High Blood Pressure Bringing You Down?

hbpHigh blood pressure, or hypertension, is a chronic condition in which the blood pressure against your artery walls is elevated which puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. It is the leading cause of death worldwide and 1 of every 3 Americans has high blood pressure. High blood pressure is not an easy condition to treat; almost half (47.5%) of all hypertensive people do not have their high blood pressure under control.

Blood pressure measures systolic and diastolic pressures.  Normal blood pressure ranges from 100-140 mmHg systolic (top reading) and 60-90 mmHg diastolic (bottom reading). Blood pressure is considered high at 140/90 mmHg or above. Many people have high blood pressure but do not know it, which is why regular blood pressure checks are encouraged.

Points for Prevention:

  • Lose weight and maintain normal body weight for adults
  • Limit salt to <6 g of sodium chloride or <2.4 g of sodium per day
  • Regular physical activity such as brisk walking (≥30 min per day, most days of the week)
  • Limit alcohol to no more than 3 day in men and no more than 2 day in women
  • Five servings of fruit and vegetables daily

Acupuncture & Hypertension

Clinical research evaluating acupuncture’s effect on hypertension is abundant; over 100 peer-reviewed research articles have been published in the last decade.  We highlight two more recent publications.

From Kim, Leo-Wi; Zhu, Jiang. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 16. 2 (Mar/Apr 2010): 18-29.

A meta-analysis : “Acupuncture arms achieved significant effect modification on blood pressure compared with control arms (19 comparisons: systolic blood pressure [SBP]: mean difference -4.23 mmHg, 95% confidence intervals -6.47 to -1.99; diastolic blood pressure [DBP]: -2.53, -3.99 to -1.08), with significant heterogeneity. In high-quality trials, blood pressure was significantly lower in treatments of acupuncture plus antihypertensive drug arms than in sham-acupuncture plus hypertensive drug arms (two comparisons: SBP: -5.72 mmHg, -8.77 to -2.68; DBP: -2.80, -5.07 to -0.54), with no significant heterogeneity. As for trials using prescription adhering to the principles of syndrome differentiation, we found a significant blood pressure reduction with acupuncture arms in comparison with control arms (11 comparisons: SBP: -6.46 mmHg, -8.04 to -4.87; DBP: -3.07, -4.17 to -1.96) with no significant heterogeneity. In contrast, in trials not using prescription adhering to the principles of syndrome differentiation, we found no significant reduction in blood pressure with acupuncture arms in comparison with control arms (eight comparisons: SBP: -1.55 mmHg, -5.39 to 2.29; DBP: -2.12, -4.97 to 0.73) with significant heterogeneity. Because of the paucity of rigorous trials and the mixed results, these findings result in limited conclusions. More rigorously designed and powered studies are needed.”

From:  Jung-Mi Park et al. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. August 2010, 16(8): 883-888. doi:10.1089/acm.2009.0427.

“Objectives: The objective of the study was to test whether acupuncture improves endothelial dysfunction in patients with hypertension and compare the effects of different acupoints to find out which one is the most suitable for the long-term follow-up study.

Design: This study is a pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial. Subjects were randomly assigned to a sequence of four acupuncture treatment phases, each for 15 minutes with a 7-day washout period in between. Acupuncture needles were inserted at bilateral ST 36; PC 6; ST 36 plus PC 6; and placebo points.

Subjects: Fifteen (15) patients with essential hypertension were the subjects.

Outcome measures: Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and blood pressure were assessed before and after acupuncture treatment.

Results: FMD significantly improved with the acupuncture treatment at ST 36 (0.266 ± 0.078 mm to 0.306 ± 0.077 mm, p = 0.003) and ST 36 plus PC 6 (0.284 ± 0.098 mm to 0.332 ± 0.103 mm, p < 0.001). In contrast, FMD was unchanged after the acupuncture treatment at PC 6 or the placebo treatment. The FMD response to the acupuncture treatment at ST 36 plus PC 6 was significantly different from the response to the acupuncture treatment at PC 6 and the placebo treatment (p < 0.05, p < 0.01, respectively). The acupuncture treatment at ST 36 significantly increased FMD compared to the placebo treatment (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the acute treatment of acupuncture in hypertensive patients improves endothelial dysfunction. The beneficial effect of acupuncture could be of clinical importance to prevent the progression of cardiovascular diseases in hypertensive patients. However, the potential role of acupuncture treatment for long-term therapy has not been examined. Further studies will be necessary to demonstrate whether long-term acupuncture treatment can sustain the improvement in endothelial dysfunction.”

At Wildwood Acupuncture Center–we are a family owned medically based clinic who will work in collaboration with other treatments you are receiving to enhance your treatment results.

Call us today to schedule a consultation: 301-530-5308