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Acupuncture treatment for Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Chinese medication practice see the Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)happen because there is a lack of
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Heart failure (HF) often referred to as congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition occuring when the heart is unable to pump with enough force the blood to therefore meet the body’s needs. Signs and symptoms commonly include shortness of breath, excessive tiredness and leg swelling. The shortness of breath worsens with exercise and even while lying down this makes the person wake up at night. In fact, a quite limited ability to exercise is also commonly found. It should be noted that chest pain including angina does not really always occur due to heart failure.1



Within Chinese medicine, the clinical symptoms of congestive heart failure fall under the traditional Chinese disease categories of heart palpitations, water swelling and heart disturbances. According to chinese medicine, the underlying cause of this disease is vacuity. In other words, if for any reason, the qi becomes vacuous and weak to control the normal movement and transportation of blood and fluids, these become static and accumulate, thus producing the common symptoms of this condition.2 In fact, one of the most important discoveries is that acupuncture does reduces the size of damage to the physical heart and infarct size due to heart failure. In detail, acupuncture significantly reduces infarct sizes and electroacupuncture significantly regulates excess sympathetic nerve stimulation of the cardiovascular system. The beneficial cardiac function effects of acupuncture are known to be long-term. Thus, acupuncture is a potentially useful therapy for treating CHF. Electroacupuncture at acupoints PC-5 and PC-6 has proven to be effective in regulating cardiovascular sympathoexcitatory reflex-induced responses. As a result, these acupuncture points are recommended for treatment.3

Regarding qi-blood stagnation, which clinical signs include painful sensitivity in the back and thorax, fullness in the flank and restlessness, the treatment strategy includes activating qi and blood, eliminating stagnation to stop pain and activating the following points BL-14, BL-15, PC-6, LU-7, LU-9, HT-7, LV-3 and LI-4. Whereas, for heart qi deficiency characterized by shortness of breath, palpitation and spontaneous sweating, the treatment strategy is tonification of heart qi by stimulating the following points BL-14, BL-15, PC-6, LU-7, LU-9, HT-7, CV-17, CV-14, CV-4 and ST-36. For heart yang deficiency characterized by shortness of breath, palpitation, spontaneous sweating and fatigue, the treatment strategy is warming yang and tonification of qi and heart, while eliminating cold and stimulating the following points BL-14, BL-15, PC-6, LU-7, LU-9, HT-7, GV-3 and GV-4. In this vein, kidney yang deficiency is treated with tonification of kidney and warming yang by stimulating the following points BL-23, BL-26, KD-3, KD-7, LU-7, LU-9, HT-7, CV-4 and CV-6.4


  1. Chronic heart failure – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – 2010, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22741186
  2. Chinese medicine & congestive heart failure – acupuncturetoday.com – 2002, http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=27899
  3. How to Use Acupuncture for the treatment of heart failure – vin.com – 2011, https://www.vin.com/apputil/content/defaultadv1.aspx?pId=11343&meta=Generic&id=5124190
  4. Acupuncture for heart failure recovery research – healthcmi.com – 2014, http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1272-acupuncture-for-heart-attack-recovery-new-research