Hypertension and Acupuncture

Posted July 17, 2007 by Acupuncture & Massage College & filed under Acupuncture and Massage College


Hypertension (high blood pressure) may have no known cause (essential/primary hypertension) or be associated with other diseases (secondary hypertension). Essential hypertension (more than 90% of cases) is likely due to a combination of factors including: Smoking, high cholesterol, high sodium diet, stress, and obesity. Secondary hypertension is commonly associated with kidney and endocrine disorders. Symptoms manifest when the condition is severe and may include: Fatigue, headache, chest pain, nausea, and excessive perspiration.

The allopathic treatment regimen of lifestyle modification, diet and blood pressure medication lower risk for associated complications (heart disease, kidney damage, stroke, and blindness). Pharmaceutical anti-hypertensive drugs often have side effects.

TCM differentiates multiple syndrome patterns that lead to hypertension. Often imbalances manifest as insufficiency/excess of liver and/or kidney yin and yang but may also indicate heart and digestive system dysfunction. Treatment supplements insufficiencies and reduces excesses through acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine without side effects, regulates the whole body and lowers blood pressure.

Acupuncture is an effective complementary modality for essential hypertension for both prevention and treatment. Anti-hypertensive effects of acupuncture are best for treatment of mild or first stage hypertension. Acupuncture works through regulation of the nervous system and endocrine system. Therapy activates central endorphin pathways that elicit decreases in sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) and blood pressure. Acupuncture is especially suitable for hypertensive individuals with existing liver or kidney complications that have low tolerance for anti-hypertensive medication.

Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Only a quarter of adults receive adequate hypertension treatment and close to 70 percent are unaware that they are hypertensive. For more information on acupuncture for the treatment of hypertension contact Dr. Richard Browne at (305) 595-9500.

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