A new study suggests a different kind of treatment for heart patients –acupuncture. Regional Heart Association spokesman Mike McLaughlin says it was a controlled study done at the University of California.It was done on patients suffering heart failure which is tough to treat. The patients were young, too, averaging 43 years of age even though they’d suffered heart failure. McLaughlin says acupuncture seemed to help them fight off stress.He says those patients are troubled by higher “sympathetic nerve activity” but it was held down by the treatment while they did stressful tasks. McLaughlin says it’d never been tried before on the sickest of heart patients.There were only 14 in the study and it’ll take time to see if acupuncture really helps many heart-failure patients. McLaughlin says in this day of managed care it may also be tough to find a doctor interested in alternative treatments, but your family doctor may be able to refer you to information you can read.