According to the American Heart Association 1 out 3 or 77.9 million adults have elevated blood pressure. Further information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007 – 2010 shows that nearly 50 percent of these individuals don’t have their high blood pressure in check. A individual is considered to have high blood pressure if their reading is 140/90 (systolic/diastolic) or over.
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Men have a higher percentage rate than girls up to age 45, between 45 and 64 the prices are similar, and over age 64 women generally have a higher percentage rate. Additionally, there are some racial/ethnic variances in prevalence with non-Hispanic blacks with the maximum percentage (42.6percent for men and 47 percent for girls ), non-Hispanic whites (33.4percent and 30.7%), and Mexican Americans (30.1percent and 28.8percent ). In another report 1 from 3 American adults are pre-hypertensive, or with higher than normal blood pressure ranges which aren’t quite in the high selection.
What Causes High Blood Pressure? Aside from the clearest evaluation, a blood pressure reading, we enjoy our patients to have blood work done, in addition to, an adrenal stress index evaluation (ASI evaluation ), which appears at cortisol and DHEA levels. Both of these hormones are produced in the adrenal glands in response to stress, in other words, the fight or flight reaction; and are sensitive to imbalances in the endocrine system, the thyroid gland particularly. These tests enable us to look at all the possible things which can play a part in the progression of hypertension, a lot of which are commonly occurring and may be averted; but are often overlooked.
Acupuncture modulates blood pressure by exploiting a intricate system called the neuroendocrine system, which is made up of the endocrine system (primarily the hypothalamus, pituitary, and thyroid / adrenals), and the complex working relationship it has with the nervous system. The endocrine system regulates metabolism and hormones. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is split into two arms, a sympathetic branch (flight or fight ), which plays a part in helping regulate the vascular tone and blood circulation of the heart; and a parasympathetic branch (rest and digest), that regulates body processes like blood pressure and breathing.
Central nervous system
The central nervous system (CNS) is a two – way communication system comprising the brain and spinal cord, which processes all of the data from the body and outside stimuli. Information is collected from the nervous system, relayed through the spinal cord to the brain, and the mind sends signals to your system via exactly the exact same mechanism. Concerning research, there is a continuous accumulation of information on the regulatory impact of acupuncture on the endocrine system, and how it is able to restore equilibrium to hormone levels. This includes studies on thyroid hormones, corticosteroids, and reproductive hormones.
Modern research has also confirmed the effects of acupuncture on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in a vast variety of research on (ANS) ailments such as: anxiety, sleeplessness, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), cardiovascular disease, and epilepsy. Over the past decade, there has been a growth in neuroimaging research on the effects of acupuncture on brain facilities because of improvements in imaging technologies. In 1 study, electroacupuncture was used to trigger certain areas of the brain eliciting a hypotensive effect through the (CNS).
Recent investigations have indicated that one of the significant contributors to high blood pressure is an overactive sympathetic nervous system (SNS). When the (SNS) becomes over-stimulated or dominant, it can lead to vasoconstriction of the arteries in the center; thereby causing a hypertensive state. The most recent studies show that among the mechanisms by which acupuncture reduces blood pressure is by down-regulating the (SNS). One such study found that electroacupuncture activates neurons in the brain, which inhibits (SNS) activity by stimulating the opioid system (endorphins, enkephalins) and nociceptin.
Endogenous opioids regulate the baroreflex control system, which is a feedback loop involving the heart, brain, spinal cord (CNS), (SNS) and the (PNS.) When the (PNS) is stimulated in this feedback loop, it inhibits sympathetic nerve activity, and consequently lowers the blood pressure. There also have been studies showing that acupuncture outperforms Captopril, a commonly prescribed angiotensin – converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE – inhibitor) for high blood pressure. One of those studies which compared electroacupuncture to Captopril reasoned that electroacupuncture was significantly more successful than the Western medicine at controlling blood pressure.
Good to know
A German research comparing true acupuncture to antihypertensive drugs concluded that blood pressure reductions with acupuncture are similar to monotherapies with ACE – inhibitors. When treating hypertension, we pick a particular mixture of acupoints, which vary depending on the specific clinical presentation of hypertension and some other underlying causes. We have many choices to pick from on either side or rear side of the body, distal points on the extremities, in addition to, points on the ears. When we choose back points, some of which are known as back shu points or points which are organ specific, in this case Heart particular, we often select Jueyinshu – BL 14 or Xinshu – BL15. Both of these points are specific for the pericardium and the heart.
Is this by coincidence? Not too much, because they’re found in the upper thoracic area at the level of T4 and T5 spinal vertebrae; that innervate the heart through sympathetic nerves. Eastern medicine is a dynamic system of medicine, including numerous forms and variants of remedies that the practitioner can select from.
Because of this, treatment protocols for blood pressure will change from one practitioner to another depending on the illness presentation, and the style and perspective of the practitioner. Generally , herbal treatment takes precedence in most treatment plans and acupuncture is used as an adjunct. This is because herbs operate at a deeper level and keep the treatment while the patient is in the home, while acupuncture works in a more superficial level. Together they formulate a cohesive treatment plan which is extremely effective at treating the origin of disease.