Turns Out We Have A Button To Lower High Blood Pressure. Here's How To Find It

Do you know if your blood pressure is high? Unless you get your blood pressure checked regularly, you won't know if you have high blood pressure because it doesn't have any symptoms. It's sometimes called the "silent killer" because if high blood pressure goes untreated, it can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or kidney disease. High blood pressure is also linked to the development of dementia.

Although your blood pressure will go up and down throughout your day, a consistent blood pressure at 130/80 mm Hg (millimeter of mercury) or higher needs treatment. You can take medication to reduce your blood pressure, but lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, adopting a healthy diet low in sodium and alcohol, and exercising at least 150 minutes a week can make a difference.

Healthcare professionals are also turning to alternative therapies such as acupuncture and acupressure to help reduce blood pressure. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, our bodies have a system of meridians where energy called qi flows. If a meridian is blocked, using needles or pressure helps stimulate the qi to alleviate certain conditions. A 2023 article in Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health found the Taichong, Shenmen, and Taixi acupoints can effectively lower your blood pressure.

Take three minutes to stimulate the Taichong acupoint

The 2023 article in Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health pulled together nine quantitative studies that found acupressure reduces blood pressure. The researchers concluded that applying pressure at the Taichong point was best for blood pressure. They suggested pressing into the point for five seconds and releasing for one second, repeating this 30 times for a total of three minutes in a single session. You can do this every day for up to four weeks.

According to Positive Acupuncture, the Taichong or Liver 3 acupoint on the top of your foot between the bones of your big toe and second toe. Bring your thumb between these two toes, then move your thumb down so you feel a divot where these two bones meet. It might feel tender there. This acupoint is a point along the liver meridian, which is associated with the Wood element. If the Wood element is out of balance, you could feel anger or irritability, says Thompson Chinese Medicine

While performing acupressure, be sure to take long, deep breaths. Sour foods such as lemon or apple cider vinegar can support the qi in your liver. Avoid quick-digesting carbs such as bread and pair complex carbs with protein to slow your digestion. People associated with the Wood element live a fast-paced lifestyle, so consider slowing down to not only put your qi back into balance but also reduce your blood pressure.

Two other acupressure points

Acupressure tricks the body into believing there is an injury, so the body responds by sending a relaxation response. The body eventually learns to relax on its own without needing further acupressure treatments. The 2023 article in Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health said that applying pressure to the Shenmen and Taixi acupoints for a total of 40 minutes per day for up to 4 weeks gets the body to adapt and relax. The Taixi acupoint is along the kidney meridian, and you'll find it on the inside of your foot between your ankle bone and your Achilles tendon. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the kidney is like a battery pack for your energy. When qi isn't flowing through your kidney meridian, you could either feel lethargic or fearful. Using acupressure on Kidney 3 will relax you but also restore a more balanced energy (per Mend Acupuncture).

Tai Chi Acupuncture and Wellness says Shenmen is also known as the Spirit Gate, and it's part of the heart meridian that controls our mind and emotions. Open your palm face up and locate your wrist bone below your pinky finger. Move slightly towards the center of your wrist to the soft spot between the bone and your tendon. That's Shenmen. Applying pressure to this point can release blocked energy, relieve insomnia, and reduce stress.