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A. Acupuncture: A Therapy for High Blood Pressure?

Narrator: If you're one of the many Americans who suffer from high blood pressure, you may benefit from acupuncture treatments. This is Science Today. New research conducted by cardiologist John Longhurst of the University of California, Irvine demonstrates that acupuncture may be useful in lowering blood pressure.

Longhurst: In our experimental studies we have shown that it does have the capacity to regulate blood pressure, particularly if blood pressure is high. Either because there's some sort of condition like hypertension or because there's a stress response that increases blood pressure?

Narrator: According to Longhurst, the effects of acupuncture can be long lasting, and the duration of the effects increase with the number of acupuncture treatments.

Longhurst: If I perform acupuncture, its effects last for many minutes, hours sometimes, after I complete the procedure. And what we've seen is that after the first episode there's maybe a very slight decrease in blood pressure, but after two or three times, blood pressure goes down.

Narrator: Longhurst has received a two million dollar federal grant to continue studying acupuncture's effects on the cardiovascular system. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.