Treating Hypertension with Acupuncture

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Treating Hypertension with AcupunctureHypertension, or high blood pressure, is often called America’s “silent killer.” With 1 in 3 Americans impacted by this disease, is it very likely that you or someone you know will be diagnosed with hypertension during your lifetime. Because hypertension leads to heart attacks and other life-threatening medical problems, it is crucial to educate yourself about your risk. Additionally, most people do not experience symptoms of hypertension until they are at risk for severe problems, such as stroke, heart failure, and blindness.

What causes high blood pressure?

  • Stress
  • Aging (those above 35 are at greater risk)
  • High salt intake
  • Being overweight and not exercising regularly
  • Overconsumption of alcohol and tobacco
  • Ethnicity (African Americans have a greater risk of diagnosis)

Based on the Chinese concept of Qi, or energy flow, acupuncture has many benefits related to stress reduction and wellbeing. It can also help decrease your risk for heart attacks and strokes.When utilized with other lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, acupuncture is a safe way of increasing your overall health and decreasing your blood pressure. Combined with Western medications, acupuncture is an ideal method to combat hypertension without fear of side effects or harmful interactions.

One type of acupuncture, known as electro-acupuncture, that uses electrical stimulation may be especially effective at lowering your blood pressure. Working with your acupuncturist, you will be able to modify your current lifestyle to reduce your risk. Regular acupuncture treatments, like regular exercise, improve your whole-body health.  This is especially important if you have already been diagnosed with hypertension, or experienced a heart attack. Your acupuncturist may also suggest the following techniques:

  • Daily exercise
  • Stress reduction techniques, including meditation, guided breathing exercises, or slow practices like Tai-Chi
  • Reducing the amount of salt and fat in your diet
  • Avoiding smoking, alcohol, and spicy foods

 

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