Naturally Reduce Your Blood Pressure
Roughly 1 in every 3 American adults has high blood pressure. This disease is often known as ‘the silent killer’ because many people who suffer from high blood pressure have no symptom or even clue he or she has it. High blood pressure is associated with heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, damage to arteries, enlarged heart, coronary artery disease dementia, damage to your liver and kidneys, cognitive impairment, damage to your brain… in short, high blood pressure can do damage to your entire body.
The normal reading, or standard, used to be 120/80, although now, according to the American Heart Association, ‘optimal heart health’ is now considered any reading between 110-119 over 70-79. If you consistently have a blood pressure reading of 120-139 over 80-89, your doctor may consider this ‘pre hypertensive, or a pre-curser to developing high blood pressure. He or she may give your suggestions and tips to help lower your numbers before considering medical intervention such as medications.
What is considered ‘high blood pressure’? Any consistent reading of 140-159 over 90-99 is considered high. Numbers over these are considered dangerous and even life threatening. It’s very important you follow your doctor’s advice if you have readings such as these. Your life could, literally depend upon it.
It’s also very important to never self diagnose. You may go to a drug store or department store and have your blood pressure taken at one of the little ‘bp’ stations. Maybe you have a monitor and cuff at home. Still, the best way to determine what your particular situation may call for is to see your doctor. He or she will suggest taking your blood pressure several different times during the day and keeping track of it via a chart so you can both determine together what your true blood pressure readings may be. Further medical means may then be suggested.
But perhaps you are one of those people who doesn’t like to take medication every day. Or perhaps you are pregnant, nursing, trying to get pregnant, or have another medical condition that makes you hesitate to go on medicine. What are some ways you can naturally reduce your blood pressure?
The Basics First
Almost any medical professional, from doctors, mid wives, nurses to CNAs and Pas will tell you any disease prevention and treatment starts with the basics: diet, exercise, and lifestyle. The first natural way to reduce your blood pressure is to truly and honestly examine these three things in your life and get them into balance. Let’s take each of these in turn.
Diets high in processed and sodium foods are almost always associated with high blood pressure. This can range from fast food to deli meats to even high sugar and high carb foods such as bakery goods and pasta. Having a healthy diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and limited high sugar snacks can help you achieve not only weight loss goals, but aid in a number of other ways. Your joints will feel better. You will sleep better. Your blood pressure will be lower. Your heart rate and rapid breathing will improve. You will have more energy. In short, you will feel better because your body IS better. Cut out the excess sugar, condiments and especially salt. Try food ‘naked’ and see the difference in the taste!
Do you exercise at all? Are you active? We’ve all heard these questions. Exercise is more than sweating in the gym. It’s swimming, hiking, dancing, playing golf, using a treadmill, walking your dog and a hundred other things. Being active through exercise is essential to naturally lowering your blood pressure. So pick something active and get up off your seat (after you finish this article of course).
How much stress are you under? Do you ever take a ‘breathing break’? In today’s chaotic world, finding ‘me time’ is almost as elusive as winning the power ball lottery. Many medical paraprofessionals believe stress is almost always the number one cause of high blood pressure. Take five minutes to deep breathe every day. Practice yoga. Try meditation. Run a hot bath, plug in your favorite tunes, and relax. Try a guided course in self hypnosis course. And don’t say you can’t afford the time in your busy day. You can’t afford not to make the time.
And Now the ‘Cuts’
You knew this was coming, I bet. Anything natural is going to involve cutting out or giving up. But it’s for your better health. Don’t think of it as a ‘cut’ so much as a ‘too much of a bad thing doesn’t make it good’.
Smoking is the first cut you will need to make. Smoking raises your blood pressure by causing your arteries and veins to constrict so the heart has to work harder to pump the blood into your blood. We have several guided hypnosis programs on how to stop smoking. There are many ways and lots of help to end this habit. Find the one which works for you and save money too, not buying cigarettes.
Alcohol is the second cut. While many doctors suggest red wine in moderation is good for your heart, an entire bottle every night is not what they suggest. Nor is a six pack of beer. Reduce and even, if you can, eliminate your alcohol intake. You may be surprised how much better you feel.
Salt and sugar are the next cuts. Yes, we mentioned these before, but truly find out where you are getting sugar and salt in your diet. Read the labels of what’s in the food and products you buy. Many ‘vitamins’ contain fructose and gelcose…which is, yep, sugar. Dairy products can be very high in sodium. Sometimes the most obvious thing, such as donuts or pretzels, are not where all the sugar and salt you eat every day comes from. My doctor had a great rule of thumb for me: If I can’t pronounce what is in the food, I don’t buy it and eat it.
And Now for the Finale
One of the best ways to naturally reduce your blood pressure is to relieve stress (as we talked). This also means when you walk into your doctor’s office. Have you ever thought about how tense you are? How you dread getting on the scales and watching the nurse record your weight? How you don’t want to see your doctor’s face when he or she reads your vital stats?
Try this instead: At home, in a quiet place, picture a quiet place you want to be immersed in. Is this the beach? The mountains? A tub filled with bubbles? Find your ‘happy’ place and dive in. Then see your doctor smiling instead of frowning as he or she greets you and talks about your medical visit.
This is a self guided hypnosis. It helps relax you and your blood pressure is always lower when you are relaxed. We have several of these hypnosis mp3 sessions available.
Not only will your blood pressure come down, you will also develop techniques to help you deal more effectively with all sorts of stress. The next time that coworker jumps on your last
nerve, the last parking space is nabbed, traffic is backed up for miles, the kids are fighting and screaming, or you just want to rip your hair out, these techniques can help you find your calm and perhaps your sanity.
High blood pressure doesn’t have to be ‘the silent killer’. Nor does it always have to be controlled through medication. Hopefully using these natural means can help you achieve better heart and overall health.