for people ages 39-85 (full criteria)
at Costa Mesa, California and other locations
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Stephanie Tjen-A-Looi, PhDLiang-Wu Fu, MD, PhDShaista Malik, MD, PhD, MPHLiFang Xie, PhD, LAc



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

Official Title

Neural Mechanism of the Effect of Acupuncture 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.


Hypertension, blood pressure, mild to moderate hypertension, Electro-acupuncture test


You can join if…

Open to people ages 39-85

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

You CAN'T join if...

  • 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


  • Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute accepting new patients
    Costa Mesa California 92626 United States
  • UCIMedical Center accepting new patients
    Orange California 92868 United States

Lead Scientists at UC Irvine


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Irvine
Study Type
Expecting 160 study participants
Last Updated