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Aan de universiteit van Californië, onder leiding van John Longhurst, heeft men onderzoek gedaan naar de invloed die acupunctuur heeft op de bloeddruk.
Electroacupuncture reduces blood pressure in rats. But the effect is temporary and scientists don’t yet know if humans would benefit a type of acupuncture that uses low levels of electrical stimulation can temporarily lower blood pressure in rats, US researchers report. A study published in the March issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology shows electroacupuncture can lower rises in blood pressure by as much as 50%.
“This study suggests that acupuncture can be an excellent complement to other medical treatments, especially for those treating the cardiac system,” says Dr John Longhurst, a cardiologist from the University of California, Irvine, who led the study. Longhurst and colleagues say they inserted acupuncture needles at specific points on the front legs of rats with artificially elevated blood pressure. This is equivalent to the inside of the forearms, slightly above the wrists in people.
While acupuncture alone had no effect on the rats’ blood pressure, there was a marked effect when the researchers ran an electric current through the needles, specifically at low frequencies. Overall, the researchers noted that treating the rats for 30 minutes reduced their blood pressure by 25 mmHg, with the effects lasting up to two hours. But the approach did not bring their blood pressure back to normal. “This type of electroacupuncture is only effective on elevated blood pressure levels, such as those present in hypertension, and the treatment has no impact on standing blood pressure rates,” says Longhurst. “Our goal is to help establish a standard of acupuncture treatment that can benefit everyone who has hypertension and other cardiac aliments.” His team is now testing the technique on people.
In earlier studies Longhurst and his colleagues looked at what happens when acupuncture excites brain cells to release neurotransmitters that either inhibit or boost cardiovascular activity. They found that when an acupuncture needle is inserted inside the forearm or leg, this triggers the release of opioid chemicals in the brain that dampen excitatory responses in the cardiovascular system. This decreases the heart’s activity and its need for oxygen, which in turn can lower blood pressure, the researchers say.
Lees hier het volledige artikel.