Conditions & Treatment

Acupuncture for High Blood Pressure: A safe, long-term solution

Kristen Sparrow • September 09, 2020

One of my patients says,

I never would have believed it, but after seeing Dr Sparrow for a month my blood pressure was low enough that my doctor said  that we could just watch it. I see her once a month now, and take some herbal pills she gives me and it have been controlled for over two years. I’m almost 70 years old and it is a relief not to have to take medications. I don’t like medications and their side effects.”*

*results, as with all aspects of medicine, vary from patient to patient

Acupuncture for High Blood Pressure, a potential alternative to medication

I would be happy to help you reduce those medications! Acupuncture high blood pressure treatment can be a great alternative for patients who dislike taking medications or cannot tolerate antihypertensive medications due to their side effects. Increasingly patients are seeking help in controlling their blood pressure with acupuncture. Acupuncture treatment for high blood pressure consists of a series of gentle needling treatments. The story of a patient with malignant hypertension and her treatment is outlined here.  My award-winning study at the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture 2014 conference focused on treatment for hypertension and stress levels. So when patients ask “Can acupuncture help with high blood pressure?” I answer with a resounding Yes!*

*results, as with all aspects of medicine, vary from patient to patient

Call now at 415.775.0117 or email me at

Many busy professionals find the investment of time and money more than pays for itself.  Staying well, being more productive, and avoiding the downsides of medications, as well the boost in mood makes Acupuncture a great health choice. (For way more information than you probably need, you can check out these blog posts that dig into the science behind acupuncture and hypertension.)

In Chinese medicine, elevated blood pressure didn’t exist as a condition since blood pressure readings were not available. But many of the symptoms of extremely high blood pressure are described in Chinese Medicine and inform the treatment strategies used to decrease blood pressure. If you would like to read about one of the patients I treat for hypertension, please read my blog post here.

Call me 415-775-0117 or email me at and we can discuss how and if I can help you.  I will do my best to fit you in for an appointment.  I know you have better things to do with your time than spend it in a doctor’s office, so I promise you to be punctual, efficient and attentive. How great is that!

For those interested in some of the science behind acupuncture here are a few posts on the physiology behind acupuncture and high blood pressure.

What you need to know about Dr. Sparrow before making an appointment.

  • Dr. Sparrow has been practicing acupuncture for 16 years and is Board Certified in Anesthesiology and Pediatrics.
  • She has studied acupuncture and stress for years. She published a study on the stress response and its correlation with acupuncture’s effectiveness in the Journal of Medical Acupuncture.
  • There are many benefits to acupuncture treatment, improved sleep, improved immunity, better mood, less illness which make the cost of $275 ($220 for seniors)  for four visits a very good value.
  • She has a keen interest in her patients, prevention, health matters and the research behind acupuncture’s effectiveness. You can follow her blog here.
  • Please call (415) 775-0117 or click here to request a personal consultation


  • Scientists at UCI showed that low-level electro-acupuncture on hypertensive patients was effective in lowering the blood pressure in 70% of patients with mild to moderate hypertension.(1)
  • There is a recent German study published in the medical journal “Circulation” showing that acupuncture is effective in lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure using acupuncture. They compared the treatment group to another group receiving sham acupuncture (2).

The Science

  • In determining the physiological mechanisms involved in the anti-hypertensive effects, scientists at UC Irvine (3) were able to block the anti-hypertensive effect of acupuncture by microinjecting kainic acid to deactivate neurons in the arcuate nucleus which decreased the ventrolateral periaqueductal grey responses to splanchnic nerve stimulation. These results suggest that excitatory projections from the arcuate nucleus to the ventrolateral periaqueductal grey are essential to the electroacupuncture inhibition of the reflex increase in blood pressure induced by splanchnic nerve gallbladder visceral afferent stimulation.
  • The same group had shown in a previous study that acupuncture’s blood pressure reducing effect was in part mediated by endogenous opiods in the spinal cord (4).

1. Auton Neurosci. 2010 Oct 28;157(1-2):24-30. Epub 2010 May 5 Neural mechanism of electroacupuncture’s hypotensive effects. Li P, Longhurst JC  Department of Medicine, Susan-Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, Irvine

2. Circulation. 2007 Jun 19;115(24):3121-9. Randomized trial of acupuncture to lower blood pressure.

3. 1: *Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2006 Jun;290(6):H2535-42. Excitatory projections from arcuate nucleus to ventrolateral periaqueductal gray in electroacupuncture inhibition of cardiovascular reflexes.

4. J Appl Physiol. 2006 Mar;100(3):926-32. Modulation of cardiovascular excitatory responses in rats by transcutaneous magnetic stimulation: role of the spinal cord.