Electroacupuncture lowers high blood pressure
OBJECTIVE: To determine if applying electroacupuncture at ST 36-37 will lower the systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressures of chronic hypertensive rats. DESIGN: A 12 week study on the effect of electroacupuncture was conducted from September 2014 to December 2014. The total number of rats used in the study was 16 (n=16). The rats were divided into four groups: Electroacupuncture, Sham-EA, Hypertensive control, and Normotensive control. All of the rats, expect for those in the Normotensive group, were housed in the cold room to induce chronic hypertension. After 8 weeks in the cold room, the rats in the Electroacupuncture group received electrical stimulation twice a week for 30 min. Needles were also inserted into the rats in the Sham-EA group, but there was no electric current. The blood pressures of all of the rats were measured once a week for 12 weeks. Lastly, the data was analyzed using SigmaStat to perform One Way ANOVA and T-tests. RESULT: The initial blood pressures between the 4 groups were similar with a difference of less than 5 mmHg. The groups placed in cold rooms showed a significant difference of more than 20 mmHg compared to their initial blood pressures (P≤0.05) at week 7. Finally, the blood pressures of the Sham-EA and Hypertensive control group did not lower at 12 weeks compared to week 7. However, the systolic, mean, and diastolic blood pressures in the EA group lowered with a significant difference of greater than 20 mmHg at week 12 compared to week 7. There was no significant change between the initial and final blood pressures for those in the Normotensive group. CONCLUSION: The data showed that systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressures in the Electroacupuncture group lowered significantly at week 12 or after 5 weeks of treatment. Thus, we can conclude that electroacupuncture does have a beneficial effect in lowering blood pressure in chronically hypertensive rats.