Auricular acupuncture combined with lavender oil aromatherapy can reduce preoperative anxiety in patients undergoing cardiovascular surgery, German researchers have found. Data from 80 consecutive patients undergoing diagnostic coronary angiography with or without additional interventions were analysed. Patients were prospectively randomised to receive either pre-interventional auricular acupuncture with lavender oil aromatherapy, or combined sham auricular acupuncture and placebo oil aromatherapy. For the verum group bilateral ear acupuncture was performed at the auricular point Relaxation. After the intervention, the verum group showed significantly decreased anxiety scores compared with the placebo group. Significantly more patients reported subjective perceived treatment success in the verum group (87.2%) compared with the placebo group (65.9%). The reduction in anxiety observed with treatment was judged to be especially important in this patient population who are frequently fragile and at high operative risk, meaning that increased anxiety is associated with increased mortality and morbidity. The authors further suggest that treatment with acupuncture and aromatherapy could reduce the need for conventional anxiolytic drugs.

Efficacy of Auricular Acupuncture and Lavender Oil Aromatherapy in Reducing Pre Interventional Anxiety in Cardiovascular Patients: A Randomised Single-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial. J Integr Complement Med. 2022 Jan;28(1):45-50.