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Acupressure for Hypertension

Acupressure for High Blood Pressure

One of the effective ways to treat hypertension naturally is with acupuncture or acupressure treatment, which aims to bring your body back into balance.

What is acupressure/acupuncture?

Qi or Life force energy is the energy flows in your body. When Qi flow is normal, you are in a state of balance; feel energized and healthy. However, when Qi flow is disrupted, you are in a state of imbalance; that is disharmony in your body, low energy and unhealthy.

Acupressure helps to reestablish Qi normal flow by applying pressure on specific points, thus bring back your healthy state.

Stress tend to be the culprit that disrupt Qi flow causing obstructive energy flow.

How can acupressure lower blood pressure?

Hypertension therapeutic mechanisms of acupuncture are unclear, but some evidence suggests acupuncture can affect the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system and sympathetic nervous and endocrine systems.

Some studies have shown acupuncture inhibit the activation of the neuron in the hypothalamus, midbrain, and medulla, resulting in reduced activity of premotor sympathetic neurons in the medulla.

Acupuncture may also affect the endocrine system. And it leads to a decrease in plasma renin, aldosterone, angiotensin II, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

8 Acupressure points for Hypertension

The most frequently used acupoints for hypertension clinical trials were LV3 (Tai Chong), LI11 (Qu Chi), GB20 (Feng Chi), ST36 (Zusanli), LI4 (He Gu), SP6 (Sanyinjiao), CV4 (Guanyuan), and PC6 (Nei Guan).

It is well known that increased activity in the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS), as well as in the sympathetic nervous system, causes hypertension. The above said hypertension points help reduce this activity and thus lower blood pressure.

1. LV 3 - Acupuncture Point - Tai Chong (English: Great Surge)

Location:  On the dorsum side of the foot, in the depression proximal to the 1st metatarsal space.

Indication for clinical uses: Eye issues such as blurred vision, red, swollen, painful eyes. Menstrual issues and Genital issues such as pain/swelling, hernia, impotence, seminal emission. Useful for digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea w/ undigested food. Also, it is a valuable calming point for anger, irritability, insomnia, anxiety.

Functions: Regulates Liver Qi, control Liver Yang, regulates menstruation, calms Shen, and nourishes Liver Yin.

LV3 is useful for stress, lower back pain, hypertension, menstrual cramps, limb pain, insomnia, anxiety, digestive issues, eye problems, genital depression, headaches, canker sores, and irritability. LV 3 is often coupled with LI 4 (4 Gates) to move Qi and Blood throughout the body effectively.

Needling: Perpendicular insertion of 0.5 to 0.8 cut.

2. LI 11 - Acupuncture Point - Qu Chi (English: Pool at the Crook)

Location:  The point is on the lateral end of the transverse cubital crease when the elbow is flexed, at the midpoint between LU 5 and the lateral epicondyle of the humerus.

Indication for clinical uses: Reduce high fevers and lower blood pressure. Useful for skin diseases such as hives, herpes zoster, acne. Burning diarrhea, elbow & upper limb disorders, hot flashes, and menstrual issues. Blood circulation issue such as Raynaud's and anemia. Skin problems such as hives and itchiness, as well as for tennis elbow. 

LI 11 is also used preventively to help battle cold and flu, and other immune-compromising conditions.

Needling: Perpendicular insertion of 1.0 to 1.5 cun.

3. Gallbladder 20 (Feng Chi)

Location: Right at the skull base, at the top of the neck back, in the soft depressions just lateral to the thick tendons of the trapezius muscle.

Feng Chi is helpful for common ailments of the head and neck such as a headache, vertigo, pain or stiffness of the neck, blurry vision, red or painful eyes, tinnitus, nasal obstruction, common cold, and rhinorrhea.

Feng Chi translates into English as Wind Pool, because the location resembles a small pool. In Chinese Medicine, as “wind pathogens” tend to collect here. It's an excellent idea to cover this part of your neck, when cold and windy outside, so the wind pathogens don't enter.

Indications of clinical uses: hypertension, fever/chills, stiff neck, paralysis, twitching, tremors, numbness, dizziness, vertigo. Head and brain issues such as seizures, memory, mental/neurological disorders. Sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue), eye issues, and headache (occipital).Also, for the problems of the neck, shoulders, and upper back.

