Hypertension-Some Good News from Scientific Studies

Good news for anyone who suffers from high blood pressure. If you do not like the side-effects of your medication, or if your medication is no longer working well for you, you should consider acupuncture. Recent scientific research has shown that acupuncture is very effective in lowering high blood pressure, and there are no side effects. 

One well-funded and very extensive cross-over and double blind study completed recently at the University of California, Irvine shows acupuncture produces long-lasting lowering of blood pressure in 70% of subjects with prehypertension (systolic pressures 130-140 mm Hg) and mild to moderate hypertension (140-170/85-110) by regulating the sympathetic nervous system. The subjects in the experiment were not taking medication for hypertension at the time they were receiving acupuncture. Other physiological responses occurred as well, but I will not discuss them here, as the article would become long and tedious. The curious reader can access the original study by following instructions below, at the end of this article.

Treatments of 30 minutes duration were given once per week for 8 weeks and significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were reported. Peak and average systolic blood pressure was reduced by 8 and 6 mm Hg. In high responders, peak and average systolic blood pressure were reduced by 16 and 11 mm Hg. It is important to mention here that the article states that 70% of the participants in the study were high responders. Evidently, the average response was brought down by the 30% who did not respond as well. And more good news: it was also found that the improvement could be maintained with a once-per-month acupuncture treatment after the initial 8-week period of one treatment per week.

For the sake of simplicity, in this study, only four points were used with a very mild electrical current. Four different points were used in a control group to no effect. It is important in a scientific study that the treatment methodology be consistent for each subject in the study, hence the standardized and limited point selection. There are, however, other points that can be added to the treatment protocol that might further enhance the effects, and these would be chosen by your acupuncturist using the diagnostic techniques of Chinese medicine. If you should wish to explore further, the study can be found by cutting and pasting the information below into your browser window. Other positive studies can be found by conducting an internet search using the key phrase, “acupuncture and hypertension.”

Tjen-A-Looi, Stephanie C. “Reduction of Blood Pressure by Electro Acupuncture in Mild to Moderate Hypertensive Patients: Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of Intensive and Critical Care 3, no. 1 (2017): 2, pg.1.

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