As long as there has been stress in the world humans have had to deal with high blood pressure. The first link between high blood pressure and heart disease was not made in western medicine until 1929 by Harvard physician Samuel Albert Levine. Traditional Chinese medicine has been treating high blood pressure for the last 2500 years and many natural therapies for high blood pressure have been developed. Hypertension affects a lot of people around the world and due to concerns with the effectiveness and safety of many drugs, many high blood pressure patients, especially in Asia, have turned to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). A variety of natural therapies for high blood pressure are available in TCM and a number of clinical studies have provided evidence that Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, qigong, and Tai Chi can be effective natural therapies for high blood pressure. (source)
Hypertension is arterial disease in which chronic high blood pressure is the primary symptom. Elevated blood pressure results from an increase in the amount of blood pumped by the heart or from increased resistance to the flow of blood through the small arterial blood vessels (arterioles). When the cause is unknown, the condition is called primary, or essential, hypertension. When a cause can be identified (e.g., a disorder of the adrenal glands, kidneys, or arteries), the condition is known as secondary hypertension. Factors such as heredity, obesity, high salt intake, and emotional stress are thought to play a role. Known as the “silent killer,” hypertension often produces few overt symptoms; it may, however, result in damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys, or brain and ultimately lead to heart failure or stroke. Treatment of hypertension includes diets to reduce salt and alcohol intake and weight, increased exercise, various drugs, such as diuretics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium-channel blockers and biofeedback have all been shown effective.
Hypertension in TCM
Hypertension in TCM arises from a variety of causes
Liver Yang Rising
Symptoms include: vertigo, tinnitis, blurred vision, red face, palpitations, bitter taste, insomnia, red tongue yellow coat, wiry pulse. When the systolic pressure is high while the diastolic one is near to normal, it usually indicates the rising of Liver-Yang. Furthermore, when the systolic reading oscillates considerably from day to day, it indicates that nervous stress, rather than a hardening of the arteries, is the cause of the problem. This is usually due to emotional strain affecting the Liver. Which indicate long-standing affliction of the Mind and/or Ethereal Soul by emotional strain.
Liver Fire blazing
Symptoms include: vertigo, Headache, painful red eyes, red face, quick to anger, irritable, bitter taste, dry mouth, dark, scanty urine, red tongue yellow coat, wiry full or wiry rapid pulse.
Turbid mucous obstructing the middle jiao
Symptoms include: vertigo, Head feels heavy,poor appetite nausea, chest & epigastric fullness, numbness, thick greasy tongue coat, soggy slippery pulse.
Dual deficiency of Liver And Kidney Yin
Symptoms include: vertigo, Headache, spots before eyes, tinnitis, palpitations, irritable, night sweats, irritability, tidal fever, sore low back and knees, red tongue little coat, deep thin, wiry & rapid pulse.
If Kidney-Yin is deficient it fails to nourish Liver-Yin which leads to hyperactivity of Liver-Yang. The rising of Liver-Yang and Liver-Wind causes high blood pressure and its typical symptoms of headache, dizziness and tinnitus. With acupuncture, one needs to tonify the Kidneys with BL-23 Shenshu and KI-3 Taixi and subdue Liver-Yang with LIV-3 Taichong and G.B.-20 Fengchi.
Kidney Yang Deficiency
Symptoms include: vertigo, tinnitis, hearing loss, bright white face, low spirit, sore & weak low back and knees, fear of cold, watery stools, impotence, swollen pale tongue, deep thin, frail pulse.
If Kidney-Yang is deficient Yin (Water) accumulates, Yang does not move, the blood vessels cannot relax, Blood cannot flow properly and this causes hypertension.
Chronic Nephritis Yin and Yang Edema
Symptoms include: The three cardinal signs of chronic nephritis are edema, proteinuria and hypertension. “Chronic nephritis” is a Western medical term identifying a disease characterized by inflammation of the kidney glomeruli. In Chinese medicine, its complex of symptoms and signs may fall under different categories, such as “Edema” or “Exhaustion”. Its main signs are edema of the ankles, albuminuria and hypertension. Acute nephritis broadly corresponds to “Yang Water” or “Yang edema” in Chinese medicine, whilst chronic nephritis broadly corresponds to “Yin Water”, “True Water” or “Stone Water”. As explained above, “Water” here refers not to Water in a 5-Element sense, but to Water as a pathogenic factor, i.e. the accumulation of body fluids in edema.
Acupuncture treatment of Hypertension
Sedate “The Four Gates” to subdue Liver-Yang and Liver-Wind.
L.I.-4 Hegu and LIV-3 Taichong
Tonify Kidney- and Liver-Yin.
KI-1 subdues Wind, lowers blood pressure and relaxes spasm.
ST-9 Renying as an empirical point to reduce blood pressure.
Another combination of points is ST-36 Zusanli and G.B.-39 Xuanzhong with moxibustion.
Another method to reduce blood pressure consists in tapping the following points with a plum-blossom needle: ST-9 Renying, P-6 Neiguan and SP-6 Sanyinjiao.
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