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What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture for Hypertension?

By C.B. Fox
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are a number of potential benefits of acupuncture for hypertension. Initial studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce blood pressure by a small amount on its own, making it possible to use this treatment along with other treatments to effectively lower blood pressure. There are no side effects associated with acupuncture, and it does not interact with other treatments in the way that many medications do. Patients with severe hypertension should not, however, rely solely on acupuncture and should discuss the use of this treatment with a physician.

Patients who use acupuncture for hypertension may experience a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Though the effectiveness of acupuncture for hypertension has shown inconclusive results in medical trials, some patients may experience a drop in blood pressure. It is not likely that acupuncture will lower a patient's blood pressure more than a few points, but this decrease may accumulate with the decrease caused by other treatments.

Another potential benefit of the use of acupuncture for hypertension is that it can improve a patient's mood and lower stress. Acupuncturists focus on the whole patient and attempt to balance any disharmonies, including high blood pressure, in the patient's body and mind. This focus on the whole person may be helpful for many patients and may lead to increased energy, happiness, and balance in life. Though these effects may be imagined, the decrease in stress caused by placebo effect is still real and can, in and of itself, reduce blood pressure.

Many patients with hypertension are prescribed medications to help lower blood pressure. These medications can have serious side effects and can interfere with a patient's normal life, especially while the patient's body is becoming accustomed to the medication. The use of acupuncture for hypertension produces no side effects and does not interfere with medications a patient may be taking. Patients can safely use this treatment, along with other stress-reducing techniques, along with changes in diet and lifestyle to significantly lower blood pressure.

A patient who is considering using acupuncture for hypertension should consult with a physician or naturopathic medical doctor. Some cases of hypertension require the use of medication to be kept in check, and as hypertension is a life threatening condition, patients should use treatments that have been proven to be effective. In some cases, however, such as a diagnosis of borderline hypertension or prehypertension, a doctor may agree that trying acupuncture out for a time will cause no harm to the patient.

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Discussion Comments

By manykitties2 — On Jan 05, 2012

One of the things I like about acupuncture for hypertension is that it does wonders for your stress levels. A lot of oriental medicine is focused on reducing stress in the body and acupuncture helps lower blood pressure by helping the body to really relax.

I have found that between yoga, meditation and acupuncture I have been able to reduce my blood pressure levels significantly. I am not quite at the point yet where I can go off of traditional medicine but I have had my dosage reduced. My doctor was quite impressed with the results a bit of stress management has been giving me.

By Sara007 — On Jan 05, 2012

@popcorn - My husband recently tried acupuncture for hypertension after his doctor recommended some alternative treatments to him. He has had high blood pressure for awhile now and is really set on trying to repair some of the damage done to his body.

From what my husband tells me acupuncture is painless and his blood pressure has lowered a little bit. I suppose the jury remains out though on whether or not it is the meditative properties of acupuncture that help lower your blood pressure, or the actual treatment in and of itself. I think you should give it a go if you have a good acupuncturist in your city.

By popcorn — On Jan 04, 2012

My doctor recently diagnosed me with hypertension and I have been struggling to find ways to lower my blood pressure naturally so I can get off the diuretics I was prescribed. I hate the idea of having to rely on drugs so that I can get through my day.

Does anyone have any experience with using acupuncture to lower blood pressure? Did you find the procedure painful at all?

I have always been scared of needles but I am willing to try something new if it actually helps my situation. Right now I am making dietary changes and trying to get some exercise in, so I would like to do something to compliment these actions.

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