Hypertension has an impact on 700 million people globally. It is attributable for 7 million excess deaths annually. High blood pressure in most individuals stays untreated. Effective control of high blood pressure is hindered by availability and adverse effects of anti-hypertension medications. Practices of alternative medicine, like acupuncture, have been used by patients with increasing frequency. But these treatments often lack verified effectiveness for treating high blood pressure.

Acupuncture has been practiced in Asian countries for treating symptoms associated with hypertension for several thousand years. To date, acupuncture is commonly used for treating hypertension in the East and the West. The effectiveness of acupuncture has been well demonstrated for treating various pains with few reported adverse effects. Acupuncture is also found effective for treatment of many other acute and chronic conditions in a large number of randomized trials. Various studies have found the effects of acupuncture on the plasma concentrations of blood pressure modulators, such as renin, norepinephrine, enkephalins, and so on. The efficacy of acupuncture for treatment of hypertension has been suggested by numerous of published uncontrolled clinical trials. Several randomized controlled trials reported substantial reductions in BP compared to randomly assigned control groups. Whereas several other randomized trials did not find significant effects of acupuncture on hypertension relative to control groups.

Several factors have been used to explain the varying outcomes of the acupuncture treatments. These include acupuncture points used, treatment duration, electrotherapeutic frequency used for stimulation, and so on. Since presently available medications for high blood pressure all have adverse effects, and because the long-term use of these medications creates substantial economic burden to the patients , acupuncture, a safe and relatively economic alternative, has a enormous potential for future management of high blood pressure. While numerous hypertensive patients have already been treated with acupuncture, it is imperative to search for additional evidence of the effectiveness of acupuncture on treating high blood pressure. In addition, special attentions should be paid to finding the best practices of acupuncture for management of high blood pressure.

Author's Bio: 

Gale Benz is an alternative health commentator and blogger. She has interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.