Monday, July 8, 2013

Take the Pressure Off Your Pressure

Do you have a family history of hypertension ? Have you been told that you must lower your blood pressure or you will need medication? Are you one of over 1 billion people around our world that is already being treated for this condition?
You are not alone......
By 2025-1.56 billion people will be dealing with high blood pressure.  Hypertension is a key factor in cardiovascular disease and one of the primary causes of stroke, heart attack and death.
Have your blood pressure checked regularly. If your levels are too high- your MD will prescribe medication.  Alternative therapies like changing your diet & nutritional support, homeopathy, acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine and herbology can help reduce the amount of medication you may need. In time they can alsobring your readings to a more normal level.
There are 3 simple things you can do to “take the pressure off”.  None of these will interfere with any medications you may be taking.
1.     Listen to music and practice laughing- 
One hour of music you enjoy or laughing for an hour-twice a month can reduce your blood pressure by 5-7 mmHg. These drops occur immediately after your sessions.
It is not always easy to laugh by yourself so find a “Laughter Yoga” class or get together  with a friend to watch funny movies or listen to funny stories and jokes. (
Dropping 5-7 mmHg off your readings might not sound like a big deal but after 3 months it has a big pay off. Music and laughter can reduce your risk from stroke and heart attack by 5-15%.[1]
Three movies titles that are sure to get you laughing:
*The Music Box 1932- watch Laurel & Hardy move a piano
*Adam’s Rib 1949- Spencer Tracy & Katherine Hepburn spar in court
*My Stepmom Is an Alien 1988- alien Kim Bassinger discovers life on planet Earth
2.    Cats and Dogs in Your Life
 The American Heart Association published a review of 48 studies  conducted worldwide on the relationship between owning pets and cardiovascular health.
Owning a cat or a dog, walking, holding or petting them has a profoundly relaxing effect on pet owners.  It lowers blood pressure, reduces heart rate and helps us to recover faster from stress in our lives. [2]
          So get out Fido’s leash or snuggle up with Fluffy.  Let all that love you feel for your favorite pet work it's magic on you.
3.    Beets and Vegetables Beat Hypertension
A recent study that was conducted to determine if sodium nitrate a key ingredient in vegetables has potential to lower blood pressure and increase endurance.  The participants drank a mixture of beet  & apple juice daily. Within one hour their blood pressure dropped 4-5 mmHg and 3 hours later it dropped even more by 10-12 mmHg. Over the long term reductions like this equal a 10% decrease in risk of heart disease.
One of the most widely occurring elements in our world is nitrogen.  72 % of the air that we breathe is nitrogen. We need nitrogen for almost every metabolic process in the body.  Chemical compounds that contain nitrogen are called nitrates. 
Beets, spinach, celery, lettuce and most fruits and vegies are high in sodium nitrate . When we consume these foods the nitrates are converted to nitric oxide a gas that makes our blood vessels widen (vasodialation) which reduces our blood pressure and brings more oxygen to our muscles.
 Maybe Pop-eye the Sailor Man knew something after all. Get yourself a juicer or stop by your local juice stand. Make  a glass of fresh vegetable juice part of your daily routine. 
In a later post I will discuss food plans that normalize your blood pressure. Meanwhile-give these simple steps a try.. in just a few minutes you can lower your blood pressure today.


“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it."
Sydney J. Harris
1.     American College of Sports Medicine. "Laugh A Little To Help Protect Heart.
Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intle.,31 May 2009.
2.    “Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk : A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association”
Circulation, 9 May 2013.
3.    Enhanced Vasodilator Activity of Nitrate in Hypertension, critical role for
Erythrocytic xanthing oxireductase and transitional potential”
Hypertension,  American Heart Association, 11100933


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