Acupuncture and The Patterns of Disharmony Involved in High Blood Pressure

Apart from not having the side effects of anti-hypertension medications which is indeed a great thing, TCM or Traditional Chinese medicine can also effectively lower high blood pressure.

A lot of those suffering from high blood pressure show no symptoms at all and as a result most of them are unaware that they have this problem. Your physician needs to take multiple readings or monitor your BP (blood pressure) for 24 hours to see whether you indeed have high blood pressure or hypertension provided that your blood pressure naturally changes over a 24-hour period.

However, Yun Niu, PhD, explains that the hypertension and high blood pressure can be two different things. For one, hypertension is high blood pressure that is chronic while blood pressure can rise under specific circumstances. If certain events give you a lot of stress, your blood pressure will naturally increase and if you can recognize and address the culprit, your blood pressure usually goes back to its normal levels. Although its effects may take a bit of time, acupuncture and herbs can be very effective in lowering high blood pressure and hypertension in Tarzana.

High Blood Pressure from the Viewpoint of TCM

According to TCM, three conditions can cause high blood pressure

1. Mucus: In TCM, deficiency in spleen energy can be caused by mucus, which is responsible for the conversion and utilization of fluids. Spleen energy deficiency makes the spleen function ineffectively. People with this pattern may experience chronic edema (fluid retention), particularly around the digestive system and the gut. Too much fluid in the body can act like mucus, which is known as internal mucus in TCM. This fluid can flow along with your chi and reside in any region of the body obstructing blood and chi flow.

Symptoms: Polyuria (frequent urination) in small amounts; lowered appetite; a thick head; weight gain; feelings of heaviness and sluggishness; fatigue; not feeling refreshed after sleeping; belching; sticky or loose stools, bloating or a sensation of fullness; and nausea. Obstruction arises when mucus remains in the body for so long that it creates mucus fire or heat that, in turn, results in a sensation of fullness; tinnitus; red face; palpitations, and irritability. Also possibly present is the symptom of excess of yang energy.

Treatment: Stay away from foods that are hard to digest as well as dairy; sweet foods; and anything that can further impair spleen function. Instead of drinking large amounts of water at a time, sip water as often as possible. Mucus can be cleared by dried mandarin peel or dried lemon. For treatment of yang deficiency and sluggishness, ginger can be extremely helpful.

2. Kidney yang deficiency: This type of deficiency is expressed in palpitations and a pounding heart. The heart and the kidney are connected in TCM and so if there is not enough kidney yang energy in the body so much so that it cannot support heart energy, the heart begins to manifest symptoms.

Symptoms: Sleeplessness; impatience; palpitations; dry mouth especially during sleep; hot flashes; a tendency to feel hot; hot or clammy palms, and red face. Occasionally, Kidney yang deficiency may generate signs and symptoms like a tendency to feel cold; weak libido; shortness of breath; poor sleep; weight gain; weak memory; tiredness; hair loss; loose teeth; polyuria during night time and a sore back.

Treatment: Treatments that boost kidney yin and kidney yang energy.

3. Liver yang excess: Too much liver yang energy may be due to yin liver deficiency; a poor diet; busy life; frustration; worry, anger; and emotional stress. Sudden emotional stress elevates your blood pressure because liver energy tends to go upwards when you’re highly stressed. Normally, the direction of liver energy is downward. Your emotions are affected if you suffer from chronic stress which thus affects liver energy.

Symptoms: Tinnitus; thirst; thick head; red, sore, dry eyes; red face; irritability; impatience; headache; dry stools; dry mouth; dizziness; bitter taste; and bad temper. Symptoms related to yin liver deficiency are the same, although they usually occur late in the day.

Treatment: One that can bring balance which means a treatment that reinforces yin energy while at the same time reduces yang energy. Acupuncture has the ability to restore the natural downward flow of liver energy, which makes it easier to deal with stress. This treatment, however, will not remove stress, so therefore strategies that can help eliminate are needed.

Mr. Yun also said that some high blood pressure patients can manifest all three conditions. If this is the case, Yun adds, then the TCM practitioner should identify dominant pattern and then administer a treatment of acupuncture, diet therapy, and herbal medicines to deal with the problem.

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