure (who were in a stable condition) with conventional medications, a third with placebo acupuncture (using dull needles), and a third with traditional acupuncture.
The results of the study showed that although the use of acupuncture does not increase the pump function of the heart, it does influence skeletal muscle strength meaning it can increase the distance that heart patients can walk.
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