Acupuncture is an ancient treatment anchored in traditional Chinese medicine. It has long been reported to have the potential for helping to treat cardio-vascular disease, including high blood pressure.
Could acupuncture help lower blood pressure?
Acupuncture is an ancient treatment anchored in traditional Chinese medicine. It has long been reported to have the potential for helping to treat cardio-vascular disease, including high blood pressure. When administered by trained practitioners, side effects are rare, making it an attractive option for those opposed to conventional drug therapy. There have recently been a number of studies to establish whether in fact acupuncture does have an effect on hypertension.
Scientific research indicates acupuncture could be effective
Blood pressure latest studies suggest that acupuncture could be effective at lowering high blood pressure and preventing kidney damage. In controlled experiments, researchers applied acupuncture points to lab rats with hypertension and kidney disease. Acupuncture was found to significantly decrease blood pressure and damage to the kidneys.
Researchers at the University of California looked at three groups during the experiment. The first group received acupuncture, the second was the control group and the third was given pharmaceutical medication, perindopril, an ACE inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure. The acupuncture group was given electro-acupuncture for 20 minutes a day. Blood pressure and kidney morphology changes were then measured.
The acupuncture group had similar results to that of the medication group, showing significantly reduced blood pressure of up to 50% and fewer pathological changes to the kidneys. This study supports other recent research which measured the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of high blood pressure in human clinical studies. Patients receiving acupuncture at the same acupuncture points as the rats appeared to show the same reduced blood pressure, of both systolic and diastolic levels.
Further blood pressure latest studies in Germany looked at 160 outpatients between the ages of 50 and 66 who suffered from high blood pressure, without any complications. Participants took place in a six week course of active acupuncture, or mock acupuncture. In total they had 22 sessions, each of which lasted for 30 minutes. Researchers found that there was a significant difference in the blood pressure of those who had received real treatment and those that had been undergoing sham acupuncture. In the active acupuncture group, average systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings decreased significantly after treatment. Within three to six months, however levels had returned to their pre-treatment levels.
Why does acupuncture lower blood pressure?
An investigation carried out at the University of California, Los Angeles appears to have discovered just why acupuncture lowers blood pressure. In this round of blood pressure latest studies they found that acupuncture works to reduce blood pressure by stimulating neurons in the brain, decreasing neural activity in the rostral ventrolateral medulla, thereby decreasing SNS activity and lowering blood pressure. In essence acupuncture reduces hypertension by down regulating the activity in the nervous system.
The Chinese believe that acupuncture works by restoring the normal function of the body’s meridians, or lines that course through the body. This enables the body to become balanced between yin and yang. Whatever you believe there does seem to be solid scientific evidence to support its use in blood pressure treatments.
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