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Natural Medicine : High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure

Most people feel healthy during the early stages of hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure. Few symptoms are usually present. Left undetected and untreated, high blood pressure can develop into a contributing cause of heart trouble, blood vessel disease, and degenerative disease of the kidneys.

The exact level at which high blood pressure begins to be damaging is unknown. Statistical comparisons indicate that vascular diseases are more common as blood pressure rises.

High blood pressure tends to be inherited. Reaction to various physical and emotional influences may also cause the blood pressure to rise. These influences include diet, exercise, exposure to cold, anxiety, quarrels, guilt, or other emotional distress. Once elevated, blood pressure can remain at an unhealthy, high level.

A low blood pressure is desirable. In general, the lower the reading, the better. In cases of shock, however, the blood pressure can dip dangerously low. It is considered to be normal to have a low blood pressure and pulse pressure that is sufficient to maintain circulation. Pulse pressure is the difference between the systolic and the diastolic readings (the high and low readings) obtained in determining the blood pressure. The average pulse pressure is 40. If the pulse pressure falls below 10, circulation of blood cannot be maintained.

Preventative Measures :
1. Exercise helps the blood vessels maintain a healthy tone. Exercise equalizes the tensions between the autonomic and somatic divisions of the nervous system and helps clear the blood of excessive fats or sugars.

Useful labor, such as gardening or yard work at a moderate pace for about one hour each day, is recommended. A healthy pace for exercising can be described as vigorous but not violent. Outdoor labor is usually more beneficial than indoor labor. Even the sense of satisfaction of work well done helps stabilize the blood pressure.

2. Run in place for six minutes, twice a day to reduce blood pressure.

3. Tense the muscles, starting with the muscles of the legs, thighs, and back, and hold for several seconds. Gradually relax. Next, tense the muscles of the abdomen and chest. Repeat the tensing and slow relaxation process with these areas until all tension is gone. Proceed to the arms, neck, and head. Carry out this routine twice a day.

4. As a tranquilizer, take a long walk at a rapid pace to use up excess nervous energy. Concentrate on the beauties of nature, the sky and trees, the rocks and flowers as you walk. The stress of life can be largely eliminated by proper attention to exercise, a non-stimulatory diet, and a proper philosophy of life. There should not be enough stress within the available number of hours per day to cause a healthy person to have a breakdown, either mental or physical. A long walk at a rapid pace or vigorous gardening can reduce nervous tension.

5. Practice a deep breathing exercise three times a day. The deep breathing exercise involves taking very deep breaths held to the count of twenty, exhaling, and then holding to the count of ten. This exercise can be done while driving. Repeat 20 to 60 times.

6. Follow a non-stimulatory diet that is free from caffeine drinks, chocolate, alcohol, spices, and fermented or aged products. Cheese can also contribute to high blood pressure. A substance in cheese called tyrasine breaks down to tyramine, a chemical capable of constricting blood vessels and causing headaches or an increase in blood pressure.

Eat few concentrated foods and plenty of so-called non-concentrated foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Do not consume more than one-half to one teaspoon of salt per day. Baking soda and baking powder are also high in sodium. All baked goods using these substances should be avoided. After high blood pressure has developed, salt, baking soda, baking powder, most antacids, even toothpaste and all other sources of sodium may need to be eliminated until the blood pressure stabilizes to a low level. Sodium is included in many over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Sodium is also present in most antacids.

Free fats also promote high blood pressure. The entire cardiovascular system responds to the presence of fats by maintaining greater tension.

Being overweight also contributes to high blood pressure. A modified diet to help lose weight may be beneficial.

7. In a program to reduce severely elevated blood pressure, begin with a day of fasting, followed by three days in which only apples are eaten (raw, cooked, stewed, dried or frozen) at each of three meals. Apples have been found by Dr. B.S. Levin to have a beneficial effect on the blood pressure. After three days of apples, eat only fruit and salt-free, whole grain bread for breakfast and vegetables and the salt-free bread for dinner for the following two days. Eat only one apple for supper. Omit supper if you are overweight.

8. Careful attention to proper clothing of the extremities is essential to calm the autonomic nervous system and to equalize the circulation. Cool skin causes an alarm reaction in the autonomic nerves. Chilled tissues cause the blood to shunt from the extremities to the interior of the body where vital organs are congested, and their function is made less efficient. Keep all skin warm except during active sweating for cooling. Check especially the hands and feet, the backs of the arms, and the sides of the thighs. Wear only clothing loose enough to move up and down freely.

9. A short, cold hip bath is beneficial in lowering high blood pressure for patients who can tolerate it. For the first treatment, start with a water temperature of 85 to 88 Fahrenheit. The patient should sit with only the hips immersed in a tub of water for three to 3-1/2 minutes. Reduce the water temperature about 5 degrees each time the bath is taken until a temperature of 65 Fahrenheit is achieved. Repeat the bath daily as needed. There is an initial elevation of blood pressure of five to fifteen points when the bath begins, but the blood pressure will soon after begin to drop.

10. A neutral bath for ten to thirty minutes at the end of the day in a tub of water that feels neither warm nor cool (92 to 96 Fahrenheit) has been shown to have a remarkable calming effect and may help lower blood pressure. A hot bath at 104 Fahrenheit for twenty to thirty minutes will invariably reduce blood pressure. After the bath, cool yourself gradually while lying well-covered in bed. After 30 minutes, when sweating has stopped, take a regular shower, dry the skin with a coarse towel to create friction, and dress in dry clothing.

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