HYPERTENSION CASE STUDY: October 30th

Hypertension is one of the most common health conditions among American adults and is the leading risk for developing other cardiovascular disorders. While many people know that acupuncture is effective for treating orthopedic injuries it can be just as effective in the treatment and management of high blood pressure and the consequential cardiovascular disorders. Normal blood pressure reads less than 120/80, stage one hypertension is any reading over 130/80. Although hypertension can often be idiopathic, other diseases, lifestyle and diet (amongst other risk factors like smoking or family history) can increase the chances of developing high blood pressure.

If high blood pressure progresses it can begin to affect other organ systems such as the kidneys, heart, eyes and blood vessels. Atherosclerosis is commonly found in those with hypertension and can be responsible for coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke.

Currently initial treatment for blood pressure treatment is lifestyle modifications, but for those with hypertension due to non-modifiable sources this is not always enough. Pharmacological treatment of hypertension is also very common depending on the severity of hypertension. Currently medications such as ACE inhibitors, diuretics, Angiotensin II receptor blockers and calcium channel blockers are all regularly prescribed. These medications work through various pathways- some decrease the volume of water in the blood which in turn decreases blood pressure, others relax the blood vessels themselves, and dilate the vessels. Relying on these medications can always produce adverse effects such as hyperkalemia (excess potassium) , dizziness and headaches as well as fatigue.

Acupuncture can be incredibly helpful in the reduction of both diastolic and systolic blood pressure, even medication resistant hypertension. We have been able to reduce a patient with medication resistant hypertension’s diastolic blood pressure from 160 to 130 with regular treatments.

Another patient at East to West Wellness center has seen incredible regulation in their stubborn high blood pressure after just four sessions. The reason Acupuncture can be so effective in hypertension treatment is due to Acupuncture’s ability to regulate blood pressure naturally via the increased profusion of oxygenated blood. Acupuncture physically and chemically promotes relaxation of the intercalated discs of the cardiac muscles and dilation of blood vessels.

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