Effects of acupuncture on blood pressure and plasma renin activity in two-kidney one clip Goldblatt hypertens

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Effects of acupuncture on blood pressure and plasma renin activity in two-kidney one clip Goldblatt hypertensive rats.

Lee HS, Kim JY (1994) American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 22(3,4): 215-9

This article from the College of Oriental Medicine, Korea, reports a study of 46 rats: 28 with a surgically placed renal artery band, 9 non surgery controls, and 9 sham operated. EX-UE-11, a curious locus on the tips of the fingers, were needled daily starting 2 weeks after surgery. Banded artery rats had a blood pressure (BP) elevation to 164mm Hg systolic within 2 weeks, with the other control groups holding at 116-121 mm Hg. With acupuncture treatment, controls and sham operated rats showed a slight BP drop in the first 5 days, then returned to baseline. Banded rats without acupuncture had a gradual BP rise to 170-200mm Hg by 6 weeks, while the 17 acupuncture treated rats stayed below 160mm Hg. Plasma renin dropped significantly in the acupuncture treated rats compared to non-treated.

Comment: This is a good study with a consistent approach to the control, sham operated control, artery banded acupuncture treated, and non-treated groups. Significant differences were shown by Student t test at a less than 5% level (some less than 1%) for BP and renin levels. They also mention past studies with acupuncture or moxa therapy using BL.15 and 23, and ST.36 points in reducing BP and plasma renin. This paper provides very objective evidence for body metabolic changes resulting from needling distal upper extremity points, demonstrating that such treatment can cause definite beneficial body change whether or not one wishes to believe in the existence of body point meridians.

The British Medical Acupuncture Society.

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By Russel J. Erickson

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