When To Worry About Your Blood Pressure
Healthy blood pressure is about more than just hitting a certain target. It’s about consistency.
If someone’s blood pressure is a little on the high side, I check their history – and if I see they’ve always been a little high, I don’t worry about it as much. Many folks have slightly high blood pressure in the presence of a doctor anyway (it even has a name: white coat syndrome).
But if someone’s blood pressure jumps around from visit to visit, I get a little more concerned, because that’s often a sign of something wrong – and the latest research backs my approach.
Swings of 15 points in systolic blood pressure (aka the “top number”) over the course of multiple visits can increase your risk of stroke by 46 percent, heart attack or fatal heart disease by 30 percent, and heart failure by 25 percent.
It can even increase your risk of death from all causes by 58 percent, according to the study in Annals of Internal Medicine.
High blood pressure should be taken seriously. The key is to treat the root cause of why one has hypertension. One of the most common reasons is stress, or more specifically, the inability to handle stress. Besides exercise, prayer, socialization, and other stress-reducing activities, there is an interesting technology one can use.
It is called Resperate®. This is an effective device to lower blood pressure through proper breathing. This small computer unit that looks like a portable CD player…a headphone set…and a sensor belt to wrap around the chest or upper abdomen. Resperate® is designed to slow your respiration rate from the average of 12 to 19 breaths per minute to the hypertension-lowering rate of 10 or fewer breaths per minute. The user listens to tones that guide one’s breathing rate. An average reduction is 10 points for systolic pressure and five points for diastolic pressure. So far, eight clinical trials published in medical journals have confirmed its benefits.
At the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine, we work with patients utilizing a variety of natural approaches to bring down their blood pressure naturally.