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J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2006 Oct;29(8):603-10.

The effects of thoracic manipulation on heart rate variability: a controlled crossover trial.

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School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.



The objective of this study was to measure the effects of thoracic spinal manipulation on heart rate variability (HRV) in a cohort of healthy young adults.


A controlled crossover trial that was conducted on 28 healthy young adults (23 men and 5 women; age range, 18-45 years; mean age, 29 +/- 7 years) measured HRV before and after a sham procedure and a thoracic spinal manipulation.


In healthy young adults, thoracic spinal manipulation was associated with changes in HRV that were not duplicated by the sham procedure. The ratio of the powers of the low-frequency and high-frequency components increased from 0.9562 +/- 0.9192 to 1.304 +/- 1.118 (P = .0030, Wilcoxon signed rank test). In subjects undergoing sham spinal manipulation, there was no statistically significant change in the low-frequency or the high-frequency component of the power spectrum; neither was there any in the ratio of the two regardless of whether the comparison was made using the paired t test or the Wilcoxon signed rank test.


High-velocity and low-amplitude manipulation of the thoracic spine appears to be able to influence autonomic output to the heart in ways that are not duplicated by a sham procedure or by other forms of somatic/physical therapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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