Hypertension (HTN) and High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure (A.K.A. Hypertension) can be effectively managed with a array or Eastern and Western treatments. Western medications can provide effective treatment, however, they may have unwanted side effects. In response to this risk, many people choose to address Hypertension with alternative treatments such as acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. In addition, there are a host of natural methods such as dietary therapy and relaxation techniques, which can help to decrease blood pressure naturally. Acupuncture, done alone or in conjunction with other methods is one of the most effective alternative methods for descending high blood pressure and can be done safely and comfortably with as little as one treatment a week. Results are generally seen within the first 1-3 weeks and progress continues until the body is restored to a balanced state.
How is acupuncture clinically effective in lowering blood pressure?
Multiple studies show that, acupuncture decreases blood pressure by balancing the adrenaline-angiotensin system. The effectiveness of acupuncture is also related to beta acceptor blocking of the sympathetic nervous system (much like beta-blockers in Western medications). For hypertension, acupuncture is often combined with electric stimulation, using a method called electro-acupuncture. In the electro-acupuncture method, low-frequency currents are passed through standard acupuncture needles to improve the outcome of treatment. In addition, acupuncture is also a powerful tool to calm the nervous system and reduce stress. Via this mechanism, acupuncture treatment provides this relaxing effect which will help control blood pressure. Thus, acupuncture is a safe and effective method to reduce hypertension and its related symptoms, thereby preventing any potentially dangerous complications.
To best treat high blood pressure, a dual combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine is usually recommended. Some common herbs used include Tian Ma (Gastrodia Rhizome) and Xia Ku Cao (Prunella), but these herbs are best used in a formula that is carefully fit to the individual’s specific constitution.
A basic treatment plan for Hypertension consists of:
1.) An extensive consultation on the first visit. Follow-up includes specific feedback and advice on diet, supplements and lifestyle factors.
2.) A custom herbal (powder) formula, taken 3 times a day for the first month. A custom formula will be created based on specific constitutional factors. This condition has different presentations clinically, so an herbal formula would need to be customized based on your “pattern” in Chinese Medicine.
3.) Acupuncture treatments, given 1 time each week for the first month. After the first month, acupuncture treatments will be scheduled every other week for 4 sessions.
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