A blood pressure below 90/60 mm Hg is usually termed hypotensive. This article talks about primary hypotension, in which no organic basis can be demonstrated, and of certain forms of orthostatic hypotension caused due to disturbances of the vegetative nervous system. It doesn’t refer to acute hypotension such as in syncope and shock.
According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine, congenital deficiency and post-natal malnutrition contribute to a weak physique, susceptibility to diseases and delayed recovery. All of this, in turn, lead to deficiency of qi, blood, yin and yang. Intemperance in sexual life may result in deficiency of reproductive essence in kidney. Stress may lead to deterioration in both physical and mental fitness, weakened resistance and deficiency of brain essence and kidney qi.
A dysfunction of spleen and stomach due to intemperance in food habits, or incomplete recovery from a severe illness, may result in inadequate supply of qi, blood and nutrients for distribution among the viscera and channels. Hypotension arises when a deficient qi fails to support the yang; a deficient yang fails to warm the heart, and a deficient blood fails to nourish the channels and the brain essence.To sum up, hypotension is due to inadequate qi, blood, yin and yang. So, the treatment involves the reinforcing or replenishing method. Special attention should be paid to regulating the functional activities of kidney and spleen.
Principal and alternate acupuncture points were used with reinforcing technique in all cases. Along with acupunture, 20 minutes of mild moxibustion is practiced. Acupuncture is performed daily or on alternative days, with needles retained for 20 minutes each time. Ten treatments constitute a course with two or three days’ intervals between the courses. For the blood pressure point, the needle is inserted vertically to a depth of 0.5-1 cun.
• Insufficiency of qi and blood
Greater incidence in females with weak physiques. Tired look, lack of breathing strength and taciturnity, dizziness and forgetfulness, lingering headache. Whitish lips and tongue, sickly complexion. Attacks of palpitation or even syncope. Fine, weak pulse. Acupuncture points used for replenish qi and blood. Mild moxibustion is also used on specific points.
• Insufficiency of kidney qi or kidney yang
Greater incidences in middle-aged or elderly males. Hypotension upon standing, dizziness, general lassitude, aching and weakness of lower back and lower limbs. Pale complexion and cold extremities. There may be sexual dysfunction or incontinence of urine. Whitish tongue with white coat, and sinking, and weak pulse. Acupuncture points used to warm and tonify kidney. Mild moxibusion may applied for
20 minutes to specific points.
This study was conducted by Zhao Changxin at Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
(The author is Head of the Department of Acupuncture, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi)