There is a lot of talk about the new blood pressure numbers. The new health care guidelines released Monday mean that thirty million Americans are getting some bad health news: they have high blood pressure and need to do something about it.
The doctors and other experts, from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other groups, are moving the goal line for blood pressure control, meaning 46% of U.S. adults — about 103 million — could now be diagnosed with hypertension.
That's up from 32%, or 72 million, under older guidelines.
Most of those added people will be urged to change their diets, exercise more and make other lifestyle changes, rather than take medication.
The guidelines also call on patients already in treatment to work toward the lower goal – a reading of no more than 130/80, down from the old standard, 140/90.
If you've got high blood pressure, you can lower your numbers with an Ayurvedic simple, pill-free prescription. Learn why you should load up on potassium, embrace an easy daily exercise regimen and reconsider breathing.
Hypertension is one of the major causes of disability and death all over the world. Hypertension causes heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and other disorders if it is neglected and remains untreated. In many cases, hypertension does not cause any symptoms until it causes complications such as heart attack and stroke and this is why it is known as the silent killer.
Symptoms of Hypertension:
- Pain experienced at the back of the head and neck on waking up, which soon disappears.
- Heart pain
- Frequent urination
- Nervous tension
- Difficulty in Breathing
- Causes of Hypertension:
- Stress and hectic life-style.
- Vitiation of vata
- Smoking and an excessive intake of toxicants
- Hardening of the arteries
- Metabolic disorders
- Excessive intake of salt
- Overloading of fast foods
When David came to see me, he had a blood pressure reading of 145/90 It was a little higher than I wanted for him and seeing as hypertension is the #1 cause of aging, I did not want him to stay there. David had seen a physician and had been offered prescriptions to keep his blood pressure lowered, but he was looking for a more natural way of managing his blood pressure.
According to Ayurveda, high blood pressure involves all the doshas, the heart, and the blood vessels. People with Pitta and Vata predominant constitution and Pitta and Vata imbalance, are more prone to hypertension than any other. Unprocessed anger, frustration, irritability, anxiety and fear leads to mal-adaptation of the endocrine system, which then leads to conditions like hypertension. Treatment is based on bringing these imbalances back to normal. Not sure of your dosha? Take my dosha quiz to determine your metabolic type and whether you are at risk for high blood pressure.
I suggested to David who was predominantly Vata-Pitta, that we do the following simple but effective techniques to lower his blood pressure.
#1. It’s All About Potassium...potassium hates sodium (salt) and we need to take in 4-5 grams of potassium each day to minimize sodium. It is the sodium that helps increase blood pressure.
I started David off each morning with a Potassium Enriched Energy Drink. It is a great way to start the day and reduce sodium first thing in the morning.
For lunch we devised several easy recipes that are just chocked full of potassium. Find them here: Potassium Rich Recipes.
And for dinner to finish off the day - we came up with this potassium rich feast of chicken or turkey with broccoli and sweet potatoes.
David was pleased with his nutrition and was especially looking forward to his evening meal that he could share with his wife and kids. As all these meals contain large amounts of potassium, David saw these easy meals as being a big win for him.
#2 A Little Exercise Each Day Keeps The Doctor Away...the next way to lower David’s blood pressure was to do a little exercise each day.In fact just 10 minutes a day is enough. David thought he had to sweat it out each day in the gym and while going to the gym and working out can be a great way to lower blood pressure. I was more interested in lowering the intensity of any work out for David.
I suggested a group of exercises that are part of my dinacharya (daily routine). These exercises bring synovial fluid to all the major joints of the body and will reduce blood pressure overall. Try it each morning - it takes just 8-10 minutes each day. David loved these exercises and soon was adding a walk as part of his morning routine.
#3. Just Breathe ...Anulom Vilom Pranayam for Hypertension
Anulom vilom is an ideal pranayam (breathwork) for a healthy heart. As I explained to David, the benefits of this breathwork are several. The alternative name of Anulom vilom pranayam is alternate nostril breathing. As the name suggests, it involves breathing in from one nostril and breathing out from the other and then vice versa.
It oxygenates the blood
- It cleanses the blood vessels deeply to improve blood circulation
- Relieves stress
How to do Anulom Vilom Pranayam
- Sit on a yoga mat or blanket in any of the yoga postures- – simple cross legged posture- would be perfect for you.
- If you have joint pain and can’t fold the knees, simply sit on a chair.
- Keep the spine straight, close your eyes and focus on the breathing.
- During the whole pranayam, the left hand would remain idle. Hence, rest it on the left knee.
- Lift your right hand a little and gently close the right nostril with right thumb. Make sure that there is no leakage of air.
- Now, inhale from the left nostril. Inhale slowly and deeply.
- Now, close the left nostril with the middle and ring fingers of right hand.
- Immediately release the thumb from the right nostril to breathe out.
- Now, inhale slowly and deeply from the right nostril while the left one is closed.
- Then, plug the right nostril with right thumb and breathe out from the left nostril.
- This is one cycle of Anulom Vilom pranayam.
- Complete 3 to 5 cycles in one go, then take some rest and start again.
- In this way, practice it for at least 5 minutes. Gradually, increase the time up to 15 to 20 minutes.
Ayurvedic Natural Treatments according to dosha predominance in Hypertension:
When Vata predominates, An increase in blood pressure will be followed by worry, strain, overwork, anxiety or insomnia. It is frequently associated with nervous system disorders such as anxiety, worry, stress, and strain. Therefore it is important to add some mind body exercises to calm the central nervous system. Take time alone or a walk each day in nature to help. Here is why solitude is a good thing to relieve that anxiety that Vatas often have. It is important to treat the underlying stress with Vatas.
Vata Treatment - Garlic is very good for this condition. Eat an entire crushed clove (with honey) once or twice a week. YOu can also take a pinch of nutmeg in warm milk before bed each evening..
When Pitta predominates, we see anger, nose bleeds, increased irritability, and violent headaches. Often there is a sensitivity to light that contributes to high blood pressure.
Pitta Treatment - Use calming herbs that have a cold potency. For example, take 250 mg. of Brahmi at night. Or use brahmi oil and rub on the temples each night before bed. To purify Pitta, take 1 gram of Indian sarsaparilla in warm water for 15 days.
When Kapha is prominent, there may be dull headaches,edema (water retention) , lethargy with obesity. Blood pressure remains continually high with no fluctuations.
Kapha Treatment - Avoid dairy, butter, eggs and high fat foods. Take 100 mg. of cardamom and cinnamon 3 times daily in warm water. Take this mixtures for at least 3 months as Kapha takes a long time to get back into balance. It is important for you to regularly check your blood pressure.
An Ayurveda treatment plan makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic program is tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with at any given time. By working on a personalized plan that’s ideal for your body, you experience optimal health.
If you would like to talk with me about your particular health challenges, I do offer a complimentary consultation where we can chat about your health problems and goals. Just go to my online scheduler and find a time that works.