This is the poster I presented last weekend at the ISAMS in Irvine. ISAMS stands for International Scientific Acupuncture and Meridian Symposium. How was the response to my poster? It was somewhat mixed but overall positive. Some of the researchers really “got” what I’m trying to do. Others really couldn’t wrap their minds around the nonscientific nature of my study, and what the point was. What is the point? There is some profound response that happens during acupuncture in some patients. I can’t give up on this project because when you see a profound response clinically to an acupuncture series or even session, my hunch is that HRV is a measure that is subtle enough to register that change physiologically. Now I only have to prove it… There are many confounding problems with HRV, time of day, body positioning, need for normal sinus rhythm, all of which mitigate the utility of HRV. However, as a modality to register change, at least in some responders, some of the time it might show what is happening that allows these dramatic effects.
What I incorporated for this study was Sample Entropy comparisons. It is a nonlinear measure of HRV which is less dependent on a pristine heart rate tracing, and hence more attractive for clinic use. To quote some other researchers on complexity measures
“The fractal organization of human HR dynamics is determined by a delicate interplay between sympathetic and vagal outflow, with the breakdown of fractal HR behavior toward more random dynamics occurring during coactivation of sympathetic and vagal outflow[i] A system’s complexity will be reflected in the dynamical fluctuations generated by the free-running conditions Complexity (healthy systems) > Complexity (pathologic systems)Healthy systems operating, far from equilibrium, have greater adaptability and functionality than pathologic systems, therefore• Disease, aging, drug toxicities should degrade complexity.”
I would add STRESS decreases complexity, also.
[i] Tulppo et al. Circulation 2005; 112:314-319
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