If you suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension) and related health complications, know that you’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 75 million American adults (or 29% of the adult population) have chronically high blood pressure. Though there are prescription medications that help, many have unpleasant side effects. Furthermore, many chronic health risks go hand in hand with hypertension, including coronary artery disease, heart attack, and diabetes. Clearly, there are many reasons to address high blood pressure as soon as it appears!
Fortunately, hypertension can be prevented and controlled with lifestyle changes and natural treatment. Recent studies show that acupuncture can be as, if not more, effective in controlling high blood pressure levels than relying on prescription drugs alone. Moreover, acupuncture and wellness methods have holistic benefits beyond regulating blood pressure, so that you feel better overall.
Is your blood pressure a little high, so that you would like to prevent the need for medication? Or, are you already on medication and would like to keep things from getting worse? Either way, read on to understand your options.
High Blood Pressure Drug Treatment
The most commonly prescribed medications for hypertension are diuretics, calcium channel blockers (e.g., nifedipine), beta blockers and ACE inhibitors. Unfortunately, most people taking this drug need to do so for the duration of their lives if they don’t make significant changes in their lifestyle behaviors. Many of these medications can have unpleasant side effects, including cough, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, erection problems, nervousness, headache, rashes.
Combining Drug Treatment & Acupuncture for High Blood Pressure
As acupuncture and wellness have become more mainstream, researchers are getting onboard and publishing promising studies outlining their effectiveness. ABC News recently reported on an ongoing clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital that shows encouraging results, “There’s evidence from our laboratory and many other laboratories to suggest that the cells quiet down after acupuncture,” according to Dr. John Longhurst, professor of medicine at the University of California, Irvine. When the cells “quiet down,” that means blood vessels relax and blood pressure lowers.
Another recent study focused on acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy for patients already taking medication for high blood pressure. The study concluded, “…on patients currently using antihypertensive medication, acupuncture facilitated a significant reduction in blood pressure and reduced the patients’ complaints. We, therefore, conclude that our data strongly suggest that acupuncture should be in the hypertension treatment guidelines and widely used for blood pressure regulation.”
Efficacy of Chinese Herbal Medicine & Natural Wellness Remedies
Chinese herbal medicine has been used traditionally in Asia for centuries to treat cardiovascular conditions including high blood pressure. Although modern clinical trials on herbal formulas are scarce, centuries of traditional use, case studies, and clinical experience support the efficacy of herbal medicine. An added benefit is that Chinese herbal formulas rarely have side effects.
From Dr. Elizabeth Zenger, Ph.D., L.Ac’s clinical experience, lifestyle adjustments paired with Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can produce long-lasting relief from hypertension and may prevent a prehypertensive patient from developing high blood pressure. Personal wellness habits, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating nutrient dense whole foods, reducing stress levels and exercising daily, are always first-line for treatment and prevention.
Results That Work for High Blood Pressure & More
Five Element acupuncture is holistic and hypertension is treated as part of the larger picture of body/mind health. There are always additional global health benefits to acupuncture treatment, such as calmative (relieves anxiety and stress, sets the nervous system back to rest-and-digest), energizing (less fatigue), immune regulation (helps reduce allergies, increase resistance to illness), reduction of pain and chronic inflammation, and improving digestion.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Inner Works Acupuncture provides comprehensive wellness treatments with no adverse side effects. To learn more about managing your blood pressure and other health conditions, please give our Portland clinic a call at (503) 227-2127 to schedule an appointment.