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Bring down blood pressure naturally

By Vision Reporter

Added 30th May 2006 03:00 AM

GARDENERS and car washers know this. You can increase water pressure by using a powerful pump or by squeezing the nozzle. Similarly, blood pressure increases when the heart (a powerful pump) beats faster or when the arteries are constricted.

GARDENERS and car washers know this. You can increase water pressure by using a powerful pump or by squeezing the nozzle. Similarly, blood pressure increases when the heart (a powerful pump) beats faster or when the arteries are constricted.

By Ali Mosaraf

GARDENERS and car washers know this. You can increase water pressure by using a powerful pump or by squeezing the nozzle. Similarly, blood pressure increases when the heart (a powerful pump) beats faster or when the arteries are constricted.

Blood pressure changes continuously, rising with exercise or anxiety and falling as you relax. The problem comes with persistent high blood pressure (hypertension), which may damage the heart and other organs.

Blood pressure measurements are given as two numbers: a resting healthy young adult should reach no more than 120/80 mmHg (units of millimetres of mercury). Generally, hypertension is diagnosed with a reading persistently higher than 140/90 mmHg, even at rest.

The heart and vessels

The main factors that cause the heart to beat faster are stress, abnormal production of hormones (mainly adrenaline and thyroxin), chemicals containing caffeine such as coffee, prescription and recreational drugs, excess salt and lack of oxygen to the brain or tissues, which makes the body try to compensate by increasing blood flow.
Blood vessels (particularly arteries) constrict because of stress, muscle spasm (due to tension or fatigue), cholesterol, excess salt, coffee and monosodium glutamate or recreational drugs.

Pressure stages

There are various stages of blood pressure.
Stage one: Blood pressure rises when stress is combined with a stimulus such as coffee, excess salt, drugs, exercising or being at a high altitude. As soon as the effect of the stimulus passes and/or you relax, blood pressure returns to normal.
Stage two: The body is conditioned to stress, so it is continuously in a state of high alertness, and blood pressure must be controlled with drugs or other means such as acupuncture and herbal remedies.
Stage three: The arteries are narrowed internally with plaque and blood pressure is even higher, permanently. Strong drugs and diuretics are prescribed.
Stage four: This spells danger: Permanently constricted arteries mean the organs are starved of oxygen and they begin to change in structure and function. The heart beats fast and begins to enlarge.
Complications
High blood pressure can’t be neglected. Complications include heart attack, stroke and coronary artery disease, headaches, irritability, insomnia, dizziness, brain haemorrhage, retinal haemorrhage and kidney damage.
Pregnant women may suffer from pre-eclampsia (raised blood pressure coupled with kidney problems).

Solutions

If your blood pressure was recently diagnosed as high, and is not too worrying, chances are, the following programme will help regularise it, and you may never need medication.

Diet

  • Fast once, every week for 16 weeks on non-citrus fruits, raw salad and water — the body will relax, so blood pressure will drop. If you are able to take a rest, do a water fast: six times in 24 hours, drink a 250ml tumbler of water with three drops of lime juice and one teaspoon of honey. This has a powerful effect in lowering blood pressure.
  • Avoid excess salt, coffee, smoking, red meat, fried food, cheese, rich curries, mono-sodium glutamate, bacon, sausages, contraceptive pills and steroids. Drink no more than four units of alcohol weekly.

  • Treatment

    Visit your doctor regularly and keep your doctor’s contact. You may be given supplements that help to calm the mind, relax muscles, lower blood pressure and induce good sleep.

    Therapies

    Acupuncture has a good effect on lowering blood pressure.

    Relaxation

  • Listen to a relaxation/ meditation CD at bedtime or in the evening after work every day for two months.
  • Practice therapeutic yoga, if you can, and breathing exercises (particularly ‘retention’ breathing).

  • Massage: Have a full body massage as often as possible to de-stress muscles. Massage your neck regularly or ask someone to do it for you for 15 to 20 minutes twice a week to improve oxygen supply to the brain so that the heart does not have to beat so hard.

    Exercise: Walk briskly in the fresh air for at least 30 to 60 minutes daily.

    The writer is Britain’s top integrated health expert, columnist and publisher

    Bring down blood pressure naturally

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