High Blood Pressure
At the age of 72, Betty had been on blood pressure medication since she was a teenager. Even with the drugs, her blood pressure was hard to control. She came to our office for back and knee pain, but had no idea that chiropractic could help with her hypertension (high blood pressure). She was amazed to report that after only a few weeks of regular adjustments, her blood pressure was normal – without medication – for the first time in almost 50 years. How could that be possible?
As chiropractors, we know that the body was designed to function and self-regulate perfectly, under normal circumstances. The brain, your central computer command, controls every part of your body through delicate nerves coming out of the spinal column. If there is any interference to the nerve system, as was the case with Betty, the body cannot do what it was designed to do, it will do its own thing. By removing subluxations, chiropractors restore normal nerve function and the body can self regulate normally again, given that no serious damage has occurred yet. That logically makes sense, but is there any research substantiating these results?
A recent study performed with 50 patients, published in the Journal of Human Hypertension (May 2007), showed an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number) than the placebo group.
"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 Bakris, director of the University of Chicago Hypertension Center.
None of the patients took blood pressure medication during the eight-week study.
"When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn't believe it. It was way too good to be true," Bakris says. "The statistician said, 'I don't even believe it.' But we checked for everything, and there it was."
This was not the first study to report great results for hypertensive chiropractic patients; you can review multiple other great studies dating from 1986 to today on the web at www.chiro.org/research/ABSTRACTS/Blood_Pressure.shtml. What is also great to notice is that medical doctors are now performing studies on chiropractic, and publishing them in medical journals, showing the ever growing acceptance of chiropractic in the medical scientific community.
In addition to chiropractic care, which we believe is essential, lifestyle changes such as improvements in diet, smoking cessation, a regular exercise regimen and stress reduction are all going to help not only with hypertension but with general health and well-being. A personnalized program can be developped according to each patient’s individual needs.
So if you or someone you know has high blood pressure, don’t wait, consult a chiropractor – it could change your life!