About 50 million Americans suffer from hypertension, or high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Conventional medications are expensive and may leave patients with unpleasant side effects, such as ankle swelling, fatigue, depression and sexual dysfunction. Acupuncture can improve the prospects of people with severe heart failure, research has shown.
Researchers found the ancient Chinese practice has the potential to dramatically reduce the pressure on the heart. This is because it can reduce activity in the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates involuntary movements such as heartbeat and blood pressure.
There is currently alot of research being done at Harvard, NIH (National Institutes of Health), and research hospitals on the use of acupuncture to treat hypertension or high blood pressure. The purpose of the research is to determine how effective acupuncture is for hypertension. There would be tremendous cost savings for prescription drugs and fewer drug side-effects and fatalities.
A randomized trial of acupuncture to lower blood pressure published by Circulation Journal in 2007 concluded, “Acupuncture according to traditional Chinese medicine, but not sham acupuncture, after 6 weeks of treatment significantly lowered mean 24-hour ambulatory blood pressures; the effect disappeared after cessation of acupuncture treatment.”
Source: Circulation. 2007 Jun 19;115(24):3121-9. Epub 2007 Jun 4.