Acupuncture for high blood pressure

At least 25% of the adult population in the UK have hypertension (i.e. a blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or more), and over half of those over the age of 60 years are affected. The prevalence is strongly influenced by age and lifestyle factors. Raised systolic pressure is the more dominant feature of hypertension in older patients, while raised diastolic pressure is more common in younger patients (i.e. those under 50 years of age). Lifestyle interventions to lower blood pressure include reducing salt, caffeine and alcohol intake, taking regular exercise, stopping smoking and relaxation therapies.

Acupuncture is a common approach to treating hypertension in modern China as part of an integrated treatment plan, and can be safely and effectively combined with lifestyle changes and conventional medicine. In addition to acupuncture, suggestions as to dietary and other lifestyle changes that may be beneficial are typically recommended; eating a healthy balanced diet, taking regular physical exercise, reducing stress and maintaining a healthy body weight can help to reduce blood pressure. Acupuncture can be a valuable part of an overall strategy to bring all aspects of long term care together.