A Different Way

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High blood pressure and chiropractic

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on March 5, 2008

Raise your hand if you know someone taking drugs to lower their blood pressure. Well. That’s about 100%. We ALL know someone doing that. And, I guess we all know why. “Unresolved” chronic high blood pressure can supposedly cause stroke, congestive heart failure and kidney failure. In other words, modern Medicine must coerce people through fear to take drugs to control a body function.

Unfortunately, those prescribing drugs for high blood pressure rarely know what is causing a patient’s problem. In fact, they may not even stop to think that there may be a GOOD reason for a person’s elevated blood pressure. It just might be that there is some condition causing their body to NEED more blood. Most prescriptions for blood pressure medications rarely consider the CAUSE of the problem, whatsoever.

Virtually all prescriptions for blood pressure drugs come in one of four categories: diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers. And remember, these drugs only mask the symptom of some unknown condition while having NO healing properties AND even the least toxic ones can have deadly side effects.

So, the title of this article implies that high blood pressure can be positively affected by chiropractic care. You might be asking “What the heck does chiropractic have to do with high blood pressure?” I’m glad you asked. While some folks think chiropractic may be great for back pain, they rarely consider that what chiropractic adjustments really do is take pressure off either specific nerve roots or off the entire nerve system altogether, or both. For our purposes here, I want you to consider something called the Vagus Nerve.

The Vagus Nerve is a very special nerve located in an area called the brain stem. The brain stem is located just below the brain and just above the spinal cord. One of its jobs is to regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and many other functions. In fact, the Vagus Nerve is kind of like the reset switch on your computer. When things lock up, one of the first things you try is the reset button. Most times, that resolves the problem.

Everyone’s heard of the body’s “fight or flight” mechanism where you gear up for a fight or an to escape a life threatening situation. In our rushed and harried world, many of us stay in this “fight or flight” mode due to chronic stress. Over time, this causes chronic high blood pressure. Our diet and lack of exercise also contribute to the problem. Yet, few doctors recommend stress reduction, diet and exercise as a means of dealing with high blood pressure.

So, how do chiropractic adjustments help lower blood pressure? Specific adjustments of the bone at the top of the neck, called the Atlas, can help reduce stress on the brain stem. Reducing stress on the brain stem can stimulate the Vagus Nerve, helping to slow down your heart rate and lower the blood pressure. There are lots of technical explanations for this. But, this article is directed at people who want to get off drugs and lower the blood pressure naturally, not someone looking to justify the use of drugs. In short, chiropractic adjustments of the upper cervical spine stimulate what’s called the parasympathetic nervous system, or the reset button for the “fight or flight” mechanism.

While any good chiropractor can adjust the upper cervical spine, I believe the best results come from specific upper cervical adjustments. And you just might realize other benefits from upper cervical chiropractic adjustments, like better sleep, digestion and elimination. maybe even better sex. But, that’s a topic for another day.

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22 Responses to “High blood pressure and chiropractic”

  1. well this is shocking. i do believe that drugs do not help cure hypertension but mask its symptoms however i never knew adjusting you neck bones would help treat high blood pressure. oh my this puts me to think. any way great information

  2. I really enjoyed this article, or blog entry, whatever you want to call it. I’m also glad to find another source for chiropractic information on the web.

  3. Dave said

    What about atrial fibulation & irregular heart beat? I did have a abration procedure. It did eleviate the flutter, but does reocur sometimes when the irregular heart beat trigers it–according to my doctor. My BP is all over the place. 140–170’s systolic. My diostolic is always in the 50’s-70’s. My “normal” pulse is also in the 50’s-70’s. sometimes 80’s.
    But my pulse today is 116 at rest–after a nap, with a bp of 134/74.
    I’m taking Exforge amlodipine-10mg, valsartan-160mg–1X/day, for BP & Flecinide for arrhythmias 100 mg-2X/day.
    Last week i had several days of high pulse 117-142. It normalized in nine days after doubling the flecinide from 50 to 100.
    Dave

  4. daniel said

    when you say specific upper cervical for best results, do you mean NUCCA?
    (love this post info)

