What is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is defined as a reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher using a sphygmometer or a blood pressure cuff. A healthy blood pressure reading is usually somewhere around 120/80 mm Hg. Increased blood pressure is called hypertension. Contraction of the muscles in the arteries reduces their diameter; thus, pressure is produced by the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as it is pumped by the heart. If this pressure stays high or rises over time it can cause damage to arteries, which will harden and lose flexibility to withstand the high pressure, and to organs, which will not be able to receive the oxygen and nutrients needed as the blood moves faster and with higher pressure. Therefore, high blood pressure increases the person’s risk for heart disease and/or stroke. Since symptoms of hypertension are not felt until advanced stages, many people are either unaware if they suffer from the condition or unwilling to treat it. Also, controlling high blood pressure with medication can take months until the right combination is found.
The Chinese Medicine View Of Blood Pressure
Chinese medicine is focused on enabling balance (homeostasis), supporting the blood pressure to fluctuate according to the needs of the body. When interferences, such as blockages, in the normal blood flow occur the nutrient and oxygen supply to the cells is impaired and leads to malfunction.
Causes Of Hypertension
The exact cause of hypertension is unknown by the Western medicine. However there are known factors that contribute to creating the condition, such as stress at home and/or at work, diet, genetics, life style, such as high intake of coffee, smoking, lack of exercise, etc. According to Chinese medicine, the muscular contraction that creates vasoconstriction of the arteries is due to internal wind, which can be result of an excess or deficiency condition.
Chinese Medicine Successfully Treats Increased Blood Pressure Condition
Chinese medicine has developed extensive guidelines for healthy nutrition and proper life style. In addition to these, there are many herbs that, especially when used in combination, have a positive effect in normalizing the blood pressure. Interestingly, some herbs can increase the blood pressure, that is why they have to be prescribed by a licensed herbalist. Acupuncture is another efficient modality in reducing high blood pressure. During an acupuncture treatment thin hair-like needles are placed in specific points (acupoints) along channels that run along the body. The result is removal of blockages along these channels so that blood flow is normalized to all organs to provide the necessary nutrients and oxygen. Acupuncture also has a relaxing effect on the body and by reducing the stress contributes further to normalizing the blood pressure. The best effects are obtained when acupuncture is used in conjunction with Chinese herbs, and their effects are cumulative. Additional techniques within Chinese medicine, such as meditative, slow and rhythmic movements like Tai Chi and Qi Gong, have a calming effect on the practitioner.
Chinese Medicine Treatments Do Not Require You To Stop Taking Medications
Treatments with Chinese medicine do not interfere with prescribed medications. The only caution is when taking herbs, since there is no data on interaction with medication. When a patient takes both it is recommended to take herbs and medications separately, at least a couple of hours apart.