Acupuncture may boost stamina in people with chronic heart failure, according to a clinical pilot study. People living with chronic heart failure experience shortness of breath and exhaustion from any physical exertion. This is partly due to weakening of the actual heart muscle, but is also due to problems with the autonomic nervous system and a neurotransmitter imbalance.
Acupuncture affects the autonomic sympathetic nervous system. It enhances the parasympathetic nervous system. And it is anti-inflammatory to boot.
"The scientists examined patients with heart failure who were treated with the conventional medications and were in stable condition. In addition, patients in the acupuncture group were given ten sessions of acupuncture focusing on the acupuncture points which boost general strength according to Traditional Chinese Medicine and are also known to influence the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and inflammation markers. The control group was treated with special placebo needles that simulate a needle prick but do not break the skin. After this therapy, the acupuncture patients could cover a greater walk distance in the time allowed than the placebo patients. They recovered more quickly and tended to feel subjectively less exhausted. "