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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Acupuncture Lowers High Blood Pressure

Acupuncture helps lower elevated blood pressure, according to new research. A University of California, Irvine study found that electro acupuncture treatments lowered high blood pressure in rats by as much as 50 percent. Though few studies on the efficacy of acupuncture to treat blood pressure have been conducted, the latest research shows promise.
This suggests that acupuncture can be an excellent complement to other medical treatments, said Dr Longhurst, the study's lead researcher. Especially for those treating the cardiac system.
These studies suggest that acupuncture triggers the release of chemicals in the brain that dampen the response of the cardiovascular system. This decreases the heart's activity and need for oxygen, which as a result could lower blood pressure. Therefore, acupuncture could promote healing for a number of heart conditions including heart attacks and hypertension.
Electroacupuncture, like that used in the study, is small, low frequency electrical currents that are passed through normal acupuncture needles. The same points are stimulated as with traditional acupuncture. Needles are inserted on specific points along the body and then attached to a device that generates continuous, small electric pulses. The device adjusts the frequency and intensity of the impulse being delivered, depending on the condition being treated. Electroacupuncture employs two needles at once so that the impulses can pass from one needle to the other. Several pairs of needles can be stimulated simultaneously, usually for no more than 30 minutes at a time.
This type of electroacupuncture is only effective on elevated blood pressure levels, such as those present in hypertension, and the treatment has no impact on standing blood pressure rates, Longhurst said. Our goal is to help establish a standard of acupuncture treatment that can benefit everyone who has hypertension and other cardiac ailments.
The National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization have cited acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as an effective means of treatment. Over 15 million acupuncture treatments are performed safely each year, and nearly half of the American population spends $27 billion annually on complementary therapies of this sort. Acupuncture therapy is beneficial for problems such as: pain, arthritis, asthma, upper respiratory conditions, digestive and urinary disorders, insomnia, depression, post-stroke paralysis, addictions and more. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are becoming more popular as patients in increasing numbers are discovering the benefits of Oriental medicine as their primary health care therapy.

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