Acupuncture for High Blood Pressure.
High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease has become the most important preventable risk factor for premature deaths worldwide.
It increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Cardiovascular symptoms can include high, low or unstable blood pressure, dizziness and vertigo, irregular heartbeat, palpitations, chest pain (angina) or tightness and shortness of breath. More than 90% of high blood pressure cases are categorised as "primary hypertension" which means there is no clear diagnosable cause according to western medicine.
What Does The Research Say?
The following insights are obtained from systematic reviews and analysis of clinical trials investigating the efficacy of acupuncture for high blood pressure.
2020 Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
This study showed that the intervention time was concentrated at 4â€“8 weeks, mainly through Chinese herbal medicine for the prevention and treatment of elderly hypertension and the complications.
We systematically retrieved and summarised clinical studies on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for the prevention and treatment of essential hypertension (EH) using the evidence map. We aimed to explore the evidence distribution, identify gaps in evidence, and inform on future research priorities. Clinical studies, systematic reviews, guidelines, and pathway studies related to TCM for the prevention and treatment of EH, published between January 2000 and December 2019, were included from databases CNKI, WanFang Data, VIP, PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science. The distribution of evidence was analysed using text descriptions, tables, and graphs. A total of 9,403 articles were included, including 5,920 randomised controlled studies (RCTs), 16 guidelines, expert consensus and path studies, and 139 systematic reviews (SRs).
A total of 10 high-quality studies were retrieved, where qigong (20 RCTs), zhengan xifeng decoction (6 RCTs), Liuwei Dihuang pill (6 RCTs), and Chinese herbal medicine (24 RCTs) were considered to have evidence of potential positive effects. Xuefu zhuyu decoction (15 RCTs) was considered a positive effect; i.e., we are confident in estimating the research results.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Essential Hypertension: A Clinical Evidence Map Zhang Y, Wang B, Ju C, Liu L, Zhu Y, Mei J, Liu Y, Xu F
2020 Frontiers in Pharmacology
Compared with conventional Western medicine alone, Chinese herbal medicine plus antihypertensive drugs might be effective in reducing blood pressure levels and improving vascular endothelial function in patients with hypertension.
In clinical practice, antihypertensive Western medicines have a clear curative effect, but all of them have certain side effects. They cannot be completely eliminated from clinical use, and it is impossible to avoid situations where some patients may not be willing to take Western drugs and may not fully meet the needs of clinical treatment for hypertension. Thus, in Asian countries, some hypertensive patients have turned to TCM treatment with fewer adverse effects (Xiong et al., 2013).
To comprehensively evaluate the function of the vascular endothelium, we included many blood indicators to ensure that the results are comprehensive. The evaluation of the vascular endothelial function has not been included as one of the important factors affecting the cardiovascular prognosis of patients in the latest hypertension treatment guidelines. Moreover, there are no drugs specifically for vascular endothelial injury. The analysis in this study may provide some evidence for further improvement of the treatment guidelines.
After quantitative synthesis, our review is the first to demonstrate that CPAD can lower BP and improve vascular endothelial function in patients with hypertension, suggesting that TCM as an adjuvant therapy could be used for hypertension treatment by alleviating symptoms and improving well-being.
The Effect of Chinese Herbal Medicine Combined With Western Medicine on Vascular Endothelial Function in Patients With Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials Ren W, Wang M, Liao J, Li L, Yang D, Yao R, Huang L
2019 International Journal of Hypertension
Acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy has antihypertensive effect.
The mechanism of acupuncture for hypertension is related to RAAS, vascular endothelium, oxidative stress, the neuroendocrine system, and other factors; also, there is cross-talk between multiple systems and multiple targets. In addition, the functional images, genes, metabolism, etc. change with antihypertensive effect. Acupuncture can protect target organs in addition to reducing BP. Overall, based on the mechanism research acupuncture may be an effective intervention for management of hypertension.
The Mechanism of Acupuncture in Treating Essential Hypertension: A Narrative Review Juan Li ,1 Mingsheng Sun ,2 Jing Ye,2 Yuxi Li ,2 Rongjiang Jin ,1 Hui Zheng ,2 and Fanrong Liang 2
2015 PLOS One
There is evidence of efficacy of acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy to western medicine for treating hypertension.
Our review provided evidence of acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy to medication for treating hypertension, while the evidence for acupuncture alone lowing BP is insufficient. The safety of acupuncture is uncertain due to the inadequate reporting of it. However, the current evidence might not be sufficiently robust against methodological flaws and significant heterogeneity of the included RCTs. Larger high-quality trials are required.
