Acupuncture Works to Treat
High Blood Pressure
North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Acupuncture Clinic in Beverly, MA
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common disease, which makes one out of three hearts work harder to pump oxygen-rich blood through the arteries. High blood pressure makes the heart work harder by increasing its oxygen demands. Excessive pressure within the heart can lead to an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly), and damage blood vessels in the kidneys and brain.
Your emotional state, time of day, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, medication, thyroid problems, and obstructive sleep apnea are just some factors that can raise your blood pressure from the average reading of 110/70 mmHg to hypertensive levels of 130/80 mmHg or above. Risk factors for developing chronic hypertension include excessive alcohol consumption, a high salt and low potassium diet, and an inactive lifestyle.
It is very common for a person with hypertension to not experience any symptoms. If you do experience symptoms they may include headaches, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, fatigue, confusion, vision problems, and blood in the urine.
Lifestyle modifications such as, eating a healthier diet with less salt and processed foods, exercising regularly, and getting high quality sleep can often work to reduce blood pressure. If you are trying to avoid blood pressure medications, your doctor will likely recommend trying acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine for a holistic approach for management of high blood pressure. A 2015 study in the journal of Medical Acupuncture showed that the effects of acupuncture were able to cause a significant reduction in blood pressure for over 70% of patients in the clinical trial!
Acupuncture Works in the Treatment of Hypertension
A German study published in the June 2007 issue of Circulation found that acupuncture significantly lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The top number in a blood pressure reading is systolic and refers to the force of blood flow when the heart is sending oxygen rich blood to the muscles of the body. The bottom number is diastolic and measures the strength of flow when the heart is at rest. The extent of the blood pressure reductions by acupuncture treatment was comparable to those seen with anti-hypertensive medication or aggressive lifestyle changes, including radical salt restrictions. At the end of the clinical trial 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.
Scientific research suggests that acupuncture stimulates specific points on the body to release chemicals into the nervous system and into the bloodstream. The release of chemicals changes the experience of stress. Stress can manifest in many ways, and medically stress is anything that disrupts the body's homeostasis and the innate ability to heal. The experience triggers the release of other substances that influence the body's innate ability to heal.
Brain scans show that acupuncture normalizes the signals that reach your limbic system, which is the system that controls the "fight or flight" response. Almost every patient we see is transformed from being on edge to calm, relaxed and zen-like. And the reason is acupuncture works to reset the central nervous system, and once reset, the body can restore to homeostasis or normal functioning.
The most common organ imbalance when it comes to hypertension in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the Liver. The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi or blood flow within the body. When the Liver is out of balance, these symptoms often arise; hypertension, irritability, anger, headaches, menstrual pains, and digestive disorders to name a few.
Acupuncture has the ability to restructure the circulation of Qi within the Liver organ and reduce the symptoms of stress, hypertension and anxiety in the body through a specific acupuncture treatment that is based upon the individual pathology of the patient. When liver yang Qi rises uncontrollably, it can initiate the symptoms of high blood pressure. An acupuncture treatment is then needed to calm the liver Qi and stabilize the emotions of rage, frustration, and anger that can negatively impact blood pressure.
A North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine an acupuncture clinic in Beverly, MA. We work to restore harmony and wellness within the body to improve the health of the North Shore community one patient at a time. Our acupuncture clinic offers a diverse selection of safe and effective acupuncture treatments incorporating Integrative and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Today make the choice to improve, maintain or enhance your health! Enjoy a life full of joy, health and happiness. Schedule your acupuncture appointment today, we look forward to supporting you every step of the way.
Source: 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.
John Longhurst, M.D., Ph.D., cardiologist, University of California, Irvine; Randall Zusman, M.D., director, division of hypertension, Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center, and associate professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Aug. 19, 2015, Medical Acupuncture