Acupuncture/ pressureHigh Blood Pressure

Acupuncture not effective in lowering blood pressure

About 2 years ago, there was news that acupuncture lowered blood pressure in rats. I usually avoid reporting animal studies. It’s along way from the lab to the clinic.

Here’s a case in point.

The Stop Hypertension with the Acupuncture Research Program pilot trial enrolled 192 people with untreated high blood pressure (BP) in the range of 140/90 to 179/109 mm Hg. They were then assigned to traditional Chinese acupuncture, standardized acupuncture at preselected points, or invasive sham acupuncture.

In the end, there were small changes in blood pressure, and no significant differences among the groups.

There were also no differences based on subgroups (eg, by age, race, gender, baseline BP, history of antihypertensive use, obesity, or primary traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis).

The bottom line?

When it comes to people, active acupuncture provides no greater benefit than invasive sham acupuncture in reducing BP.

10/4/06 22:47 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.