Q. Would acupuncture be used to lower blood pressure as I have bad sude effects from all medication prescribed and I am at my wits end
A. Although we publish a factsheet on hypertension
it does not have a great deal of evidence to suggest that acupuncture is that effective as a stand-alone treatment for high blood pressure. However, two more recent systematic reviews, summaries of all trials, tend to the conclusion which we find in clinical practice, that a combination of medication and acupuncture tends to be the most effective treatment. You can see the reviews here
but they are a little complex!
One of the main reasons that there will usually only be trials of acupuncture and medication against medication alone is that no clinician would be able to leave high BP untreated as a control against which the acupuncture was tested. What we find, though, is that when we use acupuncture treatment alongside medication people are often able, after discussion with their doctor, to begin to reduce the amount or numbers of medications they use. For many people this can mean the difference between debilitating side effects and mild inconvenience. Reductions can only be done in concert with the GP, though; patients changing their own medications can sometimes cause major complications. Our members would never advise anyone to so do.
The best advice that we can give is that you visit a local BAcC member for a brief chat about what may be possible. We treat people, not conditions, and it is highly likely that your high blood pressure sits within a wider context which may make a great difference in how much change you might be able to achieve. The same named condition can be treated in dozens of different ways because each patient is unique, so there is no one set treatment. This can mean a considerable difference in the confidence we feel about effecting change.
Most members are happy to give up a few minutes without charge to prospective patients, and this will enable you to make a properly informed choice about whether to proceed with treatment.