Hypertension (high blood pressure), refers to elevated systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure. Hypertension is also known as “the silent killer” because it often progresses without symptoms and leads to disabling or fatal heart disease, stroke, or renal failure. This condition affects over 35 million people in the United States.
Diets high in animal fat and sodium, lifestyle habits such as chronic stress, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, excessive weight or body mass, and advanced age, are factors commonly associated with this condition. Damage to the kidneys or endocrine dysfunction can also cause the blood pressure to rise.
If patients have mild hypertension and no heart problems, acupuncture combined with diet and lifestyle changes including weight loss, restricted intake of sodium, exercise, and relaxation, may be enough to treat this condition.
For more severe hypertension or for mild hypertension that does not respond to lifestyle modifications within a year, drug treatment is usually considered necessary. Unfortunately, there can be significant side effects to some medications especially when taken over a sustained period of time.
Acupuncture can lower high blood pressure and help with relaxation to promote better health. When used as an early intervention, acupuncture may prevent a more serious progression of this condition. When used in conjunction with Chinese herbal treatments or blood pressure medications, acupuncture may help reduce the need for higher doses of medication. It is also useful to treat the side effects caused by high blood pressure or blood pressure medications.
Because of the complexity and pervasiveness of this condition, it is essential to have a conversation with your acupuncturist and your doctor to determine how acupuncture can best support your treatment plan.
Don’t let high blood pressure go untreated. Make an appointment to discuss your personal health and treatment options today.
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Workshops and Lectures Natalie Miner, L.Ac., C.SMA, offers a variety of presentations for your association, organization, office, or company. She presents free 45-minute keynotes on the following topics: Eastern and Western Medicines — alternative or integrative? How to … [continue reading]