One’s health is one’s wealth, and our blood pressure ensures that our life force is flowing is as it should. Unless it doesn’t, and then serious problems can arise.
Low blood pressure, (hypotension) is a condition in which the blood pressure in the body’s blood vessels is too low. However, it is only considered to be a medical problem when there are signs or symptoms present — dizziness, nausea, thirst, poor concentration, lack of strength, rapid shallow breathing and fainting. These symptoms are the result of blood supply to the brain decreasing too much, and it affects the brain’s function.
The main problem which causes the symptoms of low blood pressure is inadequate blood supply to the brain. For this reason it is most often noticed when a person stands up from the sitting position. This is the result of gravity affecting heart blood output and is called orthostatic hypotension. In this case the body is too slow to contract blood vessels in response to postural changes. Another type of blood pressure (called postpradandial low blood pressure) is caused by the drop in blood pressure after eating.
A common cause is pregnancy – during the first and second trimesters pregnant women experience low blood pressure due to the rapid expansion of their circulatory system, (there’s a lot of growth and work going on to work on creating and maintaining two bodies at once). After pregnancy, blood pressure should return to normal in those women that did not have pre-existing low blood pressure.
Another cause of hypotension is hormone or endocrine problems. Either an under or over active thyroid can lead to low blood pressure. Lack of the hormone adrenaline (in the condition Addison’s disease) and problems with insulin (diabetes) can also lead to low blood pressure. We often see low blood pressure in people with migraines, and also with motion and altitude sickness people.
Other notable causes of low blood pressure are dehydration, medication side effects (diuretics and beta blockers in particular), blood loss and blood poisoning. In severe cases, low blood pressure can be life-threatening, leading to a condition called shock.
On the other end of the scale is hypertension, or high blood pressure — a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the body becomes elevated. The most common type is classified as primary hypertension, and the far less common secondary hypertension, which is caused by a condition in another part of the body, such as the heart, kidneys or endocrine system. Middle-aged Americans face a staggering 90 percent chance of developing hypertension, according to a new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
If it is left untreated, high blood pressure is a leading cause of strokes, heart attack, kidney failure and arterial aneurysm — definitely something better to work with than ignore. Hypertension is sometimes inherited, but everyone can benefit by maintaining a healthy weight, reducing sugar and sodium intake, avoiding and finding healthy ways of dealing with stress, quitting smoking, and exercising on a regular basis.
Here’s where we make our point — Acupuncture is very helpful in the treatment of both high and low blood pressure. The choice of point sites varies with the consideration of other factors in the medical history. Acupuncture has a regulatory effect on blood pressure whether it is high or low. It does this by regulating the flow of qi (life energy, life force) and blood around the body. The acupuncture treatment helps those point sites release the extra tensive energy out, by way of an intrinsic expansive function those same points sites also have.
Whether you suffer from either low or high blood pressure, acupuncture can work alongside many treatment programs. In Western medicine studies suggest that acupuncture can help by regulating hormone levels and body’s sensors (baroreceptors) to normalise low blood pressure. In many cases acupuncture can reduce or even remove the need for traditional blood pressure medications, which can come with many side effects.
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