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Lower Blood Pressure Naturally: Helpful Ways To Think About It

May 23, 2008
High blood pressure may start out seeming like a minor problem but as you end up dealing with it every single day it grows and grows in severity. Your doctor may start warning you that if you don't make some changes soon there will be even worse health problems facing you in the future. What's more, the time will quickly come when your only option is to resort to powerful medications and suffer their side effects. Luckily, there are a number of easy ways to lower your blood pressure naturally.

If you can understand and visualize what goes on in the body to cause high blood pressure you can sometimes see the logic of things you can do to counter these negative effects. That way advice about healthy lifestyles stops being just a lecture from "health fanatics" and starts to take on personal meaning.

For example, one of the most common things that cause blood pressure to increase is a buildup of fatty "sludge", known as plaque, in the blood vessels. These deposits obstruct the flow of blood, increasing pressure and the load on your heart. What's more, these deposits can eventually lead to heart disease and stroke.

Eating low quality, fatty food high in the so-called "bad" cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque. So, instead, imagine the effect that low-fat, high-fiber foods such as fruits, grains and vegetables have on your body. Imagine fruity acids and fiber scrubbing out your blood vessels. Of course reality is a little more complicated than that but the visualization really does make sense.

Another way that blood pressure can increase and lead to hypertension is through hardening of the arteries, or arteriosclerosis. Again, this condition can lead to serious complications. One of the ways that our blood vessels go tough and harden is through inactivity, lack of exercise. It may not be entirely correct anatomically but it may be useful to think of your arteries and veins as muscles. You have to keep them nourished with a good diet, as discussed above, and also loose and supple through exercise, stretching and proper relaxation.

Your heart is also a muscle and needs exercise. Exercise strengthens your heart just as it does any muscle and makes its workload easier, reducing blood pressure. So you can see that exercise is not just for lungs and muscles. It also benefits your heart, blood vessels and in this way helps prevent hypertension.

What is the effect of stress and stress-management? The slang expression "uptight" says it all. When we are stressed we literally tighten up. When the stress has passed we loosen up again but chronic stress leads to an extreme and constant state of muscle tension. Imagine your body as a coiled spring, wound up to the bursting point.

Something similar actually happens inside us and contributes to high blood pressure. The large muscle groups in your chest become tensed up and exert pressure on the major blood vessels to and from the heart. Thus constricts the blood flow and raises blood pressure. Relaxation techniques can release this muscle tension and lower blood pressure dramatically.

Unfortunately, most things we call relaxation, watching TV, for instance, are not enough to reverse this level of tension. This requires deep relaxation. A method called slow breathing, for example, uses special breathing techniques to relax muscles and tissues deep into the diaphragm. Visualizing the blood vessels opening as you exhale can increase its effectiveness.

Just about everything you do with your body and its effect on your blood pressure, among many other things, can be visualized in this way. We know that obesity often causes high blood pressure. If you think about it it's easy to understand why. It takes twice the work to move 300 pounds than it does to move 180 pounds and yet we have only one heart.

So think about the effects of your lifestyle on your health and what you can do to improve it. It will not only help you understand what's going on inside you but it can also tip you off to logical solutions to your problems. Visualization helps improve sports performance; why shouldn't it improve your health as well?
About the Author
Jan Oliver is an academic, writer and researcher in natural health. See more of her work at http://www.control-your-blood-pressure.com/. Discover genuine natural ways to lower blood pressure immediately. Click Here to get your free report on dealing with blood pressure.
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