Is Your Blood Pressure High?

By Li Hua, L. Ac. TCMD.


       Blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood stream against the walls of the blood vessel. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The systolic (high number) pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is contracting. The diastolic (low number) pressure is the pressure when the heart is relaxed, or between beats.

       Normal blood pressure is below 138/85 mmHg. The ideal blood pressure is 120/80. High blood pressure can be diagnosed when readings of 140/90 happened over a continuous period of time. Only one reading above 140/90 does not mean a diagnosis of high blood pressure. However, it indicates that it should be checked again soon.

       High blood pressure can be divided into primary and secondary. Most high blood pressure (about 90%) belongs to primary without clear reasons. The secondary high blood pressure commonly comes from the kidney diseases, such as, glomerular nephritis, polycystic kidney, and renal failure. Also other health problems can superimpose high blood pressure, for example, diabetes, pheochromocytoma, and stenosis of artery, etc.

       There are two systems to adjust and control the blood pressure. One is the nerve system; the other is renal endocrine system. The nerve system includes the central nerve and the sympathetic nerve. The nerve system has the function to regulate the diastole and systole of the blood vessel ending and cardiac output. When the nerve system is stimulated that can lead to temporary high blood pressure. But the irregular renal endocrine system can result as continuous high blood pressure.

       Western medicine (WM) thinks high blood pressure is related with stress, over-eating salt, over weight, smoking, drinking (alcohols), and genetic factor. All these can make excitation and suppression of the cerebral cortex irregular. For long term, the focus of excitation is formed under cerebral cortex and blood pressure is kept high.

       Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) vests high blood pressure into the range of dizziness, hyper liver Yang, and wind-stroke. TCM believes there are three main reasons related with high blood pressure. First, long term angry or anxiety can bring to the stagnation of Chi that can be formed as liver fire, later to flam up to the head and eyes. Second, long term improper diet, for example, over drinking and eating, especially, greasy foods and traditional holiday foods, and quick foods. These kinds of food smell and taste good, but can injury the stomach and spleen resulted in pathogenic dampness-heat to block body meridians (Chi channels) and influence the blood vessel. Third, deficiency of the kidney could not generate the liver well, according to the theory of í░Five Elementsí▒, led to liver Yin low and the deficient liver fires up to the head. The symptom of high blood pressure is shown on the liver, the key of the problem is the spleen, and the root of the problem is the kidney.

       In China, the combination of TCM and WM has been used to treat high blood patients for over half century. Most of patients have been helped. The patients already have quit to take their drugs or reduced their dosage of the drugs. I have helped the high blood pressure patients with proper diet and exercises, acupuncture, TuiNa (Chinese medical massage) or Chinese herbs in Atlanta for years. Even though they have happy result, I still think a question that how to prevent it.

High blood pressure is also called í░silent killerí▒. As the life level heightened, the life rhythm fastened, stress increased, not only the people with family high blood pressure have the risk, but also other people have the risk, especially, the young people, too. The early to be diagnosed is easier to be treated. Most pharmacy stores are equipped with free blood-pressure meter. I suggest measuring the blood pressure often. Second, to do exercise three quarter-minutes separately every day. Doní»t forget Tai Chi Qi Gong exercise that is easy to learn, and releases stress quickly. When practicing, there is no environment limited. Even it can be practiced as waiting for the traffic. The scientists have proved that Tai Chi Qi Gong exercise can assist to low the blood pressure and prevent high blood pressure. Third, to eat various balance foods. Please remember the single good food is over eaten can reach the opposite goal. Long term a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar after meals can help and prevent high blood pressure. I think that high blood pressure disease is taken root in children, developed in middle age and attracted in senior age. Children should be taught how to keep healthy and balance. I think health is the number one. Reputation, viscounty, career and money are the zeroes behind the one. There is health, others can be added on. There is no health. Everything is zero.