WHAT IS HYPERTENSION?
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is an elevation in overall blood pressure, which is the force created by the heart as it pushes blood through the circulatory system. Blood pressure is measured in two numbers: the first, or top number, is the “systolic” pressure, created when the heart contracts; the second, or bottom number, is the “diastolic” pressure, or the period during which the heart relaxes. Normal blood pressure at rest is 120/80 or lower.
Elevated blood pressure means that the heart is working harder than normal, putting both the heart and the arteries under greater strain. Chronic high blood pressure may contribute to heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and eye damage. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 7 out of 10 people having their first heart attack have high blood pressure, and 8 out of 10 people having their first stroke have high blood pressure.
A small percentage of people with hypertension have kidney or adrenal problems. Another small percentage have an underlying genetic factor. In the vast majority of people with high blood pressure, however, lifestyle-related issues play a huge role. A diet high in salt and sugar, physical inactivity, obesity, drinking too much alcohol, and tobacco use are all associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure.
1. SPINAL MANIPULATION AND MASSAGE: For those individuals who have a neurological component to their hypertension, osteopathic or chiropractic treatment was recommended to relieve any pressures that may be hindering circulation. Special attention is to be paid to the thoracic vertebrae (2nd to 9th thoracic) as this portion of the spine was often cited in the Cayce readings on hypertension. If osteopathic or chiropractic treatment is not available, the use of an electric vibrator along the spine may be helpful. Finally, gentle massage is suggested to relax the body and balance the circulation.
2. DIET: The Basic Cayce Diet, intended to improve assimilation and elimination, is what modern literature refers to as Mediterranean: olive oil, fresh vegetables, almonds, poultry, seafood, and limited consumption of meat. The readings recommended avoiding foods which produce toxicity and drain the system, like fried foods and refined sugary carbohydrates (“junk food”). Certain food combinations are emphasized.
3.MODERATE EXERCISE: Moderate exercise is an important aspect of balanced living. Walking was a favorite exercise recommended by Edgar Cayce for people suffering from high blood pressure. A daily walk after dinner is a good place to start.
4. ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS: A positive mental and emotional attitude can be created and maintained by focusing on a higher purpose (ideal) for being healed.