Medical Research

Neuro pathways involved in acupuncture decreasing Blood Pressure

Kristen Sparrow • February 08, 2011

This is a nice study that looks at the pathways involved in acupuncture’s effect on blood pressure. I have had good results in my clinic in patients with hypertension as long as they are willing to follow through with their visits! Once their blood pressure has come down, monthly visits suffice usually with herbal supplementation.

To learn more about acupuncture, HRV, and my practice please click here.

Neural mechanism of electroacupuncture’s hypotensive effects
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, California 92697, USA. pengli@uci.eduAbstract

EA at P 5-6 and S 36-37 using low current and low frequency may be able to reduce elevated blood pressure in a subset of patients (∼70%) with mild to moderate hypertension. The effect is slow in onset but is long-lasting. Experimental studies have shown that EA inhibition of cardiovascular sympathetic neurons that have been activated through visceral reflex stimulation is through activation of neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, vlPAG in the midbrain and NRP in the medulla, which, in turn, inhibit the activity of premotor sympathetic neurons in the rVLM. The arcuate also provides direct projections to the rVLM that contain endorphins. Glutamate, acetylcholine, opioids, GABA, nociceptin, serotonin and endocannabinoids all appear to participate in the EA hypotensive response although their importance varies between nuclei. Thus, a number of mechanisms underlying the long-lasting effect of EA on cardiovascular function have been identified but clearly further investigation is warranted.