ELECTROACUPUNCTURE LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
Electroacupuncture can lower blood pressure elevations by as much as 50 percent, according to a UC Irvine study. Researchers at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine found that electroacupuncture using low electronic frequencies administered in 30-minute treatments reduced blood pressure rates in conditions that raise blood pressure during hypertensive states.
The study findings indicated that electroacupuncture could become part of a therapeutic long-term health care regimen for hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions. “This study suggests that acupuncture can be an excellent complement to other medical treatments, especially those for treating the cardiac system,” said John Longhurst, Ph.D., director of the Samueli Center and lead author. “The Western world is waiting for a clear scientific basis for using acupuncture, and we hope that this research will lead to the integration of ancient healing practices into modern medical treatment.”
The researchers found that electroacupuncture applied to specific wrist, inner forearm and leg acupoints triggered release of brain opioid chemicals that reduced excitatory cardiovascular system responses. Electroacupuncture to these specific sites resulted in heart activity/oxygen intake decrease and lowered blood pressure. The researchers concluded electroacupuncture could be beneficial for various cardiac ailments.
Electroacupuncture applied in high frequencies had no effect on blood pressure levels. Low frequencies lowered blood pressure but did not bring it to normal levels.
“This type of electroacupuncture is only effective on elevated blood pressure levels, such as those present in hypertension, and the treatment has no impact on standing blood pressure rates,” said Longhurst. “Our goal is to help establish a standard of acupuncture treatment that can benefit everyone who has hypertension and other cardiac ailments.” The Center specializes in CAM wellness and prevention research and education. The study appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology.
For more information about acupuncture for treatment of hypertension, myocardial ischemia (irregular blood flow to the heart) and other cardiac health conditions contact Dr. Richard Browne at (305) 595-9500.
"Written by Rev. Dr. Richard Browne