4. ST 36 - Acupuncture Point - Zusanli (English: Leg Three Miles)

Location:  On the anterior side of the lower leg, three cun below ST 35, a middle finger width from the anterior border of the tibia.

Indications of clinical uses: Low immunity, chronic illness, poor digestion, weakness, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, GERD, hiccups, diarrhea, constipation, breast problems, lower leg pain, asthma, wheezing, dyspnea, PMS, depression, nervousness, insomnia.

Functions: Tones Qi and Blood, Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach, strengthens the body and Wei qi, raises Yang, calms the Shen, activates the meridian, stops the pain.

Needling: Perpendicular insertion of 1.0 to 2.0 cun.

5. LI 4 - Acupuncture Point - He Gu (English: Joining Valley)

Location:  On the dorsum side of the hand, between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones, in the middle of the 2nd metacarpal bone on the radial side.

Indication and Clinical uses: Head and faces problems such as a headache and body ache, dizziness, congestion, swelling and pain of the eye, nosebleed, toothache, lockjaw, deafness, mumps, swelling of the face, facial paralysis, and a facial tic. Gastric distress, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery. Psychogenic tense, manic psychosis, and irritability.

Use along with LV 3 (the Four Gates) to effectively move the qi and blood in the body to remove stagnation and alleviate pain.

Functions Expel Wind, tones qi, and strengthens immunity, stop the pain.

Needling: Perpendicular insertion for 0.5 to 1.0 cun.  Do not needle during pregnancy.

6. SP 6 - Acupuncture Point - Sanyinjiao (English: Three Yin Intersection)

Location:  On the medial side of the lower leg, three cun above the tip of the medial malleolus, on the posterior border of the medial aspect of the tibia.

Indications & clinical uses: This point crosses the Spleen, Kidney, and Liver meridians, it can treat conditions associated with all of these three organs. It's an essential point in the treatment of any digestive, gynecological, and emotional health. Digestive disorders, gynecological issues, male sexual issues, difficult labor. Menstrual problems, bleeding disorders, insomnia, palpitations, and other anxiety-related emotions. Dizziness, Hypertension.

Function: Tone Yin, and Blood. Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach, harmonizes the Liver, strengthens the Kidneys, and calms the Shen.

Needling: Perpendicular insertion to 1.0 to 1.5 cun.  Do not needle during pregnancy.

7. Ren 4 or CV 4 Guanyuan (English: Gate of Origin)

Location:  On the anterior median line of the lower abdomen, three cun below the umbilicus.

Functions: Tone Kidneys (Qi, Yin, and Yang), nourishes Essence, benefits Original Qi, calms the Shen, helps menstruation, and the uterus.

Indications & Clinical use for this point is Impotence, frequent micturition, and retention of urine. Also, irregular menstruation, infertility, diarrhea, prolapse of rectum, and dyspepsia.

Needling: Perpendicular insertion for 1.0 to 2.0 cun.

8. PC 6 - Acupuncture Point - Nei Guan (English: Inner Gate)

Location: On the palmar aspect of the forearm, two cun above the transverse crease of the wrist, between the tendons of m. Palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis.

Indications & clinical uses for this point is chest congestion, cardiac pain, and palpitation. And epilepsy, vomiting, hiccup, depression, dizziness, vertigo, and spasm. Also, for the pain of the upper extremities, Cough, asthma, Irritability, and malaria.

Functions: Opens the chest, regulates Heart Qi, calms the Shen, harmonizes the Stomach, relieves nausea and vomiting, and regulates Qi.

Needling: Perpendicular insertion for about 0.5 to 1.0 cun.

Is high blood pressure Acupressure safe?

Acupressure is reporting as safe when performed by an experienced practitioner. No severe complications have published, despite millions of treatments every year. Self-administer acupressure is considering safe with proper training.

Acupressure is safe. However, you should do acupressure along with your hypertension medication (don't stop it).

If your blood pressure drops after few days of acupressure, then you can reduce the dosage and monitor your blood pressure closely for any raise. If it raises, then change back to your original medicine dosage. On the other hand, if BP reduces further after some days of practice, then again, you can reduce the drug dose!

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