Effect of Electro-Acupuncture on Blood Pressure

  • End date
    Dec 9, 2025
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of California, Irvine
Updated on 24 January 2022
antihypertensive drugs
antihypertensive agents


Based on previous published research in animals and human, the investigators hypothesize that electroacupuncture (EA) will have a positive effect on hypertension.


The purpose of this study is to prove: (1) hypertensive response at rest and provoked by stress are decreased by EA; (2) The mechanisms of EA that reduces elevated blood pressure. EA inhibits the sympathetic nervous system, decreases blood pressure and reduces the oxygen demand. Our prior data in animals shows that improvements in cardiovascular function during myocardial ischemia, reflex hypertension and sustained hypertension are mediated by an EA-induced sensory neural reflex originating in somatic nerves to reduce sympathetic nerve activity. The specific aims of the present study will allow us to better understand and modulate the sympathetic nervous discharge activity that can cause hypertension during normal activity and stress in humans. The potential clinical application is the therapeutic value of EA in patients with hypertension.

Furthermore, the study will also investigate gender differences in the blood pressure lowering effect of EA. In particular in middle-aged hypertensive women and men.

Condition Hypertension
Treatment Electro-acupuncture, Electro-acupuncture control, Electro-acupuncture test
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT00932139
SponsorUniversity of California, Irvine
Last Modified on24 January 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Patients with mild coronary disease, and no significant ECG change reflecting ischemia at rest
Patients with high blood pressure with or without antihypertensive medication

Exclusion Criteria

Pregnant or nursing women
Individuals with severe coronary disease (continuous angina)
Conduction abnormalities on ECG consistent with left bundle branch block
Cardiac arrhythmias associated with low blood pressure (90 mmHg)
Peripheral vascular disease
Orthopedic disease
Diabetic or psychological illness that could interfere with safe performance of exercise of psychophysiological stress testing
Those with known sensitivity to topical preparations or strong reactions to medical dressings and skin tapes
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