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High Blood Pressure

We all know someone with high blood pressure (HBP), possibly a beloved family member or a lifelong friend. This common problem affects one in four American adults.1 An alarming 75% of patients with type 2 diabetes also have HBP.2

High blood pressure is particularly dangerous because, for the most part, there are no symptoms until severe damage occurs. Heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, atherosclerosis, and eye disease are some of the serious problems that may result from untreated HBP.

Normal blood pressure is in the range of 120/80 ("120 over 80"). The first number represents the systolic pressure, the pressure at which your heart pumps blood into your arteries. The second number represents the diastolic pressure, the pressure in your arteries between heart beats (the resting pressure). The systolic pressure can increase, in the short term, in response to stress or physical activity. Systolic pressures over 140 and diastolic pressures over 90 suggest the possibility of HBP. Blood pressure readings should be repeated several times, over a period of several days, before a diagnosis of HBP is considered.

Medical treatment for HBP consists of blood pressure-lowering medications (antihypertensives). This group of drugs is typically effective in reducing pressure, but getting the dosages right may be tricky and there may be unwelcome side effects.

Lifestyle strategies and activities (complementary medicine, lifestyle medicine) offer significant, well-documented benefits in reducing blood pressure levels. Regular, frequent exercise is an important part of all lifestyle programs targeted toward lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.3,4 Regular exercise makes your heart stronger, and a stronger heart pumps blood more easily and efficiently. Over time, regular exercise may reduce blood pressure levels by an average of 10mm.

Meditation is another key reducer of blood pressure levels.5 Much more than a New Age fad, meditation has consistently demonstrated benefits related to several health issues. And, meditation is easy to do. All you need is a comfortable chair or cushion that allows you to sit in a straight posture without any tension. There's no special breathing to do and you don't have to do any chanting.

To meditate, sit facing a blank wall (if possible) and let your hands relax in your lap. Tilt your head slightly downward, and let your eyes achieve a soft focus at that slightly downward angle. Breathe easily and gently. Breathe in and visualize energy going up your spine in the back. Breathe out and visualize the energy going down your spine in the front. Silently say "one". Continue up to "ten" cycles, and begin again at "one". That's it!

How long? This is completely up to you. Start with five minutes twice a day, and gradually build up to 20 minutes twice a day. You'll probably notice you're feeling much more at ease, more relaxed, with more energy during the day than before you started meditating. The benefits are powerful, and again, there is a profound effect on high blood pressure.

Your doctor of chiropractic can help participate in a complementary approach, assisting your body and you nervous system to function at peak performance.

1Undiagnosed hypertension is common among urban emergency room patients. Medscape Medical News, Sept 2, 2005 - http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/538785.
2Schutta MH: Diabetes and hypertension. Epidemiology of the relationship and pathophysiology of factors associated with these comorbid conditions. J Cardiometab Syndr 2(2):124-130, 2007.
3High blood pressure and exercise: Why activity is key. August 11th, 2006 - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/HI00024.
4Zanabria E, Welch GL: Hypertension and exercise. American Fitness March-April 2003.
5Walton KG, et al. Psychosocial stress and cardiovascular disease. Effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation program in treatment and prevention. Behav Med 28(3):106-123, 2002.

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Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

    I have been going to Discover Life Chiropractic for 5 years. I am an athlete who went in with low back pain and some knee issues. It did take time but to this day I do not have low back pain or knee pain as long as I am staying healthy with periodic adjustments. Dr. Dave knows his stuff and is attentive to concerns (if you are feeling something make sure you tell him). I feel so aligned and feel like I am functioning at a high level each day. If I can, I like to use Dr. Daves partnering doctor for extremity adjustments (feet, arms, legs) he is exceptional especially with those! Like with anything you have to be consistent, can't just go 3 times and expect to be healed. Hope this was helpful! Best, Alex

    Alexandria B

    So... I have had back pain all my life and neck pain from a car accident causing severe and frequent migraines. Other chiropractors just did a "quick fix" that lasted a couple days at most. This chiropractor, David, has practically eliminated my neck pain and migraines and my back pain had decreased tons. Now usually when I have pain it is because I have bad posture or I need to stretch or build up muscle to keep my spine in place. I understand he can only do so much but to be pain free you have to put in work also. WITH ALL THAT SAID, the pain has gone down from constant to occasional and from severe pain to mostly mild and we are still working on it. Would recommend the chiropractic service there to anyone.

    Ken R

    I have experienced fairly sever neck pain for the last few years. Have been to my doctor, had ultrasounds etc. Nothing was working. I started going to David at Discover life a few months ago as a last resort to deal with the pain and the difference is amazing even with just this short amount of time. He explains everything very clearly and even has me doing stretching and work while at home. His staff is great and always friendly when I come in. I would highly recommend Discover Life Chiropractic.

    Jennifer D