High blood pressure (hypertension) is when the pressure of the blood against your artery walls is enough to cause short or long-term health problems include heart failure, heart attack, aneurism, cardiomyopathy and stroke. In most cases of high blood pressure there are no symptoms. Primary (unexplained) hypertension is by far the most common type of high blood pressure. Secondary hypertension has a known cause including kidney problems, medications, thyroid problems and congenital blood vessel defects.
A Major Contributor to Hypertension
Being overweight is a major contributor to high blood pressure. For every 1kg of extra fat you carry, your body has to build 11 kilometres of blood vessels to service that fat. This means if you are 20 kilograms overweight your heart has to service another 222 kilometres of small blood vessels. Smaller blood vessels increase blood pressure (much like a smaller water hose will increase water pressure).
Also, as we get older our vessels become less elastic and more rigid. They have less ‘give’ and as a result are narrower and this increases blood pressure.
Western Medicine Treatment
High blood pressure is usually treated with drugs including:
- Beta blockers to slow the heart down – a common side effect is fatigue.
- Ace inhibitors, Channel Blockers and ARBs to relax and soften vessel walls – also have side effects.
- Vasodilators to increase the width of vessels – again have side effects.
Your Pulse Can Tell Us a Lot About Your Heart
By reading your radial pulse we can often determine if you have (or are developing):
- Artereosclerosis (stiffening of the vessel walls).
- Inflammatory-type hypertension.
- Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart).
- Small vessel stenosis in the heart muscle (ie. blood stasis in the heart).
Chinese Medicine and High Blood Pressure
Acupuncture melbourne delivers limited benefit for lowering blood pressure. Chinese herbs are more effective. Because there are over 1000 Chinese herbs, we have very specific herbs that do very specific things in the body.
Once we read your pulse to determine what the main issue is we can then prescribe you Chinese herbs to work on the problem. Generally, the Chinese herbs we use thin the blood, dilate the vessels to open them back up again, improve blood flow through the heart muscle, soften vessel walls and reduce inflammation. In Chinese medicine terms we increase blood circulation, reduce blood stasis in the heart and remove heat or warm it up (whichever is required). The Chinese herbs used have little or no side-effects. With the exception of Warfarin, it is safe to take Chinese herbs at the same time as heart medications.
If you would like us to help you with your blood pressure, come and see us for a consultation. If we believe we may be able to help, we will start you on herbs, help you monitor your blood pressure and liaise as required with your GP or specialist.
Through the right Chinese herbs, the correct diet to lose weight and a better lifestyle we aim to reduce your blood pressure meds or help you get off them. Note: any change to heart medications should be co-ordinated with your GP or specialist.