Hypertension, An Alternative Approach

For many years high blood pressure has been defined based upon actuarial tables prepared by life insurance companies. By that definition, blood pressure of 140/90 is borderline hypertension in a person 40 years of age. The suppressed fact is that blood pressure should rise by 5 points for every decade of life. Therefore, 145/95 is borderline hypertension in a person of 50 years old; 150/100, in a person 60 years of age, etc. However, that standard is almost never applied in prescribing high blood pressure medications.

Recently, a new standard is being applied: 120/80 (for years the gold standard in blood pressure) has been redefined as "pre-hypertension," with the recommendation that medication be prescribed. And, there is no allowance for increasing age. So, we see headlines such as "Hypertension - An Emerging Epidemic" on WebMD.

Another very important fact is that most primary hypertension is diagnosed as "idiopathic," which basically means the doctors do not know what's causing it. We've had a variety of medical recommendations for years, but the overall impact has been minimal (as evidenced by the statistic in paragraph 1, above). These recommendations include: 1) drug therapy, 2) exercise, 3) dietary restrictions on salt and fat, 4) weight loss, and 5)avoidance of drugs, including tobacco and caffeine. The medical point of view is that lifestyle changes are inadequate.2

I would like to share with you the basic mechanism of "essential" or "idiopathic" hypertension. These terms are applied to primary hypertension unrelated to an underlying disease of the kidney or diabetes. Essential hypertension is the body's physiologic response to insuring an adequate blood supply to the brain.

For a moment, we need to digress so that you have a picture of how the circulatory system for the brain works. Inside the cranial vault, the blood reaches the brain through the carotid and vertebral arteries. It is drained out into the jugular vein through a system of sinuses which are actually formed by the meningeal membranes. The meningeal membranes (or dura) are the fibrous structures which separate the lobes of the brain and actually give the brain its shape. They include the falx cerebri (which divides the two cerebral hemispheres), the tentorium cerebelli (which separates the cerebellum from the occipital lobe of the cerebral hemispheres), the falx cerebelli (which divides the cerebellar hemispheres) and the diaphragma sellae (which covers the depression in the skull in which the pituitary resides).3 {You may visit my website RichardsFamilyHealth.com and view the articles on "Cranial" to view a cross section of these structures.}

Being membranous, the dura is affected by distortions in the cranial vault, resulting in twisting of the sinuses and restriction of the outflow of blood from the brain. Therefore, to bring in more fresh blood and oxygen, higher peripheral pressure is required to force through the blockage. While in school, I was privileged to see a dissection of an unpreserved cadaver, demonstrating the lines of stress in the dura due to cranial distortions. Strokes may occur when the cranium shifts, suddenly allowing a surge of high pressure through the fragile capillaries in the brain.

Interesting confirmation of this mechanism comes from veterinary medicine. A giraffe has a peripheral blood pressure of about 350/300 in order to get blood to the brain. Yet, their intracranial pressure is very similar to humans. They also have a specialized vascular structure at the base of their brain to compensate for changes in pressure as they raise and lower their heads while feeding and drinking. The critical point is that the higher pressure is necessary to pump the blood up into the brain.

So, the question becomes: What can be done about essential hypertension? Probably the most effective way to control it is through cranial adjusting, restoring normal motion to the cranial vault and removing the restrictions which cause the pressure to rise. I have spoken to many alternative health practitioners, and the consensus of opinion is that the effect of herbal interventions is minimal, compared to the benefits of cranial adjusting. As an added benefit, cranial therapy is completely free of side effects! {See my article on the side effects of high blood pressure medications at www.richardsfamilyhealth.com).}

Of course, if there is underlying pathology, either diabetes or renal disease, that process needs to be addressed as well. In many instances, that means herbal therapy or nutritional supplements.

References

1 The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, JAMA 2003:289- 2560-71

2 www.healthybp.com, sponsored by Novartis, a major manufacturer of blood pressure medications

3 Goss, C.M., MD, Gray's Anatomy, 29th Ed., 1973, p 880

Dr. Richards is a Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Internists, a certified herbalist, and a Fellow of the International Academy of Clinical Acupuncture. She was recently awarded the distinction of being invited to become a Fellow in the International College of Chiropractors. Dr. Richards has been in practice for over eighteen years, teaches professionals, lectures, and is currently working on several books. Her website is http:// http://www.richardsfamilyhealth.com< /a>

Dr. Richards can be reached at Richards Family Health Center (626) 963-1678.

Toddler Stuttering

Some parents have the shock of hearing their young child start to stutter as a... Read More

Why Most People Dont Really Want to Heal (Part 2)

The story so far...At a metaphysical lecture facilitated by Guy Williams, Guy made the comment... Read More

Toxic Plastic Water Bottles

I recently received a question from one of my readers about the safety of drinking... Read More

As The Primary Caregiver, Should I Journal My Feelings About Alzheimer?s Disease?

Being a caregiver is stressful and difficult. It involves contradictory feelings, thoughts and frustrations. When... Read More

Alternative Health Care is Under Attack by a Hidden Standard - The Unfortunate Case of Dr. Shortt

A recent case in the news highlights an alarming trend in "alternative" health care-how difficult... Read More

Plain Soap as a Natural Method of Infection Prevention

It is estimated that 80 percent of communicable illnesses are spread through touch but only... Read More

A Major Key to Pain Relief: Using Your Subconscious to Alter Your Brain Chemistry

Chemical reactions move pain signals along a pathway from your body to your brain. By... Read More

Alzheimer?s Patients And Verbal Abuse: How To Deal With It

Abuse of any kind is difficult to deal with. Types of verbal abuse can include... Read More

3 Natural Cures For A Migraine Headache

Only a migraine sufferer understands the pain. Regardless of how the migraine starts the end... Read More

The Sense of Smell and Emotional Response

Smell is a specialised chemical sense. It is interesting to note that the olfactory cells... Read More

Using Asian Herbal Combinations for Treating Hemorrhoids

Asian HerbsI have found Chinese herb formulations quite effective in treating hemorrhoid symptoms. It is... Read More

Mosquitoes? No Itch, No Bite!

