Hypertension is simply high blood pressure. The diagnosis becomes applicable when a blood pressure reading is 140/90 or higher. It is considered to be severe when it is greater than 180/120. Although hypertension can often have no symptoms, if untreated, it can lead to serious health conditions such as heart attack and stroke.
Researchers from the University of California School of Medicine in Irvine conducted a clinical trial in which they used acupuncture to treat hypertension. The treatment protocol used electro-acupuncture. It was administered for 30 minutes once a week for eight weeks. Electo-acupuncture involves running a mild electrical current between two acupuncture needles whilst they remain in situ
The key findings of the clinical trial are as follows:
- Acupuncture may be effective in treating hypertension;
- Improved blood pressure was observable after the second treatment;
- The benefit of the eight treatments lasted for a further four to six weeks (even though the treatment was no longer being received);
- The reduction in blood pressure is attributable to the use of specific acupuncture points;
- The most suitable protocols for treating hypertension using acupuncture have been identified;
- The acupuncture treatment was found to have a long-lasting benefit;
- Singular monthly acupuncture treatments could help maintain healthy blood pressure for a period of at least six months after the treatment protocol.
Reference: Tjen, A.L. & Stephanie, C. Reduction of Blood Pressure by Electro Acupuncture in Mild to Moderate Hypertension Patients: Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Intensive and Critical Care. 3(1), 2017:2. p.1.