Scientists discover new way to lower blood pressure
Hypertension is a common vascular disease in the population. Researchers have now found that regular electroacupuncture treatment lowers high blood pressure. This is related to a release of some type of opioid in the brain that controls blood pressure.
Scientists at the UCI Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine found that regular electroacupuncture treatment can lower high blood pressure. The doctors published the results of their study in the scientific journal "Scientific Reports".
What do we mean by high blood pressure?
Many people use the term hypertension for the type of hypertension that experts call arterial hypertension. The course of the disease from high blood pressure depends on various factors. These include the level of blood pressure and the presence of other comorbidities. Chronic high blood pressure leads to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). This disease can then trigger strokes, kidney failure and heart attacks, for example.
Electroacupuncture releases opioid in the brain
Regular treatment with so-called electro acupuncture can lead to a reduction in high blood pressure. The treatment causes an increase in the release of a type of opioid in the brain, which can control blood pressure, the experts explain.
Lowered blood pressure lasts for at least three days after treatment
Tests on experimental rats have shown that treatment with electro-acupuncture leads to a drop in blood pressure for at least three days. This is related to an increase in gene expression of enkephalins, one of the three major opioid peptides produced in the body, explains the author Dr. Zhi-Ling Guo from the UCI Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine.
Acupuncture can also lower blood pressure
The current study presents first evidence of the effects of molecular activity in electroacupuncture, which is beneficial in reducing high blood pressure, the authors explain. Already last year, the UCI research team reported that acupuncture in the wrist areas reduced blood pressure.
Electroacupuncture can be used to treat clinical hypertension
The present study clearly shows that repetitive electroacupuncture has a long-lasting effect in lowering blood pressure in hypertension, the scientists say. This indicates that this type of therapy can be used to treat clinical hypertension.
High blood pressure can damage the heart muscle
Too high blood pressure damages our heart muscle because it has to pump against the increased pressure for years. As a result, heart failure occurs (cardiac muscle weakness). An important risk factor for high blood pressure can be fat deposits around the abdomen. Belly fat can greatly increase the risk of hypertension.
Lifestyle changes and medication can reduce high blood pressure
However, the risk of the dangerous secondary diseases is reduced if those affected change their lifestyle and the high blood pressure is normalized by taking medication. However, if the excessively high blood pressure is not treated, the risk of dangerous secondary diseases increases considerably. (as)