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Calming Your Hypertension

Did you know that high blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke and a major contributor to heart disease? It also contributes to:

Memory Loss: Hypertension can cause blood vessels to narrow or rupture, leading to stroke. But it has subtle neurological effects, too, like mild cognitive impairment, including short-term memory lapses.

Blurred Vision: High blood pressure can damage the delicate blood vessels in your eyes, resulting in vision problems.

Kidney Trouble: When high blood pressure damages arteries and the tiny blood vessels within your kidneys, dangerous levels of waste can accumulate in your body. Over time, this could lead to kidney failure.

Brittle Bones: Healthy blood pressure helps your body excrete excess calcium. But when blood pressure rises to unsafe levels, you may lose too much, increasing your risk for osteoporosis and broken bones.

Libido Issues: Although the link between high blood pressure and sexual dysfunction is more commonly see in men, researchers now say that elevated blood pressure may be the cause of increased vaginal dryness and a bottomed-out sex drive for some women.

Research has demonstrated that easy, natural methods for lowering blood pressure really work, and that even small reductions can significantly lower your cardiovascular risk. Start by breathing deeply. When people who weren’t taking medication for their hypertension practiced deep breathing, they reduced their systolic blood pressure by an average of nine points for a short period of time, according to a study in Hypertension Research. But scientists think long-term reductions may be possible if you practice it regularly for weeks or months. Controlled breathing engages the calming parasympathetic nervous system, which can reduce your heart rate and nudge your blood pressure down. Start by placing both hands on your belly and inhaling deeply, breathing in until you feel your lower belly rise. Then exhale slowly until your lungs are completely empty. Let the next breath rise without effort.

At Massage Therapy Center Palo Alto, we know that regular therapeutic touch also calms an overactive sympathetic nervous system and moves you into deep, healing relaxation. And when you incorporate deep mindful breathing into your massage session, you double the benefit!