06. June 2014 · Comments Off on Acupuncture for Low Blood Pressure · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags: ,

Low blood pressure or hypotension is not as common as its antithesis, high blood pressure, but it still affects a lot of people around the world especially if they are more than 45 years of age.

What is Hypotension?

Like high blood pressure or hypertension, hypotension can be determined using a sphygmomanometer. A normal blood pressure will read 90 to 140 mmHg in systolic pressure and 60 to 90 mmHg in the diastolic pressure. When you have low blood pressure your systolic pressure is below 90 mmHg and your diastolic reading will be lower than 60 mmHg. The question is can acupuncture be useful in treating hypotension?

Basically, hypotension can be classified into two types, the acute type and the chronic type. What exactly are the differences between acute hypotension and chronic hypotension? The only difference between these two types is in the symptoms they manifest. For people suffering from acute hypotension, symptom such as coma and/or shock can be experienced while for those with chronic hypotension giddiness, asthenia and dizziness can be experienced. Interestingly, however, some people with chronic hypotension can manifest no symptoms at all.

When a hypotension patient considers acupuncture, he/she should be aware that there are two acupuncture methods that can be utilized to address chronic hypotension. These two methods are non-electro acupuncture and auricular acupuncture.

The objective of non-electro acupuncture for the treatment of chronic hypotension is to increase the patient’s blood pressure to a normal level. To normalize the blood pressure, the acupuncturist can treat certain acupoints in the body. One such acupoint is called the DU 20 point which is called Bai Hui in Chinese. The practitioner can utilize the reinforcing method to increase chi into the Bai Hui point. The needle is left in that point for about 15 to 25 minutes in one session. A total of 10 sessions is the average treatment duration for chronic hypotension cases. When using electro-acupuncture, the acupuncturist should never use the DU 20 point especially if the patient has epilepsy.

In using auricular or ear acupuncture, the acupuncturist can utilize magnetic-press-seed in lieu of the acupuncture needles. The particular acupoint selected usually by acupuncturists for this type of acupuncture is the MA-PC acupoint known in Chinese as Xia Er Gen. For auricular acupuncture, the acupuncturist places and presses the magnetic-seed on the Xia Er Gen acupoints for about 2 or 3 times at intervals of 15 minutes. A treatment lasting about a month can provide the best results. The patient should not forget to change the plaster of the magnetic-press-seed after 4 days prevent the rise of infection.

 

Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.

12. October 2013 · Comments Off on Causes of Low Blood Pressure · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

The true cause of low blood pressure is not known; however, it can be connected to the following factors:

  • Liver disease
  • Heat stroke or heat exhaustion
  • Dilation or widening of the blood vessels
  • Irregular heart rhythms or arrhythmias
  • Heart failure
  • Certain drugs for Parkinson’s disease, depression or high blood pressure
  • Certain over-the-counter drugs
  • Hormonal conditions like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), diabetes or, hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid
  • Pregnancy

Blood pressure that suddenly drops can be potentially fatal. This kind of hypotension can involve:

  • Extreme allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis
  • Bodily response to alcohol or medication
  • Serious dehydration due to fever, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Serious infection of the blood called sepsis
  • Heart failure due to heart muscle disease
  • High body temperature
  • Low body temperature
  • Loss of blood due to hemorrhage

One type of low blood pressure called postural hypotension results when you suddenly stand up. This condition can be experienced by potentially anyone due to a number of reasons including extreme fatigue, lack of food or dehydration. Postural hypotension can also arise due to acute triggers like allergy and infection, psychological and dietary factors, medication, aging and your genetic make-up.

This type of hypotension comes about quite frequently among individuals who utilize hypertensive drugs to regulate their blood pressure. It can also arise due to diabetes, atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, strong emotions or pregnancy. Seniors are especially affected particularly those who suffer from problems in their autonomic nervous system or high blood pressure.

Postprandial hypotension (after-meal hypotension) can result in dizziness. It usually occurs after a person consumes large meals entailing huge amounts of carbohydrates. This condition is believed to be the result of blood pooling into the vessels of the intestines and stomach.

One of the side effects of certain medications is postural hypotension. These drugs can be categorized into two. These are:

  • Medicines that have hypotension as a side effect – These can include, tricyclic antidepressants, sedative-hypnotics, anti-anxiety drugs, neuroleptics, antipsychotics, meds for Parkinson’s disease and nitrates
  • Medicines for addressing high blood pressure – These can include ACE or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, calcium-channel blockers, beta-blockers and diuretics

Postural hypotension can also be caused by natural factors. These can include:

  • Problems in naturally regulating blood pressure due to aging that can be aggravated by medicines or certain health problems
  • Conditions like too much blood loss due to menstruation, vomiting or diarrhea that leads to electrolyte loss and dehydration

Specific diseases can likewise result in postural hypotension. They include:

  • Neural conditions – Autonomic or peripheral neuropathy
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Alcoholism
  • Nutritional diseases
  • Central nervous system dysfunctions – Multiple system atrophy or Shy-Drager syndrome

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