Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers-the systolic pressure is recorded as the heart beats, and the diastolic pressure is when the heart relaxes between beats. The measurement is written with the systolic number on top and the diastolic number on the bottom.
Regardless of race, age, or gender, anyone can develop high blood pressure. It is estimated that one in every four American adults has high blood pressure. High blood pressure is dangerous because it makes the heart work too hard. It also makes the walls of the arteries hard. High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, which are the first and third leading causes of death for Americans. High blood pressure can also cause other problems, such as heart failure, kidney disease and blindness. Most people try to address high blood pressure by taking medications. The problem with this approach is that it treats the effect, not the cause. The drug approach also subjects patients to serious side effects.
In a wellness model, we don’t seek to treat or prevent high blood pressure. Wellness is about making active choices and lifestyle decisions to create a state of optimal function and expression. Wellness involves lifestyle choices that determine our health. In a Wellness Chiropractic model we encourage you to make lifestyle choices, such as chiropractic adjustments, to restore optimal function to the nervous system. When the nerve system is functioning well, the body can self regulate, correcting abnormal pressure levels. We may also choose lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, meditation and yoga to improve our state of well-being.
Studies support a wellness approach to tackling the blood pressure dilemma. A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics examined the effects of chiropractic adjustments on high blood pressure. The study concluded that chiropractic adjustments were an effective and safe alternative to the medical model. The men and women who participated in the study and received chiropractic care experienced a significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The individuals who were in the control group and the placebo group did not experience this same improvement. In another published study from the same journal, 75 people who suffered from high blood pressure received specific chiropractic adjustments. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased in the adjusted group. Also noted in that study was that the people with the highest pretreatment blood pressure experienced the greatest benefit!