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Blood Pressure Lowered by Acupuncture

By: Sam Gaines, Staff Writer

A 2005 study conducted at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, Irvine found that acupuncture treatments that used low levels of electrical stimulation can lower blood pressure elevations by as much as 50 percent.

Researchers tested laboratory rats with electro-acupuncture and found that the animals found temporary relief from hypertensive states. By applying acupuncture needles at specific sites along the wrist, inside the forearm or in the leg, researchers stimulated the rats’ bodies to release opioids, which decrease the heart’s activity and thus its need for oxygen. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure.

The researchers caution that this technique is only effective in elevated blood pressure levels, such as those typically found in hypertensive patients.

Source: UC Irvine, March 28, 2005

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