Up to 1 in 5 adult Americans have high blood pressure
Recent research at the University of Chicago Hypertension Center has shown that a specific chiropractic adjustment of the top bone in the spine can significantly lower high blood pressure according to a placebo-controlled study. “This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination,” says study leader George Bakris, MD. “And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems,” adds Dr. Bakris, director of the University of Chicago Hypertension Center.
“This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination. And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems.” ~ George Bakris, M.D.
Since early in my practice I’ve had patients report to me that their high blood pressure seemed to normalize after having their spine aligned. Given my understanding and lifelong experience in chiropractic my first reaction was, “Of course. Many things get better when you remove pressure from the central nervous system.”
If you have already been previously treated by a chiropractor and your blood pressure did not improve it is possible you had only part of the nervous system released (for example, to relieve back muscle spasm), but did not have all of the critical blockages addressed. The chiropractic doctor must use specific diagnostic instrumentation to determine what nerves are involved and to what degree. It’s also important to find a chiropractor with technical proficiency in correcting the problem. Not all health providers in any specialty share the same level of expertise. Each is unique in their skill and experience. It’s no different for chiropractors.
Blood pressure is the force exerted on artery walls as the heart pumps blood through them. The blood in our circulatory systems is always under pressure, somewhat as water in the pipes of a water system. The pressure of the blood depends on the strength and rate of the heart’s contractions, the amount of blood in the system, caking on the inside of the arteries, and the elasticity or tension of the arteries carrying the blood. In all of us, this varies from minute to minute, going up when we are tense or excited, and going down when we are relaxed. However, in some people the pressure goes too high and stays that way. This is called high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.
High blood pressure in itself is not a disease. It is a danger signal letting us know something is wrong. If allowed to persist too long, it can become a major health problem, resulting in damage to the heart, kidneys, or other organs.
High blood pressure is often silent, but it may also show up as shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness when posture is changed, and ringing in the ears are a few. Any of these symptoms should be taken seriously. For the blood pressure to remain normal, the heart must pump with the right force and the proper amount of blood must be in the system. The kidney tissues must be strong, healthy, and eliminating properly, and the arteries must not be constricted by unnatural tension, or be rigid, or be shrunk because of collections of various substances on the inner walls.
Chiropractors have found that vertebrae of the spine can be jarred slightly out of place, enough to block or irritate nerve tracts. If the nerves that are blocked happen to be the ones the intelligence uses to control the health and balance of any major aspect of the blood pressure system, these organs or tissues will fail to function in harmony. Kidney tissue, an important part of the blood pressure picture, for example, can literally degenerate over time and be a cause of high blood pressure, if there is a chronic blockage of the nerves that carry the brain’s control messages to that tissue.
Short Term and Long Term Correction
After chiropractic spinal adjustments release the nervous system, the body can correct blood pressure in two different ways. First, an immediate response is through a relaxation of muscle and vascular tension. This drops blood pressure through pure mechanics, sometimes as much as 30-40 points systolic within a few minutes. This relaxation lasts until the vertebrae again lose their alignment and irritate the nerves causing things tighten back up again. This requires for a period of repeated spinal correction so the spine can hold its proper ‘no interference’ position. Freeing spinal nerves also helps people deal better with stress which is another major cause of hypertension.
When actual tissue changes are causing constriction, however, the response is not instant even though the nerves have been freed. Organ tissues may have degenerated to some degree due to a lack adequate nerve supply and nutritional requirements. Depending on which control nerve tract has been chronically blocked by the slightly dislodged vertebrae, there may be a change in the health or function of a gland or organ normally responsible for the body’s use of fat, calcium, cholesterol, etc. If the tissue cells of the blood vascular system then become deficient in certain minerals or hormones (because those other organs have been shut-down that would normally have been supplying them), or are have insufficient nerve supply to stay elastic and well, their deterioration could ultimately be traced back to the long-standing spinal blockage to the supply organs. The body’s master coordinator has been stymied, not being able to organize and call forth all the needed body chemicals. Then, depending on the lack, the blood vessel walls prematurely lose their elasticity, and a chronic high blood pressure situation results.
A great number of cases of high blood pressure are caused by chiropractic problems affecting the nerves in the spine that influence and regulate blood pressure – even when there is not neck pain or back pain.
It must be understood that chiropractic care is aimed one restoring hundred per cent communication flow in the nerve network of the body. It is not a “treatment for high blood pressure” or any disease process. The healing that happens after chiropractic, is whatever is commanded or coordinated by the inner wisdom of the body, not the chiropractor or a drug for that matter. The doctor of chiropractic cannot make this inner wisdom heal or correct a problem. He simply restores the free-flow of communications between the brain and the various tissues. The body must do the rest. Of course, it is the nature of this inner wisdom to correct and balance the body toward optimal health, providing its communication is free of interference.
The chiropractic corrective approach often requires a period of straightening and restructuring, but its ultimate goal is to produce a spine that is not only correct, but quite permanently stable. This process of specific adjusting is not a glorified massage or general spinal manipulation to keep a patient limber or relaxed. When the spine is correct and stabilized after the initial period of intensive care, the patient may only need a periodic nerve check-up with some minor correction to keep the body on track. The body’s inner intelligence can keep the body healthy as long as the vertebrae of the spine stay in line and off the nerves.