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Overcoming Orthostatic Low Blood Pressure with Traditional Chinese Medicine

One case study showcasing the ability of acupuncture to treat low blood pressure involved a mother of 4 children in her mid-forties who was diagnosed with Orthostatic Hypotension. Her doctor suggested she wear therapeutic pressure stockings to help relieve her symptoms. She consulted an acupuncturist and asked if Chinese medicine and acupuncture in Pembroke Pines would be able to improve her condition in a way that she wouldn’t need to put on those therapeutic stockings ever again. Her acupuncturist examined her for about 30 minutes and found that the woman had suffered from severe fatigue after giving birth to a child thirteen years ago. She never was able to fully recover fully from her condition as she was forced to return to work immediately. Over time, she gradually developed fainting spells in the morning as she rose from bed. The woman could only manage to handle her daily life activities if she wore the prescription pressure stockings. Besides the fainting spells and the overall weakness, she experienced other signs and symptoms that included poor blood flow in the legs, afternoon tiredness, dark, black color below the eyes, poor concentration, and frequent and urgent urination particularly during the night. The acupuncturist had a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) diagnoses for the woman which were deficient kidney qi, blood stagnation, and central qi deficiency. She was prescribed with a daily dose of Chinese herbal formulas and treated with acupuncture once a week for 90 days. After that time, an improvement of her condition was noted and the patient was able to lower her pressure stockings from 20 to 30mg to 15 to 18 mg. The treatment was extended for an additional two months. After the end of the treatment, the patient had no more need for the stockings and all her symptoms were resolved.

The sudden drop of blood pressure in the brain arteries is known as orthostatic hypotension. This can occur when the body all of a sudden assumes a vertical stance. This causes blood to suddenly go down to the veins in the lower stomach and the legs due to gravity. In this condition, the heart’s pumping of blood causes the blood to normally return to it but the amount of blood that returns to the heart is lessened, the heart tends to slow down its pumping activity which leads to the fall of blood pressure. The change in blood pressure often affects the brain and if blood pressure falls, the brain starts to function poorly. To prevent blood pressure from falling, the person needs to assume the horizontal position. This helps boost the return of blood to the heart that, in turn, provides adequate blood supply to the brain helping improve the function of this organ.

A lot of individuals may remember a time when they felt a fainting spell or a sense of lightheadedness when they stand up all of a sudden after sitting or lying down for a long period of time. Some may also sense those kinds of feeling when they have been standing still for a long while. The term for this temporary instance of lightheadedness is known as vasovagal syncope, orthostatic hypotension, or orthostatic low blood pressure.

According to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, orthostatic hypotension can be the result of various factors such as neuralgia, post significant fluid or blood loss, post febrile disease, and mental or physical overexertion, among others. They all can result in the malfunctioning of the internal organs which weakens the ability of the blood vessels and heart to maintain normal blood pressure in the body. And despite the seemingly minor consequences of this clinical condition, it is definitely bothersome and oftentimes adversely impacts a person’s quality of life. To cure the problem and restore balance to the affected organ systems, the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) modalities of Chinese herbal therapy and acupuncture should be strongly considered.

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