When you are in the season of the mosquito, it is looked upon with horror... Read More

Body Work

Body Work is more than just a massage, it's a whole concept. Body work theororizes... Read More

Superfood or Superfad

I have been reading a lot lately on the subject of anthrocyanins. Anthrocyanin is a... Read More

The Honeybush Miracle

Perhaps a little eclipsed by the world-wide success of Rooibos, another natural South African health... Read More

Sports Massage

What is Sports Massage? Rapidly gaining in popularity, Sports Massage is a massage technique that... Read More

Title: Using Rhubarb for Constipation

Vegetables like fruits and their juices have healing properties because of the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins,... Read More

Green Bamboo: Strength in Flexibility

Those who have watched the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" would be familiar with the... Read More

Feeling Helpless in the Face of Pain?

Here Are 4 Ways That Visualization May Be Able to Ease You Back into ControlUsing... Read More

Heres Hope for Parkinsons Disease

Frank's 85 year-old father was in advanced stages of Parkinson's.Confined to a wheelchair...his speech jumbled...his... Read More

Breathing and Mental Concentration

In spirituality, there are number of exercises available that help enhance the mental concentration. These... Read More

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is one of the most useful products in nature. It has been... Read More

Know About the All Purpose Holistic Medicine

Understanding what holistic medicine is:Holistic Medicine is a wellness-based approach to medicine. It emphasizes the... Read More

Feuille D Menthe: The Cooling and Uplifting Fragrance of Green Grass

Feuille D'Menthe is a blend of several fragrant grass essential oils, with the main ingredients... Read More

Some Tips on Stopping Smoking

Are you looking for tips on stopping smoking? And would you like to know what... Read More

Stage Hypnosis Vs Hypnotherapy - Understanding The Difference

We've all seen them, right? The stage hypnotist, who makes his subjects cluck like chickens.... Read More

Treat Cold, Flu, and Ear Infection the Natural Way

With or without medication, the cold or the flu can give you real trouble. You... Read More

Use Fresh Herbs In Your Cooking

Many common herbs that you might use in cooking are well known for there healing... Read More

Lemon and Parsley Home Remedies

You might think of lemon and parsley as great garnishes for your drink glass and... Read More

What Is A Home Remedy?

Home Remedies - Facts or Quacks?Myths and legends often have their basis in a grain... Read More

Too Clean?A Critical Look At The Alleged Link Between Asthma and Cleanliness

Americans are ridiculed around the world for our attention to cleanliness. Recently some natural health... Read More

Get Your ZZZZZZ?s Naturally

Insomnia ? according to the dictionary is a chronic inability to fall asleep or remain... Read More

Magnetic Energy and DNA

Magnetic energy has been in use for reducing pain and for normalizing body functions for... Read More

How to Use a Footbath with Herbs

Recently I read a book by William L. Fischer called "Hidden Secrets of Super Perfect... Read More

Are You Really Overweight?

If you are overweight, you know it by how you feel, how your clothes fit... Read More

Holistic Lifestyle

Sometimes living that wonderful and beneficial holistic life can sometimes seem daunting. However! The moment... Read More

Citronnelle

Remember the last Dumpling Festival? Did your mother or grandmother hang a pair of small... Read More

Tobacco Hypnosis: Cigarettes Are My Friend

Practicing hypnotherapists hear many peculiar statements from smokers who ask for help in quitting. The... Read More

Aspergers Syndrome and its Symptoms

Asperger's syndrome is a condition common in young children who experience impaired social interactions and... Read More

5 Low Cost Ways to Soothe the Sting of Sunburn

Each of us most likely has at least one memory of nasty sunburn. Whether experienced... Read More

Feeling Frisky? Herbs for Fertility

For thousands of years knowledge of the herbs and wild plants that could increase fertility... Read More

How To Improve Your Mood And Health With Deep Breathing Exercises

It is relatively well known now that exercise releases endorphins that can help to pull... Read More

Manipulate The Body And Mind With A Portable Massage Table

A portable massage table can be very essential tool. Massage therapy is a hands-on manipulation... Read More

Tips for Staying Young Eternally

What is something that goes up but never comes down? Your age!Aging is something that... Read More

Ive Given Away Control of My Life To Doctors?and Now I Want It Back.

But How Realistic Is It For You To Start Managing Your Own Pain Using the... Read More

How to Clean-up Your Allergies with 2 Easy Home Tips

It's that time of year again when people who have allergies complain about nasal congestion,... Read More

Why DO the Japanese Have the Longest Lifespan? Part 2: Live the Lifestyle

Why do the Japanese have the longest lifespan? Last month you learned to eat the... Read More

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils for Physical and Psychological Well-being

What is Aromatherapy?It is the practice of using volatile plant oils (and essential oils) for... Read More

An Introduction to Bach Flower Essences Part II ? The Seven Helpers

The 12-7-19 Method of Bach Flower ClassificationDr. Edward Bach, developer of flower essence therapy, classified... Read More

Could You Have Lyme and Not Know It?

If you have ever been bitten by a tick, flea, mosquito, gnat, or mite or... Read More