One of the most widespread health problems for a lot of people around the world these days is hypotension or low blood pressure. This condition especially affects individuals 45 years of age and older.
What is Hypotension?
Hypertension and hypotension are two sides of the same coin and they both involve blood pressure; the former is a condition in which the heart exerts too much pressure to pump out blood throughout the body while the latter is an issue in which the heart is not able to exert enough pressure to pump the right amount of blood to circulate all over the body. A healthy blood pressure reading for adults is around 90 to 140 mm of mercury (systolic pressure) and 60 to 90 mm (diastolic). In a hypotensive condition, the systolic pressure may read <90 mm mercury (systolic) and <60 mm mercury (diastolic).
Can Acupuncture Address Hypotension?
There are two forms of hypotension: chronic hypotension and acute hypotension. This article will talk about chronic hypotension and how acupuncture is able to resolve it. But before we move forward, we need to distinguish the difference between chronic hypotension and acute hypotension. The difference between these two is nowhere more evident than in the symptoms they present. In chronic hypotension, no symptoms may almost manifest; in acute hypotension, however, the symptoms of giddiness, asthenia and dizziness is evident.
In curing chronic hypotension, acupuncturists may use any of two acupuncture methods: non-electro acupuncture or auricular acupuncture.
The aim of the non-electro acupuncture treatment for chronic hypotension is to regulate blood pressure. Important acupoints that include the DU 20 or Bai Hui point is pierced with a needle to boost the flow of Qi. The duration of the treatment may last for 15 to 25 minutes per session. The number of sessions may total 10 for hypotensive cases. When the DU 20 point is treated, electro-acupuncture is not recommended particularly if the patient has epilepsy.
In auricular acupuncture treatment the acupuoint normally selected for treatment is the MA-PS point or Hsia Er gen. Magnetic seeds are attached to the MA-PS point twice or thrice for 15 minutes each session. Acupuncturists recommend this therapy once each month for their patient. You need to replace the plaster of these seeds every four days to avoid infection.
These are the two approaches acupuncturists normally use to help you overcome hypotension.
Dr. Jeda Boughton is a licensed acupuncture physician and the medical director of BodaHealth in Vancouver, BC.