Acupuncture & Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is a common disease / condition making one out of
three hearts work harder to move oxygen rich blood through the arteries. High blood
pressure makes the heart work harder and increase its oxygen demands. Excessive
pressure can lead to an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly), and damage blood vessels in
the kidneys and brain.

Some factors that can raise your blood pressure from a normal reading of 120/80
mmHg to hypertensive levels of 140/90 mmHg or greater include: your emotional state,
time of day, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, medications, thyroid problems, and obstructive
sleep apnea. Risk factors for developing chronic hypertension include excessive alcohol
consumption, a high salt and low potassium diet, and an inactive lifestyle.
It is common for a person with hypertension to not experience any symptoms at all. If
you do experience symptoms they may include headaches, shortness of breath,
nosebleeds, fatigue, confusion, vision problems, and blood in the urine.

In the June, 2007, issue of Circulation, a German study found that acupuncture
significantly lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic is the top number
in a blood pressure reading and measures the force of blood flow when the heart is
actively beating. Diastolic is the bottom number and measures the force of blood flow
when the heart is at rest. The results of the blood pressure reductions due to
acupuncture treatments was comparable to those seen with anti-hypertensive
medication or aggressive lifestyle changes, including radical salt restrictions. By the end
of 6 weeks, 24 hour ambulatory systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly
reduced from baseline in the acupuncture treated patients while there were no
significant changes seen in the sham acupuncture group.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine the presence of dampness in the body
can cause problems with the digestive system, low energy, swelling, and weight gain.
When the stomach and spleen weaken, this condition has the potential to obstruct the
body mechanics responsible for regulating blood pressure. Acupuncture can assist the
body in removing excess body fluids and help normalize blood lipid levels.
The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi(chee) and when out of balance, Qi
tends to rush upwards and cause symptoms such as red eyes, headaches, and
shouting. When liver yang Qi rises uncontrollably, it can initiate the symptoms of high
blood pressure. An acupuncture treatment can calm the liver Qi, and stabilize the
emotions of rage, frustration, and anger that can negatively impact the blood pressure.
An acupuncture treatment for blood pressure may involve one lying on their back on a
massage table for 20-30 minutes listening to relaxing music with needles inserted in the
liver, spleen, and large intestine meridians on the arms, legs, hands, feet, and ears.

AcupunctureSource : Flachskampf FA, Gallasch J, Gefeller O, Gan J, Mao J, Pfahlberg AB,
Wortmann A, Klinghammer L, Pflederer W, Daniel WG. “Randomized trial of
acupuncture to lower blood pressure.” Circulation, 2007, Jun 19; 115(24):3121-9.
Epub 2007 Jun 4.

Posted in: Acupuncture

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