Volume 10 Issue 17
The calming and regenerative effects of Acupuncture have long been known. Now, Acupuncture is becoming more widely recognized as an alternative therapy for curbing high blood pressure as well as aiding those recovering from a stroke.
Hypertension, elevated levels of blood pressure, is sometimes referred to as a “Silent Killer.” Of the 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of it, estimates show that 35% of them may not even be aware of its presence in their life.
With hypertension the body, and especially the heart, must work with extra force to perform daily functions. This often occurs without visible symptoms. It is important that those potentially affected see a doctor or a Traditional Chinese Medicine physician to be checked for these subtle symptoms.
An Acupuncture study offering hope and positive results for hypertension sufferers has recently been conducted at the University of California Irvine by Dr. John C. Longhurst. While in this case the test subjects were hypertensive rats, the results support the link between endorphin release and decreased heart activity. In addition to traditional Acupuncture methods, needles charged with a low frequency electrical stimulation were also proven to be effective in this study.
With these positive findings, the reduction of hypertension in patients could reduce the need for drugs to control the condition, as well as eliminate the onset of strokes.
Should a stroke occur, however, Acupuncture is known to be greatly effective in the improvement of motor and cognitive skills. Scalp Acupuncture, in particular, is the favored application using methods developed and popularized by Professor Ming Quing Zhu, a 1964 graduate of the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In this treatment, needles are inserted directly into the scalp according to a map of brain functions. The needles alter blood and hormone levels that affect both brain activity and the flow of blood to portions of the brain related to other body parts damaged from the stroke. Needles can actually remain in place from two to seventy-two hours. In addition, manual movements of the affected area of the body or visualization accompanied by specialized breathing exercises to increase Qi (energy or life force) are prescribed while the needles are in place under the skin.
As in treating hypertension, it is the release of endorphins through Acupuncture that can help to relax the muscles and tissues of the face and the rest of the body. Tension in the muscles and tissues hinders the free flow of moisture, blood, and other bodily fluids. It is especially important in cases of stroke that Qi flow be restored as everything follows in its path. Acupuncture along with conscious participation of the patient can help expedite this process.