If you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure, acupuncture and exercise can help you get it under control and get back to enjoying life.

How Acupuncture Can Help the 1 in 3 Americans with High Blood Pressure

Your annual doctor’s visit never fails to include a blood pressure test. A nurse wraps a sphygmomanometer around your arm and checks that your blood pressure is normal. You’re vaguely aware of the consequences of hypertension, so you may panic a bit if your physician reports that your blood pressure is somewhat elevated. A third of Americans have high blood pressure, and here’s what you can do about it.

What Is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure takes into consideration the amount of blood pumped by the heart and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. A higher blood pressure means your heart is pumping more blood through narrower arteries. Hypertension occurs when blood constantly pushes against the artery walls with elevated force.

There are two important numbers when it comes to blood pressure. The upper number is called the systolic pressure and measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts (or beats). The lower number, called the diastolic pressure, represents the pressure in the arteries in between two heartbeats, when the heart relaxes and fills with blood. Both numbers are measured in mm Hg, which refers to millimeters of mercury.

Blood Pressure Numbers

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) defines a normal blood pressure as 120/80 mm Hg. If your blood pressure is between 120 to 139 over 80 to 89 mm Hg, then your physician will diagnose you with pre-hypertension. Stage 1 hypertension refers to a systolic pressure that ranges between 140 and 145 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 90 to 99 mm Hg. Stage 2 hypertension, on the other hand, refers to a systolic pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 100 mm Hg or higher.

Since hypertension is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular disease in the U.S., it’s important to take measures to get your blood pressure back under control.

If left untreated, high blood pressure can damage the arteries. This can hinder blood flow to vital organs and cause other serious health conditions, including:


There is no exact cause for hypertension, but there are some factors that can contribute to the disease. According to the Framingham Heart Study, obesity is strongly linked to higher blood pressure. The study concludes that approximately 78 percent of males and 65 percent of females with hypertension have the condition because of obesity. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey also links elevated blood pressure with higher body mass index numbers.

Other causes of hypertension include:

  • Stress
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Eating foods high in sodium
  • Insulin resistance
  • A lack of potassium, magnesium and calcium in your diet
  • Types of medication, such as steroids, decongestants, diet pills and birth control pills


The American Heart Association recommends that anyone with elevated blood pressure should purchase a sphygmomanometer for home use. This will allow you to regularly measure your blood pressure and provide your medical team with documentation on your blood pressure levels outside of the office.

If you’ve been diagnosed with pre-hypertension or hypertension, you’ll need to book an appointment with a medical center that has experience in treating blood pressure that is higher than normal – no matter the underlying cause. Patients frequently benefit from a treatment plan that not only balances Western and Eastern medicine but also includes acupuncture.  Acupuncture Balanced Health, for instance, offers comprehensive, individualized integrative medicine plans developed by traditional Chinese medicine physicians that work with our board-certified physician trained in integrative medicine and acupuncture research.

Acupuncture Balanced Health has impressive experience in treating individuals diagnosed with hypertension. All of our treatment plans are made based on a personal assessment of our patients’ health and the underlying causes of their elevated blood pressure. Treatment will usually include weight loss along with regular exercise, the cessation of smoking if applicable, limiting salt and alcohol intake, as well as learning stress-reducing techniques.

Certain medications may also be recommended as part of your treatment plan. These may include diuretics, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, alpha blockers, nervous system inhibitors and vasodilators. Patients with hypertension are often encouraged to follow the DASH diet. Developed at the NHLBI, the DASH diet focuses on increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, consuming low-fat/fat-free dairy products rich in calcium, decreasing your intake of fat and sodium and ingesting enough potassium and magnesium.

Finally, research shows that acupuncture can decrease blood pressure levels. In fact, a 2013 clinical study published in Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research strongly concludes that acupuncture should be included in hypertension treatment guidelines. If you have been diagnosed with pre-hypertension or high blood pressure, it’s important to address your condition before it spirals out of control. Contact us today to make an appointment and start living a better, healthier life.



