According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 33 percent of adults over the age of 20 suffer from hypertension in the US. There are two types of hypertension: primary or essential hypertension, which accounts for 95 percent of cases and is idiopathic; secondary hypertension, which is associated with pre-existing conditions such as renal disease, endocrine disorders, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and neurologic disorders Hypertension and Chinese medicine. According to Chinese medical theory, primary hypertension tends to be associated with an individual’s constitution. It predisposes us to either excess or deficient conditions, and therefore to degenerative diseases. The major pathologies associated with hypertension involve hyperactivity of yang, phlegm dampness and yin deficiency, and may also involve excess or deficiency of the internal organs.
A 55-year-old male was presented with hypertension. The patient had been diagnosed with primary hypertension at age 30, but for unknown reasons was not prescribed medication until he was aged 50, at which point he was prescribed lisinopril (an ACE inhibitor), pravastatin (a statin to lower cholesterol), fenofibrate (a fibrate drug to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides), naproxen (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory [NSAID] drug), indomethocin (an NSAID), hydrocodone (an opioid analgesic drug), gabapentin (an anti-convulsant drug) and medrol (a corticosteroid). The patient had also been diagnosed with COPD. He experienced occasional palpitations upon movement, shortness of breath and frequent urination. He had a 40-year history of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and a 30-year history of alcohol intake. His diet was poor.
Treatment utilised a seven-star plum blossom needle hammer. The hammer is seven inches long with a thin, flexible shaft leading up to a bullet-shaped head with seven needles equally distributed on one side and five closely-grouped needles on the other. The therapy was administered twice a week by two different practitioners, tapping specific acupuncture points approximately 100 times with light to moderate pressure with the side with the seven equally distributed needles.
Each therapy session lasted about 10 minutes.
Although blood pressure values varied throughout the treatment period, reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were frequently observed immediately after treatment. The most marked decreases were seen in systolic blood pressure. The average systolic blood pressure before treatment was 141.1mmHg, and after treatment was 128.9mmHg. The average pre-treatment diastolic blood pressure was 86.4mmHg, and after was 80.41mmHg. After two weeks, blood pressure readings remained at or below pre-hypertensive criteria (under 140/90mmHg).
Seven-star plum blossom needle therapy may be an effective alternative treatment for primary hypertension. Throughout this study, the patient’s blood pressure became progressively more stable. This study was conducted by Dr Brett Martin, DC, MsAc and Frank Yurasek, PhD, LAc. (Today is World Hypertension Day) The author is Head of the Department of Acupuncture, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi