Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncture

Is it true that people suffering from high blood pressure should not try acupuncture?

I have been a high blood pressure patient for the past 2 years. I am planning to take acupuncture for weight loss. Will there be any side effects?

31 Answers

In my opinion, acupuncture is an efficient and safe way to treat hypertension.
If you are concerned about side effects the best person to discuss this is with your acupuncturists and medical doctor. I am not aware of any general contraindications for high blood pressure and acupuncture. Always discuss alternative treatments with your medical doctor before hand.
Quite the opposite. Acupuncture can help lower blood pressure.
Acupuncture can help you with your weight loss and high blood pressure.

Please visit and for more information.

Thank you,
Dr. Hui (Grace) Gao LAc., TCMD
No. What is true is that people with high blood pressure should be sure to take their meds regularly, let their acupuncturist know that they are on them and let their western doc know that they are getting acupuncture. Acupuncture can help regulate both blood pressure and blood sugar as it brings the body more back into balance. As a result, it is possible that you may need less medication. So, be sure to monitor your blood pressure while you're in treatment.
There is no side effect in getting acupuncture. You can try to see if you like it or not.
Weight loss often leads to patients being able to reduce, or stop, medications for things like high blood pressure. Acupuncture can help reduce blood pressure, along with Chinese Herbal medicine.
Receiving acupuncture from a trained and skilled acupuncturist is of upmost importance. Acupuncture is very effective in the treatment of hypertension, for it balances the flow of Qi (energy), which moves the blood. Changing one's diet and adding exercise will enhance the effect of acupuncture.
Acupuncture, herbs and lifestyle changes will make a significant decrease in high blood pressure.
That is not true. Acupuncture itself, or combined with herbal therapy, food therapy, with lifestyle changes can help reduce hypertension.
It is not true, actually acupuncture helps reducing blood pressure.
A problem will be using moxibustion which is the use of warming up the body with a product obtained from mugwort plant. But by inform the acupuncturist by your conditions, she will know what she can't use in your case.
Acupuncture can be containdicated if are taking blood thinners.
It is not correct
That is completely false. In fact, acupuncture can be quite effective at treating hypertension/high blood pressure.

General side effects of acupuncture: feeling blissfully relaxed, stress rolling off like drops of rain, feeling calmer, sleeping better, symptoms getting better or going away....

Perhaps you wanted to know what the risks are? What I have seen actually happen (rarely) in my practice would be the following: pain/discomfort at needle insertion, bruising. Other things that can potentially happen if the practitioner makes a mistake or is poorly trained is infection (very uncommon) and puncturing an organ (such as pneumothorax, or puncturing the lung cavity). Pneumothorax has happened from physical therapists performing "dry needling," but never from a fully trained acupuncturist, to the best of my knowledge and recollection. Other risks could be Chinese herbs having an interaction with medication, as Chinese herbs are often used in conjunction with acupuncture. Hope that doesn't sound scarier than it really is and that you try this very safe and effective, ancient medicine.
It is not true. Acupuncture can help to reduce your high blood pressure. For weight loss, a good acupuncturist would find what caused your weight increase, then do the treatments. Maybe your weight problem is related to your high blood pressure, so that it is good to treat your high blood pressure first. Generally, acupuncture does not have side affects, but it may mistreat if the acupuncturist does not know how to find the real problem.
False. Acupuncture can actually help with high blood pressure because one of the leading causes of high blood pressure is stress. The side effects of acupuncture are beneficial side effects because it is a completely natural therapy and it is making your body do all the work and self-healing. The worst side effect that acupuncture has ever caused in my office is minor bruising at the needle site (and most of the time that is because my patients are on some sort of medication that makes them bruise more easily).
Never true. Acupuncture is effective for lower blood pressure. I saw many patients came for this condition, either patients did not want to take Rx or had adverse effects with anti-hypersensitive Rx.
If you were told that, I would have to disagree and question where that opinion came from.
There are no side effects with acupuncture treatment unless you go to someone who is untrained or unlicensed. There would have to be gross negligence to cause any side effects.
Acupuncture is actually an excellent treatment for hypertension. Most studies show that it can at least match pharmaceuticals in terms of its BP-lowering effects.

The only time there *might* be an issue is if you have a fear of needles or anxiety about acupuncture in general. Make sure you've discussed any concerns with your acupuncturist prior to treatment. So long as your blood pressure is currently controlled, and your acupuncturist is aware of your hypertensive status and is checking your blood pressure before treatment, you should be just fine. Since acupuncture can lower blood pressure, when your treatment is over and the needles have been removed, get up slowly and allow yourself time to adjust.

In terms of side effects, you might see some lowering of your blood pressure over time. This, in combination with any pharmaceuticals you may be taking, could lead to some hypotension (lower than normal blood pressure). You'll be most likely to notice lowered blood pressure when going from seated or laying to standing (orthostatic hypotension). This type of hypotension is often associated with some dizziness, so move slowly and make sure there's something nearby you can grab for support if
necessary. It's also a good idea to make sure your primary care physician is aware you're getting acupuncture so they can work with you to adjust medication dosage when appropriate.

Best of luck!

Jeff Rippey, L.Ac.

Thank you for asking this question, I do believe there are more people that have the same question as you do. Acupuncture treatment is helpful for lowering blood pressure, which is also published in a medical journal in 2014. Acupuncture treatment can support the body losing weight and at the same time lower your blood pressure. I believe it is a great way to treat both at the same time.

Hope I answered your question.
The acupuncture should not negatively affect your blood pressure numbers, though it is generally advised to maintain proper blood pressure before attempting any medical procedure. I do not know what you mean by "high" is it just a few numbers above average or is it in the 200's? If it is only slightly high there should be no problem, if it is highly elevated, then you should be on BP medications to help maintain that.

The acupuncture should not have negative effects on your BP medications, though as you get the treatments and as you lose weight, your BP may naturally decrease. So, stay in touch with your primary MD who is prescribing the medications so that the BP can be monitored and proper dosages can be maintained. Most acupuncturists will not treat you unless your BP is in a normal range, so get that under control first.
Obesity is not necessarily the cause of hypertension, but the chances of hypertension due to obesity are quite high. It is therefore true that it is helpful to treat the two together. It is practically difficult to treat hypertension and obesity with Oriental Medicine alone. I am confident that I can get a considerable effect in conjunction with Western Medicine treatment. In terms of Oriental Medicine, acupuncture itself has little side effects. There is a risk of stabbing blood vessels or organs during acupuncture. However, the needle itself is very thin and rarely leads to large side effects. Thank you.
No, that is not true. In fact, acupuncture tends to help lower blood pressure. Acupuncture can be an effective tool to help manage high blood pressure either on its own, or in conjunction with Western medicine, depending upon the individual and their history. It is worthwhile to consult with an acupuncturist to find out your own individual prognosis.
Hi, Acupuncture treats high blood pressure very effectively, when you go to your practitioner for weight loss let them know that you have high blood pressure. There are no negative side effects to acupuncture treatment, you may come away feeling relaxed :)

Thank you for reaching out. Acupuncture actually helps lower blood pressure. You should give it a try, combined with herbal medication acupuncture is very helpful for both lowering blood pressure and weight loss.

I hope I was able to answer your question. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Warm regards,

Aleksandra Dianova, L.Ac.

High blood pressure has several stages, depending on which stage you are. Early stage of hypertension should get help from alternative acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture is one of the best treatments for elevated blood pressure (Hypertension), along with meditation and breathing exercises. A licensed acupuncturist will use acupuncture to treat the body as a whole unit, therefore, treating your digestion, blood pressure, mood, thyroid, and metabolism all at the same time. Some people experience dizziness and lightheadedness when sitting up and getting off the table after an acupuncture session, but if you have a bottle of room temperature water handy, the reaction will pass within minutes of being upright and hydrating.
That is incorrect. Acupuncture actually helps lower blood pressure by helping the heart to regulate how it pumps blood through the vein and arteries.

I hope this helps.

Andrew Pacholyk
People with high blood pressure SHOULD certainly get acupuncture. Acupuncture is actually one of the primary treatments for high blood pressure. At Tampa Bay Acu Health and Spine, we are able to get people's BP under control or get them off their BP meds within 6 weeks (with close monitoring of their BP readings and follow up of course). We use Chinese herbs also for maintenance of BP control. Acupuncture should be used much more for high blood pressure, it would help Americans.

Stephen Dell-Jones, DOM, MS
People who are suffering from high blood pressure can use acupuncture and there is no side effects. Acupuncture can actually complement a conventional therapy to reduce the blood pressure. If a patient chooses acupuncture and a diet plan to lose weight and if the outcome is positive, he or she might see their blood pressure decrease over time.

Alexandre Hillairet, DAOM.

The simple answer is NO! Acupuncture can actually help to lower your blood pressure. Please mention that you have hypertension, and your acupuncturist will help you.  He/She will probably ask you if you have high or low blood pressure.


Scott Sang In LeeChun Am Acupuncture천암 한의원 

In fact, acupuncture can help with high blood pressure (HBP)! There are a handful of points, but there are two ear points that may not conflict with your weight loss treatment. Your acupuncturist can tell you if they can add them into your treatment, so be sure to let them know about the HBP so they can take it into consideration.