  5. fan said

    i found the article very interesting and plan to visit a chiropractor with this info. however i must disagree with your statement that most doctors don’t suggest less stress,diet and excercise for lowering blood pressure. they do that is their first line of defense. i do agree that blood pressure medicine is something i wish i had avoided. the side effects are not good. i always feel bad and i have other issues i believe were caused by the use of beta blockers and the like. your article is very informative and i will be visiting a chiropractor

    • Ray said

      I started going to a chiropractor in December 2008. My symptoms were headaches, nervousness, high blood pressure (averaging about 160/100 and spiking to 190/115 in the afternoon), and insomnia. I hated going on blood pressure meds but I couldn’t take the suffering anymore and the doctor prescribed beta blockers. After 3 months of adjustments I began to sleep much better and my BP was going down. I have weaned myself off the beta blockers and haven’t taken them now for over 3 months. My blood pressure averages about 136/86. I hope and suspect it will come down a little more but I’m so happy to be off the meds and their side effects.

  6. You make many good points. Blood pressure and hypertension have been interests of mine for a long time, and I think that a balanced holistic approach is overall the most promising.

    • drtim said

      Thanks, Jane, for the comment. I DO believe that the problems with America’s healthcare system cannot be resolved within the system but from a new perspective, a HEALTH perspective and NOT a disease perspective. When we start focusing on building health rather than fighting disease, we’ll start making real progress.

  7. george burkhardt said

    i was diagnosed with a irriatable vagus nerve, which in turn gave me chest pain and heart palpitations.the doctors did tons of heart tests and didnt find anything wrong with my heart. the one heart specialist says my vagus nerve is the culprit.can chiropractic help with my symptoms?

    • drtim said

      George, I have bet the rest of my life on just that. Let me know where you are and I’ll find an appropriate chiropractor to help you with that. Thanks for asking.

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  12. Vivek said

    Hi Tim,
    Just came across this post today looking for Vegas nerve malfunction and its effect on digestion. It is interesting to read about Vegas nerve’s effect on high blood pressure and your system of treatment.

    Have you come across any patients with digestion related problems?

    Chiropractic treatment is not very prevalent in India where I live. Are you aware of any good practitioners here?

  13. DC4Life said

    Hi Dr. Tim,

    Just like you I have seen some amazing changes in patients after being adjusted regularly. One patient in particular was having circulatory problems, not high blood pressure per se, but cold extremities due to a lack of blood flow. After being adjusted, her blood flow has returned to normal and she no longer has to sleep with socks on in the middle of summer.

    Keep up the great work.

    Dr. John

  14. Geoff Menzer said

    This is very interesting.I’m a retired pharmacist,taking medication for hypertension.Yesterday my BP was 130/20.V Good! When I took it early morning,it was extremely high.I discovered that if I then stretched,wiggled my shoulders and neck,on retaking ,the BP came down dramatically;also pulse came down about 20% or more.It seems that it could be the vagus nerver compression you describe.It would fit in with posture in bed etc.

  15. Sally Smith said

    Please help me. I have been taking BP meds (atenolol & lisinopril) for approx. 10 yrs. Now, please follow this story, I will try to be suscinct. Six years ago, several days after hip replacement surgery, I suddenly felt faint, sweaty, anxious. I then suddenly had to have a bowel movement, which made me feel normal againl. Every now and then after that, I have had that same experience. Now, within the past months, I have had to be taken to the ER because of (first time) feeling weak and shaky after exercising for 15 minutes; (second time) my BP, while I was sitting quietly in the evening, went up to 212/120. BOTH TIMES I HAD TO HAVE A BOWEL MOVEMENT. My husband told me way back the first time it happened about the vagus nerve, but no doctor pays any attention when I tell them that both times I had to “go.” I was just released from a day in the hospital, having had every test you can imagine, including a stress test, and they can find nothing wrong with me. Please, direct me to a chiropractor in my area. I found this article by googling vegus nerve and high blood pressure. Thank you.

  16. Tanu said

    Thanks u all for this important article. I am also suffering from high BP for last many months . Instead of taking medicines , BP is not coming down below 140/90. I have also digestion problem & pain in upper area of neck. Please suggest me solutions for this disease. Thank You

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