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Y.C. Chan, OMD, Dipl Ac
Acupuncture For Hypertension
Acupuncture Clinic of Maryland

Acupuncture For Hypertension

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a painless medical condition, which can cause heart attack, stroke, and kidney damage. Many people do not realize that they have this problem until it is discovered during a physical examination or when symptoms occur.

Being overweight, drinking alcohol, eating high levels of salt, having high levels of stress, and old age, can all force the body to provide more oxygen through the blood stream to make sure all internal organs have adequate blood supply to perform their tasks in a timely manner. Every body cell needs oxygen.

Many drugs can reduce blood pressure. Basic drugs may cause impaired coordination, drowsiness, depression and other serious side effects. Also, many patients complain of an increased urinary output. However, patients should never discontinue taking prescribed medication without medical supervision.

Although high blood pressure is painless, when the condition gets worse, the following symptoms may occur sudden dizziness, flushed face, nervousness, shortness of breath, frequency of urination and decreased vision. Of course, each individual patient may have different symptoms.

Acupuncture treatment is effective for hypertension. There is extensive literature from Asian and Russian communities, that acupuncture does indeed lower blood pressure. Even in the U. S. there is evidence from many single cases reported by experienced practitioners, 10 different journals and conference documentation.

The most impressive study was performed by F.A. Flachskampf, M.D., a German physician. 160 patients participated with mild to moderate hypertension. They were randomized to receive either acupuncture or sham procedure. The sham acupuncture procedure consisted of identical acupuncture sessions, complete with needle insertions, but the acupuncture point selections were not the precise sites prescribed by the original acupuncture system. Both groups of patients received 30 minutes per session for 22 treatments within six weeks.

In the end of this study, the traditional acupuncture treatment group's improvement was significantly greater (-6 mm hg). The intervention group compared with the control group (1 mm hg). However, the hypertension in both groups returned to pre-treatment level within 12 weeks. Therefore, further treatment will be necessary.

It is understandable that hypertension can be based on a person's high level of stress. There is no current cure for hypertension. Acupuncture treatment can help control high blood pressure without side effects, but more studies are needed in the future.

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