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Would you use acupuncture for hypertension?

Updated: Apr 8

Studies with Positive Effect of Acupuncture on Patients with Hypertension


Hypertension is a significant medical condition that has a high incidence worldwide. It is also called high blood pressure and is the most common cardiovascular disease which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. [1] It usually develops with age or as obesity increases, but it can also develop in youth due to the heart's genetic factors or congenital disabilities. The medical profession remains challenged as many people with hypertension have not well­ controlled blood pressure. Despite this, there is hope for reducing blood pressure levels to live healthier lives through diet, exercise and acupuncture.

What is Hypertension, and how does it affect a patient's life?


Blood pressure readings consist of two numbers. The higher number (called systolic pressure) represents the force your blood uses to pump blood around our bodies. The lower number (diastolic pressure) represents the resistance to blood flow in the blood vessels. Everyone's blood pressure slightly differs. For general guidance, it is considered that blood pressure between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg is treated as ideal blood pressure, and blood pressure 140/90mmHg or higher is treated as high blood pressure. Any readings between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg can indicate that you are at risk of developing Hypertension if you do not care about your blood pressure. [2]


With persistent high blood pressure, there is a corresponding increase in risk for severe and potentially life­ threatening health issues, such as for examples like heart attacks, strokes, vascular dementia and kidney disease. It puts an additional strain on our blood vessels and organs like the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.


Many patients with Hypertension will require the use of medicines throughout their lifetime. Certain medications help lower blood pressure more quickly than others and can be prescribed instead of or along with other drugs.


How Acupuncture shows a control effect on Hypertension?


Acupuncture is one of the longest established forms of healthcare supporting wellness and well­being. It has been practised for thousands of years and was first documented in China approximately 2,500 years ago. Acupuncture is an ancient practice that has recently become more popular in Western society. The therapy involves the insertion and stimulation (by needling) of specific points on one's body to bring about a release from pain and other ailments. [3]


It belongs to nonpharmacological treatments that have much fewer side effects than drugs and can be satisfactory in the management of Hypertension. So, there is no doubt that the number of patients and researchers interested in Acupuncture has increased.


Some studies suggest that Acupuncture can lower blood pressure naturally when received as adjunctive therapy in patients with Hypertension. [1] The investigations into the underlying mechanisms of Acupuncture indicate that it proves to have positive effects on high blood pressure via sending impulses to the brain areas related to blood pressure regulation.


Acupuncture for Hypertension ­ Studies


Findings from a study published in Pubmed (2021 Feb;39(1):53­63., US National Library of Medicine) suggests that Acupuncture for Hypertension can be an effective option. Chinese researchers randomly divided 29 hypertensive patients into two groups:


  • Group A ­ those patients received Acupuncture at a significant and commonly used point LIV 3 located on the dorsum of the foot (Chinese Name: Taichong, English translation: Great Surge) and KID 3 point, situated on the medial aspect of the foot posterior to the medial malleolus, in the depression between the tip of the medial malleolus and tendo calcaneus (Chinese Name: Taixi, English translation: Great Stream).

  • Group B ­ those patients received Acupuncture at LIV 3 and a sham non­ acupuncture point.

Acupuncture performed on Group A manifested positive, immediate and long­term effects on reducing systolic (the higher number) blood pressure. Further analysis of resting­state magnetic resonance indicated that Acupuncture performed on the Group A activated brain areas related to blood pressure regulation. Additionally, extracerebral areas involving vision, motion control, cognition and hearing were discovered to be activated. According to the study's authors, that could potentially contribute to alleviating hypertensive complications in patients in an advanced stage of the disease. [4]


The results in the second group were associated with significant reduction found only in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and were not sustained.


Conclusion


Some Acupuncture studies suggest that acupuncture may have a positive effect on treating Hypertension. Some people find acupuncture an attractive therapy for Hypertension when administered at specific Acupuncture Points.


If you live in the Nort London area and would like to benefit from Acupuncture as a treatment that lowers blood pressure, please get in touch with Nazan at Virtue Acupuncture. Nazan is your local qualified and experienced Acupuncturist with a proven reputation for providing patients with effective acupuncture treatments in a clean and hygienic clinic.


Trusted sources:

[1] US National Library of Medicine

[2] NHS

[3] British Acupuncture Council

[4] PubMed



 

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