Using Acupuncture to Treat High Blood Pressure
Acupuncture has been well established as a means of lowering blood pressure and managing chronic hypertension. Now, several recent studies have added yet more evidence supporting this as an effective therapy.
“This clinical study is the culmination of more than a decade of bench research in this area,” Dr. John Longhurst, a cardiologist and an author of the study, said in the press release. “By using Western scientific rigor to validate an ancient Eastern therapy, we feel we have integrated Chinese and Western medicine and provided a beneficial guideline for treating a disease that affects millions in the U.S.”
The latest study, published in the journal Medical Acupuncture, examined the effects of acupuncture on 65 hypertensive patients who weren’t on any hypertension meds. The participants were divided into two groups. The first group received electroacupuncture (low-intensity electrical stimulation on different needle points in the body) on their inner wrists and below their knees, and 70 percent of the participants saw a reduction in blood pressure, an improvement that lasted over a month. This group also saw a reduction of blood concentration levels of norepinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter that constricts blood vessels and elevates blood pressure.
Another study, from Scientific Reports, reveals one possible mechanism:
Repetitive Acupuncture Attenuates Cold-Induced Hypertension through Enkephalin in the Rostral Ventral Lateral Medulla.