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Can Acupuncture Treat High Blood Pressure?

Reshma Jirage
High blood pressure can be dealt with various treatment options, such as medications, natural remedies, and alternative treatments. Acupuncture is one of the most commonly used alternative treatment options for high blood pressure.
Today, high blood pressure or hypertension is a commonly found health problem, which is mainly caused by a stressful lifestyle. This health condition is also associated with obesity, aging, alcoholism, smoking, and certain diseases such as diabetes or kidney diseases. People with high blood pressure experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, headache, nausea, restlessness, fatigue, and blurred vision. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause certain complications such as heart attack, stroke, renal failure, metabolic syndrome, and vision loss.
The latest researches in medical science have suggested a number of treatment options to lower high blood pressure. Hypertension medications can give rise to certain side effects in the long run. Therefore, one may opt for some alternative treatments. There are some natural remedies and various therapies, such as aromatherapy and relaxation techniques, which can help to lower blood pressure naturally. Acupuncture is also one of the effective alternative methods.

Acupuncture for High Blood Pressure

Originated in China thousands of years ago, it is one of the oldest treatment methods used worldwide. There are about 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body, which are associated with various bodily functions. In this technique, hair-thin needles are inserted through skin to various depths at certain strategic points. It is an effective alternative treatment option in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and can be used to treat a wide range of disorders such as insomnia, headaches, stress, joint pain, osteoarthritis, diabetes, migraine, asthma, and hypertension.
According to the reports of latest scientific studies, it lowers blood pressure by blocking the beta-acceptor of sympathetic nerves, and by stimulating the adrenaline-angiotensin system. Acupuncture, along with electric stimulation, can also be applied to treat high blood pressure, and is known as electro-acupuncture.
During this treatment, sharp, fine needles are inserted into the trigger points or key points present on the legs, forearms, and wrists. In electro-acupuncture method, low-frequency currents are passed through normal acupuncture needles.
The needles are connected to a device that continuously generates small low frequency electric pulses. Two needles are applied at once, so that the electric impulses are passed from one needle to another.
Several pairs of needles are applied in such pairs, which cause stimulation of certain chemicals in the brain, that aid in reducing excitatory responses of the cardiovascular system. This helps in reducing the heart activity and requirement for oxygen, which in turn significantly lowers high blood pressure.
The needles should be applied for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time. The procedure should be done only by an experienced professional. Various scientific studies have been published, which claim the efficacy of this treatment. The acupuncture points used in these studies include ST36, SP6, HT7, K3, SP9, LI4, LV3, LI11, ST9, P5, P6, and LI10.
While treating high blood pressure, accompaniment of this technique with certain herbs is usually recommended. The use of herbs such as Shan Zha, Tian Ma (Gastrodia Rhizome) and Xia Ku Cao (Prunella) has been found to be effective in treating high blood pressure.
Tian Ma is useful in relieving hypertension symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and numbness of extremities. The herb Ye Ju Hua or chrysanthemum flower, can help in reducing high blood pressure through peripheral vessel dilation. These herbs can be taken in the form of powders, herbal teas, or dietary supplements.
Acupuncture helps in regulating the overall functioning of the body by natural methods, which results in lowering of blood pressure to a healthy level. It is also helpful in reducing stress and offers a calming, relaxing effect, that in turn, is also helpful. Thus, this treatment is a safe and effective method to reduce serious symptoms of hypertension, and prevent its life-threatening complications.
Disclaimer: This Story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.