Hypertension (high blood pressure) affects millions of people worldwide. The current Western medical approach is to prescribe drugs after the disease has already manifested. Unfortunately, this approach does not support disease prevention. Maintaining a balanced blood pressure (not too low and not too high) is important because it is the force needed for your blood to reach the outlying areas of your body, such as your fingers, toes and your brain. A normal, healthy blood pressure should be between 100/60 mmHg to 120/80 mmHg. Chronic low blood pressure can also be dangerous.
What Can Cause Hypertension?
- Stress Levels, both psychological and physiological
- Diet: junk and salty food, cured meats, sugary beverages
- Lack of Sleep
- Congenital Heart Defects, Kidney Diseases
- Drugs and Medications
How do I know if I have Hypertension?
What makes hypertension insidious is the almost complete absence of significant symptoms until a more serious event occurs. For example, hypertension sufferers may have difficulty breathing, fatigue, occipital headache, dizziness, tinnitus and severe nosebleeds. However, these symptoms do not appear until blood pressure has reached alarming levels, which can be life threatening.
Complications Caused by High Blood Pressure
The three most commonly affected areas include your nervous system, heart and your kidneys. Extremely high pressure in your blood vessels can eventually cause the rupture of an arterial wall resulting in hemorrhage and damage to the tissue that has been cut off from blood flow. It can also create blood clots that block peripheral vessels causing complete obstructions and tissue death. These issues can cause heart palpitations, aneurysms and even renal failure.
Osteopathic Treatment for Hypertension
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) is a non-invasive, holistic method that can be used to effectively address high blood pressure. It is an excellent approach for treating and preventing hypertension, as well as maintaining long term health.
Osteopathic practitioners do not prescribe any kind of medication or herbal remedies. They focus on specific hands-on tests and manual techniques, including relaxing cranial-sacral adjustments, energy rebalancing and visceral manipulation of the regions of your body that are in dysfunction.
The mobility of the vertebrae of your upper back and neck is essential. These are often stiff and painful and can be functional causes of hypertension. Rarely do people make this important connection.
“Softening” the rib cage ensures the optimal contraction of your heart so it meets no resistance when it is pumping.
Rebalancing your diaphragm and supporting your liver are important for the even distribution of body fluids, thus avoiding excessive blood pressure to your brain, heart and kidneys. Moreover, for those on medication, the “cleansing” of your liver provides a rapid detoxification to your cells. This means building a strong foundation of health for your whole body.
As a preventative approach to high blood pressure, OMT should always be associated with an optimal lifestyle that reduces all risk factors (such as smoking, obesity and drug use) combined with moderate but consistent daily exercise.
OMT addresses the functional causes of your hypertension, enhancing the self-healing power of your body, rather than exclusively acting on the hypertension.
Francesca Fabbri is a licensed Osteopathic Practitioner and member of Osteopathy BC.