A Drug-Free Method to Manage High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure has become a common condition among the American public. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 75 million adults in the United States have high blood pressure, known as hypertension. This equates to about 1 in every 3 people. And while it may no longer be perceived as “that” serious a condition due to its commonality, it is the main culprit in the cause of heart disease and stroke.
The underlying cause of hypertension can be stem from a plethora of biological or behavioral factors. The most common seem to be high stress levels, lack of exercise, and obesity; however, genetics have also been linked to the development of the condition. Treatment usually incorporate a combination of lifestyle changes and medications, although recent studies have suggested that along with lifestyle changes (such an increased exercise and better eating habits), acupuncture can help to manage the condition as well.
In the Journal of the American Heart Association, one study evaluated over 100 outpatients were subjected to a 6-week trial of active acupuncture or sham acupuncture. At the conclusion of the study, it was observed that those who had received active acupuncture had a significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings versus those who has received sham acupuncture treatments. No serious side effects were encountered.
In another study, chronicled by Integrative Practitioner, researchers at the Jiaozuo Tongren Hospital in China evaluated 51 patients who were randomly assigned to receive acupuncture or drug therapy. The results of the study indicated that acupuncture was as effective as drug therapy in lowering systolic and diastolic pressures. Again, the major advantage observed with acupunctures was the lack of side effects, which have been associated with the use of hypertensive medications. Similar results were also noted in related studies in an academic setting.
A plan for successfully manage any chronic health condition should have a multi-faceted approach. When combined with an exercise routine and a diet that consists of low-fat foods and nutrient rich fruits and vegetables, regular acupuncture treatments might be the key in helping those afflicted by high blood pressure stay healthier so that they may live longer, more vital lives.
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