New blood pressure guidelines have recently been published. The new standard is 130/80, a significant decrease from the old standard of 140/90. The good news is that medical professionals are recommending lifestyle modifications in an effort to reduce and control blood pressure before trying medications. Healthy lifestyle habits include stress reduction, a healthy diet with less sodium and increased potassium (essentially more fruits/vegetables and less salt/processed foods), exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.
Where does acupuncture fit in? In terms of addressing lifestyle habits impacting blood pressure, acupuncture is great for stress reduction and for improving sleep quality (reducing frequency/severity of insomnia and restless sleep). There are also certain acupuncture points which can help directly with reducing blood pressure. This article discusses benefits of acupuncture for hypertension according to several studies, and the use of specific acupuncture points. One small scientific study showed that acupuncture was beneficial for hypertension in patients who were taking medication for hypertension, but whose hypertension wasn’t well controlled.