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Treating Hypertension 'Naturally'

High blood pressure treatment isn't limited to drugs. Lower blood pressure naturally. Natural treatments such as meditation and diet can have a significant effect.

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Though chiropractors cannot directly affect high blood pressure treatment, many of the conditions they see -- including misalignment of the C1 (or first) vertebra -- can affect blood flow to the head and result in symptoms of high blood pressure, says Cox. "In treating misaligned vertebrae," he says, "the treatment itself can often result in lowered blood pressure."

However, not all experts agree chiropractic is an effective treatment. "From a clinical perspective, from what we know today, chiropractic care will have no direct bearing on lowering blood pressure," says Henry Punzi, MD, FCP, author of Hypertension, Clinical Cardiovascular Therapeutics: Vol. 1, and a principal investigator in more than 60 cardiovascular clinical trials.

"There's a misconception that hypertension is related only to stress, and that's not always the case," he says. While decreasing stress and anxiety may help overall general well-being, these measures are not going to be a specific treatment for blood pressure. "Hypertension occurs when pressure is high inside the arteries. Misaligned spines or blood flow to the brain ... don't really have an impact on blood pressure," Punzi says.

Finally, if you want to lower your blood pressure -- or keep it from getting high in the first place -- get moving! A study published in the April 2, 2002, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that aerobic exercise (such as 30 minutes of brisk walking a day) reduced blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure as well as in people who don't.

Researcher Seamus P. Whelton of Princeton University and colleagues concluded that an "increase in aerobic physical activity should be considered an important component of lifestyle modification for prevention and treatment of high blood pressure."

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