High blood pressure, commonly known as hypertension, is something most people have to deal with later on in life. People do not often think about their blood pressure—the only time they seem to do so is when they go to get a physical. If high blood pressure goes untreated, it can increase your risk factors for stroke, heart failure, arterial aneurysm, and myocardial infarcation. It is also a leading cause of kidney failure.
High blood pressure can be lowered through the use of medication. Drugs that are used to treat hypertension are known collectively as antihypertensive drugs such as diuretics, beta and alpha blockers, and ACE inhibitors. However, antihypertensive drugs often come with dangerous side effects. For example, calcium blockers can lead to heart failure, diuretics have been known to raise blood glucose levels and cause impotence, and beta-blockers have been known to cause asthma symptoms—not exactly what you are looking for in medication that is supposed to benefit you.
Lifestyle changes can also help lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that people who lower their sodium intake and raise their intake of nuts, fish, fruits, and vegetables have experienced a drop in blood pressure. While relaxation techniques such as meditation might prove beneficial, the results are relative to each person. However, lifestyle changes often take serious dedication that few are able or willing to meet.
For the longest time, these two techniques were the only known ways to reduce blood pressure; you either had to choose between dietary changes or a lifelong dependence upon prescription medications with dangerous side effects. However, there is a growing awareness of the positive affects of acupuncture on reducing blood pressure.
Acupuncture has been around since time immemorial and has been used to treat different conditions throughout the ages. The practice originated in China and has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years. Now, acupuncture has made its way into the mainstream and has become a popular form of alternative medicine.
Recent studies have shown that acupuncture is one of the most effective alternative methods for reducing blood pressure. Acupuncture helps lower blood pressure by blocking beta-acceptors within sympathetic nerves as well as arousing the adrenaline-angiotensin system. The form of acupuncture used in blood pressure treatment is known as electro-acupuncture. Electro-acupuncture is a method in which low-frequency electric currents are sent into the body via acupuncture needles that are inserted in the wrists, forearms, or legs. Doing this excites the opioid chemicals that help reduce the cardiovascular systems excitatory responses. This leads to a decrease in heart activity as well as the need for oxygen which helps reduce blood pressure.
So how effective is acupuncture in lowering blood pressure? A study published in a 2007 issue of Circulation showed that acupuncture worked just as well as single drug therapy. According to a study done by UCI, acupuncture can lower blood pressure as much as 50%. These are just a few studies in the plethora of studies that yield positive results. So not only are you lowering your blood pressure, but you so not have to worry about becoming dependent on medications or being endangered by their side effects. Also, lifestyle changes do not have to be as drastic.
Someone undergoing acupuncture to lower blood pressure can raise their chances of success by using herbs such as Shan Zha, Xia Ku Cao, and Tian Ma. These herbs also help reduce blood pressure. You can inject the juices of these herbs into your bloodstream to get better results.
Acupuncture has proven to be an effective and safe alternative treatment that helps lower blood pressure. There are no drugs involved, nor are there any drastic lifestyle changes. So what are you waiting for? Reduce your blood pressure through acupuncture and begin living a fuller and healthier life.