Harbour City Healers
Acupuncture and Hypertension
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects more than one in three Americans, but most people may not even know they have it. Since hypertension can lead to heart attacks and other life-threatening health problems, it’s very important to learn all you can and take action to lower your risk.
Acupuncture and TCM offer a safe, natural and pain-free ways to keep your blood pressure in check.
What is hypertension?
Blood pressure is the actual force of blood pressing against your artery walls. Getting your blood pressure tested is a quick, simple process. It’s measured in two numbers: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Blood pressure is considered high if your systolic pressure is at or above 140 mm Hg, and/or your diastolic pressure is at or above 90 mm Hg.
1) Effective self-care techniques to lower blood pressure:
2) Get daily aerobic exercise
3) Meditate or relax to reduce stress
4) Practice slow, deep breathing
5) Get plenty of rest
6) Reduce salts and fats in your diet
7) Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
8) Avoid smoking, alcohol, and coffee
Often called “the silent killer,” hypertension doesn’t usually cause symptoms until it gets severe enough to lead to major health problems such as heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and metabolic disorders. It has also been linked to dementia and cognitive impairment.
What causes hypertension?
More than 90 percent of cases of high blood pressure are known as “essential hypertension” and have no identifiable cause. “Secondary hypertension,” on the other hand, is caused by underlying conditions such as kidney disease or certain medications.
The risk factors for essential hypertension include age (the risk is higher after age 35), race (African Americans are at higher risk), and a family history of the condition. While you can’t control those factors, there are many you can control, including:
Being overweight, being stressed, consuming too much salt, drinking heavily, not exercising, using tobacco
How can acupuncture and TCM help?
Fortunately, there are many ways to lower your blood pressure. Typical Western treatments includes controlling your risk factors and taking medication if needed. By incorporating acupuncture and TCM into your treatment plan, you can treat your hypertension and improve your overall health and well-being in other, complementary ways.
Acupuncture and TCM practitioners take a holistic, or “whole body,” approach for the treatment of hypertension, and take into account inharmonious conditions of the whole system that can involve the function of the liver, kidneys, digestive system and heart.
Treatment is based upon the concept of Qi, the vital energy that flows through pathways called meridians, providing nourishment for all of the body’s organs and protecting it from illness. When the flow of Qi becomes diminished or blocked, disease and illness result.
The goal of treatment is to find and address the underlying imbalance(s) affecting the flow of Qi, leading to the elevated blood pressure and various symptoms. By addressing the root cause(s) of your high blood pressure, TCM can help your body regain its natural balance. In doing so, you’ll also be strengthening your health and reducing the risk of future health conditions.
Acupuncture and TCM have proven effective against a wide variety of health concerns. Studies have found that a special form fo acupuncture called electro-acupuncture, which uses electrical stimulation, may be particularly helpful in lowering blood pressure. By working together with your practitioner, you’ll be on your way health, for today and the days ahead. In addition to healthy eating and regular exercise, consistent acupuncture treatments should be considered for the greatest long-term results.
High blood pressure. American heart association. March 20 2008. http://americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=2114
High blood pressure. Mayoclinic.com. june 5, 2007. http://mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/DS00100/DSECTION=1
Hypertension. Acupuncture.com. accessed april 20 2008. http://acupuncture.com/conditions/hypertenc.htm
Williams t; Mueller k; cornwall MW. Effect of acupuncture-point stimulation on diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive subjects. Physical therapy. 1991 july, 71(7):523-9.
Wood, Shelley. Blood pressure changes with acupuncture comparable to those with ACE inhibitor monotherapy. Medscape, medical news. 2007, june, 15.
2012 Acupuncture Media Works - www.acupuncturemediaworks.com
Harbour City Healers
Sheena Villeneuve R.Ac. : 250-667-8242
Acupuncture in Nanaimo, BC