The Historical Perspective:
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, in fact its origins have been traced back to a time before recorded documents were ever in existence. And its roots date back to a time in Chinese History (the period of Daoism) when the philosophers and spiritualists of that era spent time in meditation and in the observation of how energy flowed in the universe.
Over the centuries the theory and application of Acupuncture was advanced and refined, as texts were revised and new techniques were invented. By the 1950’s acupuncture had become officially established in China as a treatment modality in hospitals. The interest in acupuncture in the West did not fully take off until the second half of the 20th Century.
Today it is an accepted alternative treatment for a whole array of medical conditions, such as relieving migraines and helping back pain.
Can acupuncture help high blood pressure?
It wasn’t that long ago that Doctors and other experts in the Medical Field considered the use of Chinese medical treatments, such as acupuncture, as a form of “Voodoo” medicine. However, thankfully this is no longer the case, as research now shows that acupuncture can be very effective when it is used as a natural way to reduce blood pressure.
The theory behind Acupuncture is that the body parts are connected by a series of meridians, or invisible pathways. As it turns out these meridians run over major nerve pathways, so that when an acupuncture point is stimulated by a needle it sends a message to the brain. Some of these acupuncture points are specific to the regulation of the body’s cardiovascular system.
One study showed the powerful effect of stimulating a specific acupuncture point just above the spinal cord in the brain stem. An artificial adrenaline rush was produced in the study animals - something which naturally would cause a increase in heartbeat and a spike in blood pressure. However, due to the specific acupuncture point stimulation, the heart rate remained normal and blood pressure stable.
Points to consider:
Experts agree that continued research into this area is needed, especially in the field of EA - ElectroAcupuncture - where low current, low frequency electrical stimulation of the acupuncture needles is used. However, for now the current literature does support the following points about the effectiveness of acupuncture when looking for natural ways to lower blood pressure:
- It does help in the struggle against high blood pressure
- When combined with medications, it provides a synergistic effect to control blood pressure
- It can reduce some of the side effects of the medications
- It has the ability to protect against body tissue damage caused by hypertension
These are some very good reasons in themselves for giving acupuncture a try!!
Have you had any success using acupuncture to help manage your blood pressure? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments section below.