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Auton Neurosci. 2001 Aug 13;91(1-2):96-9.

Innocuous mechanical stimulation of the neck and alterations in heart-rate variability in healthy young adults.

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College of Medical Technology, Kyoto University, Japan.


The present study examined the effects of cervical spinal manipulation, a widely applied form of physical therapy, which involves innocuous mechanical stimulation, on heart rate and heart-rate variability, in a cohort of healthy young adults. Using a cross-over treatment design, with a one-week washout period and, in contrast to a sham procedure, the authentic manipulation produced significant alterations in both heart rate and measures of heart-rate variability calculated from power spectrum analysis. In particular, there was an increase in the ratio of low-frequency (LF)-to-high-frequency (HF) components of the power spectrum of heart-rate variability, which may reflect a shift in balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic output to the heart.

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