Alternative Medicine Resources

Bringing You Natural & Effective Health Alternatives

Acupuncture for High Blood Pressure

without comments

As with all human health conditions, Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) views high blood pressure quite entirely different from that of western medicine. In order to have a healthy body and mind, TCM believes that the body needs to be in balance.  In essence the natural state of our body is a healthy body and any health issue or illness is due to some aspect in our body being in an imbalanced state. Thus it is the goal of TCM to bring the body back into balance to restore or attain good health. If not managed properly, high blood pressure can be a fatal condition. You can also view high blood pressure as your body’s warning to you to change certain aspects of your lifestyle.

In the United States, there has been an epidemic of high blood pressure for several years running. About a third of US citizens suffer from high blood pressure.

A person who has blood pressure reading of 140/90 mm Hg and above is considered to have high blood pressure. If your BP reading is around 120/80 mm Hg, you have a normal BP rate. Blood pressure is also called hypertension. High blood pressure is a sign that an individual has a high likelihood for getting heart attacks, stroke or heart disease.

Women are more prone to heart disease caused by high blood pressure in the US. In fact, heart disease is the primary cause of death for women in this country.  Individuals with hypertension are thrice more likely to die from heart disease and have quadruple the risk of dying from a stroke. These sad facts are somewhat alleviated by the fact that high blood pressure is within the ability of the individual to control.

Many factors can lead to a person’s hypertension.  One factor is stress. Other major factors include lack of exercise, smoking, age, genetics and diet. Changing some of these factors can help you better lower your blood pressure.  One of the first and most important changes you can do to control this disease is to lower your stress level. Allow some time for yourself where you can relax and enjoy even if it’s for five minutes. If you have hypertension, you need to care of your health first before anything else.

Eating a healthy diet can likewise substantially decrease hypertension. Minimize or if you can completely eat a salt-less diet. Although some studies may dispute the role salt plays in hypertension, minimizing your salt intake is one healthy tip to heed.

Some of the biggest factors in developing high blood pressure are eating greasy foods and carbohydrates. Acupuncturists state that hot, warm foods are believed to create heat in the body which can lead to the elevation of your blood pressure. They suggest eating cool foods such as mung beans, watermelon, green apples, cucumber, celery and greens instead.

Besides these nutritional recommendations, acupuncture and TCM practitioners also suggest Chinese herbal formulas which are prescribed based on the person’s symptoms and unique constitution. Herbal formulas are given to patients on a case–to-case basis. Some of the herbal remedies given to hypertensive patients include Ju Hua, Xia Ku Cau, Tian Ma, Luo Bu Ma Ye and Shan zha. The exact quantity and combination of these herbs can differ from patient to patient.

Acupuncture can treat dozens of different kinds of conditions including blood pressure. One of the most important things acupuncture can give a person is relaxation which can help relieve stress which is more often the underlying cause of the problem.  Acupuncture therapy involves the insertion of ultra fine needles on specific parts of the body known as acupoints.  These acupoints are located just above energy pathways termed meridians. These are the vessels where vital energy called qi or chi flows throughout the body.  Imbalances in the body are believed to be the cause of chi blockage in or more of the meridians. Acupuncture is used to remove the blockages and allow chi to flow freely once more.

For hypertension, there are acupoints all over the body that might be used for treatment. TCM believes that hypertension is associated with rising of Liver Yang. The Liver in TCM refers to the liver organ system, not the organ itself thus it often capitalized. Imbalance in the Liver Yang is directly related to stress. Deficiency in the Kidney Yin is a condition also related to hypertension and is the result of an unhealthy lifestyle (lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking, etc.). Acupoints for treating hypertension are scattered all over the body although the ER Jain acupoint located on the apex of the ear and the SP10 point found above the knee are common acupoints for hypertension therapy. One other acupoint for HBP is the ST 44 acupoint located between the third and second toe.

How many acupuncture sessions does a patient need to be cured of high blood pressure?  Many patients with high blood pressure are required to go at least once a week for acupuncture treatment. Acupuncturists often use herbal medicine in conjunction with acupuncture to get quicker results.   Besides acupuncture, other oriental modalities are known to also help lower blood pressure. These modalities include Qi Gong and Tai Chi. Both of these exercises are very relaxing to the mind and body and have been to known to relieve stress in the body quickly. These are rhythmic slow exercises that can send the person to a state of quiet meditation thus helping remove stress and at the same time give the person a light cardio workout.

Traditional Chinese medicine like all other types of holistic medicine endeavors to address the underlying cause of the patient’s condition, not merely his symptoms. Stress is indeed the greatest factor for high blood pressure as it can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and poor food choices.  By integrating relaxing exercises like Tai Chi and Qi Gong and using herbs and acupuncture, hypertensive patients can gain control of their life and watch their BP decrease to normal levels.

Written by Valerie

May 25th, 2014 at 7:45 am

Posted in Acupuncture

Tagged with