My client is a surgeon who’s frequently under a lot of pressure. When he checked his blood pressure recently, he saw an alarming number register on the device.
Although it returned to normal with a few relaxing breaths, he thought to himself, “If this is really how I am all day when I’m at work, maybe I need to be on medication.”
The look on my face let him know exactly what I thought of that idea!
Now, I’m NOT a big fan of medication. I know there are times when it can be absolutely lifesaving.
But for most of the chronic conditions that affect more and more of the population, meds are a bandaid at best. They often create even more problems due to side effects.
Worse still, they can be an invitation to ignore what caused the problem in the first place.
So, let’s get to a few causes….
Fight-or-flight. We all deal with it to one degree or another whenever we’re not feeling safe. When the adrenals react to chronic stress by repeatedly pumping out more cortisol, the system gets rather stuck in that mode. That leads to many health problems, high blood pressure being one of them.
The other major contributor to blood pressure problems is inflammation in the body.
In massage school we learned that classic inflammation has four signs: redness, heat, swelling, and pain. It serves a useful function in the body’s repair process when we have an injury or an infection.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is not so helpful. Healthy cells are damaged. The inner environment of the entire body is affected.
You may not even know you have it as it silently contributes to the development of degenerative diseases and robs you of youthful function.
The type of diet that we select on a regular basis has a lot to do with this.
More and more folks are figuring out that the old advice to “eat low fat” is just plain dangerous, because it’s the sugars in our diet that mess with insulin production and create inflammation throughout the body.
Processed foods and deep fried foods are also loaded with an overabundance of Omega-6 fats because the oils used are generally soy, corn, safflower or other polyunsaturated vegetable oils. These oils imbalance the Omega-3/Omega-6 ratio and also contribute to inflammation.
My client is already choosing at least one great self-care strategy for managing his blood pressure by coming in (to see me!!) for craniosacral and massage therapy on a regular basis. I gave him a few more tips to consider in addition, and I’ll share those with you in the next post.
In the meantime if you want to stay at your ageless best, I encourage you to always search for the cause of your physical symptoms before running to the doctor for a pharmaceutical solution. And if you want my help figuring out what that might be, fill out the contact form here.