Breast cancer treatment symptoms such as insomnia and anxiety can often be alleviated by acupuncture, yoga and meditation.

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer treatment can involve surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, all of which can bring on severe side effects. Did you know that today, complementary medicine such as acupuncture is commonly used in conjunction with traditional treatment to alleviate everything from nausea to fatigue? In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s take a look at the benefits of acupuncture if you or a loved one have been diagnosed.

Reduce Nausea and Vomiting

Radiation and chemotherapy are extremely powerful and destructive. It’s only natural that your body would have trouble handling the side effects of cancer treatment. In fact, anti-nausea drugs are often prescribed to cancer patients. Acupuncture has been proven in multiple clinical studies to minimize nausea and vomiting.

Decrease Lymphedema After Surgery

More advanced stages of breast cancer may require surgery, such as a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. If that’s the case, you may experience swelling in your upper limbs as a result. While exercise and compression garments can provide relief, studies indicate that acupuncture can safely reduce arm circumference and swelling after a lumpectomy or mastectomy.

Minimize Pain and Fatigue

Expert acupuncture centers, such as Acupuncture Balanced Health, offer acupuncture for the management of chronic pain and chronic fatigue. Cancer pain and fatigue occur due to surgery, hormonal imbalances and/or cancer treatment. In some cases, pain and fatigue carry on after the completion of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The result of one clinical study indicate that acupuncture and acupressure can effectively manage chemo-related fatigue.

Lessen Insomnia and Anxiety

It’s not uncommon for cancer patients to suffer from insomnia and anxiety after getting diagnosed. While these two symptoms can very well be related, insomnia can also be due to chronic pain. Regardless of the cause, a number of cancer patients at Acupuncture Balanced Health undergo acupuncture to cure insomnia.

Depression and anxiety can also occur due to the severity of a cancer diagnosis and the uncertainty that comes with treatment. Your oncologist may prescribe an antidepressant if you find yourself overly stressed and worried. You may also wish to consider acupuncture to alleviate the anxiety you’re feeling: clinical studies show that acupuncture is effective at relieving anxiety.

Treat Neuropathy

As a result of radiotherapy, you may suffer from peripheral neuropathy after treatment. This type of nerve damage can cause weakness, pain and numbness in your limbs and in other areas of the body. Physicians recommend pain relievers, anti-seizure medication and topical creams. If you’re interested in a more natural approach, acupuncture is proven to stimulate nerves and reduce symptoms of neuropathy.

Increase Your White Blood Cell Count

Chemotherapy can also decrease your white blood cell count, which can put you at risk for infection and disease. This condition is called neutropenia. It’s also why oncologists order CBC blood tests throughout the course of cancer treatment. While exercise can help preserve your immune system, ask an acupuncturist about how acupuncture can help you combat neutropenia throughout chemo.

Mitigate Dry Mouth, Night Sweats and Hot Flashes

Common side effects of cancer treatment can also include xerostomia (dry mouth) and vasomotor symptoms, such as night sweats and hot flashes. Both of these conditions can be greatly improved with acupuncture.

Acupuncture for Breast Cancer

As you’ve read, chemo and radiation side effects are harsh and can drastically decrease your overall quality of life. Controlling any debilitating symptoms is crucial for boosting your emotional and physical strength while in cancer treatment.

The practice of acupuncture aims to regulate the body’s own vital life force, called “Qi”. Eastern medicine theories attribute the growth of disease and pain to the disruption of Qi. By stimulating specific trigger points with acupuncture, your energy flow is regulated and your body returns to a state of balance and harmony, ridding yourself of ailments and sickness.

Alleviate Your Symptoms at Acupuncture Balanced Health

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With our thorough cancer support program, Acupuncture Balanced Health is committed to alleviating all of your cancer treatment symptoms and restoring balance to your life. This may include learning to reduce your stress levels through yoga and meditation, adopting an anti-cancer diet and taking traditional Chinese medicine herbs. Contact us today to make an appointment and find relief from your breast cancer treatment side effects.