There are many methods for keeping hear heart healthy, but you should add acupuncture to that list. The needles used in acupuncture can stimulate your body in ways that are comparable to traditional medicine. Check out these three ways acupuncture can actually help keep your heart healthy.  

Lowers Your Blood Pressure

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Routine acupuncture can help reduce your systolic blood pressure reading by up to 20 points. That's comparable to many prescription medications, but make sure to speak with your doctor if you are considering using acupuncture as an alternative to medication.

The way acupuncture helps with blood pressure is by releasing neurotransmitters that send a single to the brain to help it regulate your cardiovascular system. However, just like medication, you must continue the treatment to earn the benefits. A few acupuncture visits won't lower your blood pressure for life. It requires a lifelong commitment.

Assists in Managing Your Stress

Everyone experiences stress in their life, but those individuals who are exposed to unusually high levels of stress or don't do anything to reduce their stress are at higher risk of cardiovascular problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, chest pain and irregular heartbeats. However, doctors are unclear whether stress directly affects heart disease. It may be a direct cause, or it may just increase your chances of developing other risk factors, such as obesity.

One thing is certain, however, acupuncture helps reduce your stress, especially electronic acupuncture. The reason behind this is still unclear, but the leading theory is that acupuncture helps to block the hormones released when you are stressed: those "fight or flight" hormones that can cause anxiety.

Improves Your Sleep Habits

Getting enough sleep is extremely important for keeping your body and mind healthy. Poor sleep habits have even been linked with high blood pressure, heart failure, heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis. Special acupuncture treatments are designed for people who struggle with healthy sleep patterns so they can get a good night's sleep.

The idea behind using acupuncture for a sleep aid is to treat the reason causing the insomnia instead of just treating the insomnia. As a result, people who use acupuncture for sleep problems can actually improve their overall physical and mental health by treating the cause and not just a symptom. Even better, these patients don't get the same negative side effects associated with over-the-counter and prescription sleep medication.

If you already suffer from a cardiovascular problem, such as high blood pressure, don't stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor. Instead of replacing your existing treatment with acupuncture, it may be safer to add it as additional treatment. If you're ready to boost your heart health through acupuncture, contact an acupuncturist or heart specialist like Martin Medical Center.