The effect of acupuncture on high blood pressure of patients using antihypertensive drugs

Acupunct Electrother Res. 2013;38(1-2):1-15. doi: 10.3727/036012913x13831831849448.


Blood pressure control is an important component of cardiovascular disease prevention. Despite the advances in the treatment of hypertension; effective management remains poor. The combined use of multiple drug strategies fail to regulate blood pressure and chronic use of those agents cause severe side-effects. New strategies are required to control high blood pressure. We aim in our study to research the effects of acupuncture treatment on blood pressure of hypertensive patients who have already been exposed to antihypertensive drug therapy for at least 24 months. Each patient was using 1-3 antihypertensive drug of a heterogeneous pharmacological group ranging from ACE inhibitors, diuretics, and beta blockers and the most common complaint of those patients were fatigue, dizziness, weakness, headache and joint pain, sleeping problems, cold hands and feet, edema, depression. We did not alter patients' diet (salt intake), physical activity or use of antihypertensive drugs. The study includes 24 male and 10 female patients. Ki 3 (Taixi), Liv 3 (Taichong), Sp 9 (Yinlingquan), L.I. 4 (Hegu), Ht 7 (Shenmen), St 36 (Zusanli), Sp 6 (Sanyinjiao), Ki 7 (Fulio), Lu 9 acupuncture points were needled. After being treated with acupuncture for one month in every two days for a total of 15 sessions, we found significant reductions (p ? 001) in both systolic (from 163.14 +/- 19.33 to 129.49 +/- 18.52) and diastolic (from 94.37 +/- 19.70 to 79.31 +/- 7.87) blood pressures of these patients. The aim here is not to compare the effectiveness of acupuncture and drug therapy on blood pressure, but to simply report that on patients currently using antihypertensive medication, acupuncture facilitated a significant reduction in blood pressure and reduced the patients complaints. We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggest that acupuncture should be in the hypertension treatment guidelines and widely used for blood pressure regulation.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antihypertensive Agents