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.