Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a dangerously common condition affecting both adults and children in the United States. Recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control state that 1 in 3 Americans, are currently experiencing elevated blood pressure. In 2009, over 348,000 deathsincluded high blood pressure as a primary or contributing factor. These deaths include many who were diagnosed by an MD, prescribed a medication that had brought down the blood pressure, and were taking their medication properly.
The most common type of hypertension (HTN) is known as idiopathic hypertension, which means that the cause of the increase in blood pressure is unknown. From the standpoint of physiology, the blood pressure raises in order to respond to stress. It is a normal response to certain environmental stressors, such as increased physical exertion or traveling to a high elevation.
As with all functions of the body, the nervous system is responsible for determining the need for an increase (or decrease) in blood pressure, and also for coordinating the body systems that will lead to the necessary change. As long as the stressors that tell the nervous system to raise the blood pressure are present, the nervous system will coordinate physiologic responses to raise blood pressure.
This is why people who take a medication for high blood pressure will often require another medication and/or an increased dose to maintain the lowered blood pressure over time. And even still, they often succumb to a cardiovascular condition directly related to hypertension despite the fact that they are taking medication. The blood pressure itself is not the problem, the problem is the physical, biochemical and/or emotional stress to the nervous system that leads to the blood pressure being elevated in the first place.
Treating hypertension with medication is akin to being in a boat with a cracked hull that is taking on water, and rather than fix the leak, you work to find a bigger bucket to scoop out the water. Although there is less water in the boat at the time, the boat is still well on its way to sinking. You are treating the symptom instead of removing the cause of the symptom.
The ability of chiropractic adjustments to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension has been well-documented, with a variety of techniques proving to be effective. This works not because adjustments “treat” hypertension, but because adjustments remove stress from the nervous system, which allows the body to return the blood pressure to normal. And when the power of chiropractic adjustments are combined with lifestyle modifications, as we emphasize and teach in our offices, true wellness can be achieved and maintained throughout life, which includes a normalization of blood pressure.
The take-home point is this: health is not merely the absence of a disease, but encompasses a state of total physical, chemical, and emotional well-being. Having less stress affecting the nervous system will help bring your body closer to health. Chiropractic care in our offices is not about “treating” neck pain, sciatica, high blood pressure, or any other condition. It is about serving people of our community and world to reach their full health potential by improving the function of the nervous system.
We do this by removing subluxations (a cause of and indicator of stress to the nervous system) through gentle, specific spinal alignments, educating on proper diet and exercise, and serving in a loving manner that allows for improved emotional health. Nothing more, and nothing less.
If you or a loved one is suffering from hypertension, and want to fix your boat rather than continuing in vain to scoop out the water, call our office to make an appointment today!