Is Acupuncture Effective for Hypertension? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Zhao XF, Hu HT, Li JS, Shang HC, Zheng HZ, Niu JF, et al
2014 Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Acupuncture significantly lowers blood pressure in patients taking antihypertensive medications.
Results from this meta-analysis of randomized sham-controlled trials provide evidence that acupuncture helped (lowered) BP in patients taking antihypertensive medications. Our results did not provide support that acupuncture alone significantly lowers BP in patients with hypertension. Larger RCTs with longer follow-up periods would help clarify the potential efficacy and safety of acupuncture for treating hypertension.
Acupuncture for Essential Hypertension: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Sham-Controlled Clinical Trials Li DZ, Zhou Y, Yang YN, Ma YT, Li XM, Yu J, et al.
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Although well-conducted clinical research can help members of the public to make better-informed decisions about their healthcare, we do not make any claims that any particular treatment may be efficacious for any individual person.
When you consult with our Chinese medicine practitioners, you'll receive personalised advice and treatment based on your symptoms and Chinese medicine diagnosis.
Browse our collection of scientific clinical research on acupuncture for high blood pressure.
It includes recent and reputable papers published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years.
2020, Dec 19
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Essential Hypertension: A Clinical Evidence Map
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The conclusion of this systematic review and primary studies highlight TCM's advantages as adjunctive therapy for improving hypertension. Similarly, the development trend of Chinese Medicine and nondrug therapy for the prevention and treatment of hypertension is relatively good, which reflects the diverse TCM prevention and treatment measures for hypertension.
Zhang Y, Wang B, Ju C, Liu L, Zhu Y, Mei J, Liu Y, Xu F Full Article
2020, Jun 16
The Effect of Chinese Herbal Medicine Combined With Western Medicine on Vascular Endothelial Function in Patients With Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Frontiers in Pharmacology
CHM combined with conventional Western medicine may be effective in lowering blood pressure and improving vascular endothelial function in patients with hypertension. To further confirm this, more well-designed studies with large sample sizes, strict randomization, and clear descriptions about detection and reporting processes are warranted.
Ren W, Wang M, Liao J, Li L, Yang D, Yao R, Huang L Full Article
Acupuncture for the Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases: A Systematic Review
Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies Medical Association of Pharmacopuncture Institute
This article highlighted that acupuncture is an effective viable alternative as a complementary therapy cardiovascular diseases especially for reducing hypertension
de Lima Pimentel R, Duque AP, Moreira BR, Rodrigues LF Junior Full Article
2019, Mar 7
The Mechanism of Acupuncture in Treating Essential Hypertension: A Narrative Review
International Journal of Hypertension
Acupuncture can significantly improve cardiac hypertrophy and the thickness of the aortic wall in order to prevent new vascular remodeling .The latest clinical study unveils the cardioprotective effects of acupuncture through improving wave reflection (augmentation index, AIx) and arterial stiffness in hypertensive patient. Therefore, acupuncture is highly essential in treating hypertension
Juan Li ,1 Mingsheng Sun ,2 Jing Ye,2 Yuxi Li ,2 Rongjiang Jin ,1 Hui Zheng ,2 and Fanrong Liang 2 Full Article
2017, Jun 08
Comparative Effectiveness of Acupuncture and Antiarrhythmic Drugs for the Prevention of Cardiac Arrhythmias: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Frontiers in Physiology
The detailed meta-analysis demonstrates that clinical efficacy of acupuncture is effective in preventing cardiac arrest. Patients also reported to have better results with oral administration
Li Y, Barajas-Martinez H, Li B, Gao Y, Zhang Z, Shang H, Xing Y, Hu D Full Article
2015, Jul 24
Is Acupuncture Effective for Hypertension? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
PLOS One Public Library of Science
Our meta-analysis suggested that acupuncture plus western medicine had a more significant effect on both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure change magnitude than sham acupuncture plus medication, which indicated that acupuncture has an add-on effect for western medicine.
Zhao XF, Hu HT, Li JS, Shang HC, Zheng HZ, Niu JF, et al Full Article
2014, Mar 4
Acupuncture for Essential Hypertension: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Sham-Controlled Clinical Trials
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The study is consistent with acupuncture significantly lowers blood pressure in patients taking antihypertensive medications. Results from this meta-analysis of randomized sham-controlled trials provide evidence that acupuncture helped (lowered) BP in patients taking antihypertensive medications.
Li DZ, Zhou Y, Yang YN, Ma YT, Li XM, Yu J, et al. Full Article