Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines angina as chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle is not getting enough blood and may feel like pressure or a squeezing pain in the chest or indigestion. The pain also may occur in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. It is a common sign of heart disease.
The analysis results appeared in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Researchers evaluated eight randomized controlled trials with 640 angina pectoris cases–some of the participants received acupuncture therapy, others others received conventional drugs.
The researchers looked at patients suffering from stable angina that occurs during physical activity or emotional stress, and did not look at patients with unstable angina that occurs while at rest without apparent reason and is considered a medical emergency.
Patients with stable angina often take nitroglycerin, a drug that relaxes and widens blood vessels to allow blood to flow more easily to the heart. According to WebMD, nitroglycerin has common side effects such as headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea and flushing. The analysis found no such side effects with acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture also was found to reduce nitroglycerin use, although the drug reduced the patient’s angina symptoms faster than acupuncture.
“Americans need to be aware of options beyond drugs and surgery,” said Kory Ward-Cook, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of NCCAOM. “Acupuncture is a safe and effective alternative to manage stable angina in the population.”
To learn more about acupuncture, or to find a nationally board-certified NCCAOM acupuncturist or Oriental medicine practitioner in your area, go to www.nccaom.org .
About the NCCAOM
With a mission to ensure the safety and well-being of the public, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is a nonprofit organization that advances acupuncture and Oriental medicine by establishing and promoting evidence-based standards of competence and credentialing.
Founded in 1982, NCCAOM certification indicates that a practitioner has met national standards for the safe and competent practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Since its inception, the NCCAOM has certified more than 24,000 Diplomates in acupuncture, Chinese herbology, Asian bodywork therapy, and Oriental medicine in America.
For more information about NCCAOM, visit www.nccaom.org.
Zhang Z, Chen M, Zhang L, et al. Meta-analysis of acupuncture therapy for the treatment of stable angina pectoris. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. 2015;8(4):5112-5120.