Natural Treatment Options for High Blood Pressure
More and more people suffer from hypertension, with a trend of people getting it at a younger age. Many people think that because they are young and have no family history, they are safe from this condition. However, during their yearly health check-up, they suddenly find out that their blood pressure has increased. An occasional rise in blood pressure may not be a concern. Sometimes it is caused by the white coat effect (patients being anxious around the doctor/when getting medical tests). If it is still high after 2-3 measurements over a 1-4 week interval, then it needs to be addressed.
During early-onset, hypertension can be asymptomatic, but can also be accompanied by headache, dizziness, tinnitus, blurred sight, fatigue, insomnia, emotional changes, memory attenuations and other symptoms. In the late stage, hypertension may affect various organ systems.
Therefore, long-term maintenance of normal and stable blood pressure is vital. Western medicine usually treats hypertension with multiple possible antihypertensive drugs and diuretics. In most cases, patients take antihypertensive drugs for life. Unfortunately, taking antihypertensive drugs may cause many side effects. For some elderly patients, forgetting or overdosing on medication may lead to high or low blood pressure, potentially being extremely unstable, and the high probability of disease deterioration.
In order to avoid effects on the organs, it is necessary to carry out the early intervention. Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture have become important treatment methods because they fundamentally improve the internal environment causing hypertension. Additionally, they have few side effects.
According to TCM theory, hypertension relates to an imbalance of Yin and Yang of the liver and kidney, the disorder of viscera, meridians, Qi and blood, which leads to excess wind, heat, phlegm and blood stasis. It is associated with the liver, spleen and kidneys.
Natural TCM treatment can be used to relieve symptoms of hypertension and keep blood pressure in a stable normal range. This may be done via the following:
1） Treatment with Chinese herbal medicine or a combination of Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture and ear point therapy;
2） Health preservation through lifestyle, such as:
- Regular daily work and rest
- Sufficient sleep, not staying up too late
- Moderate aerobic exercise
- Tension and anxiety release; support for a happy, stable mood
- Low salt, low fat, and low sugar diet. Eating a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits while paying attention to the fructose level of fruit and eating sweet fruit in moderation.
- Good digestion with regular bowel movements
- Keeping warm
- Quitting smoking and drinking. However, a small amount of wine, generally a maximum of one glass for women and two glasses for men per day can improve blood circulation and disperse stasis. Talk to your doctor about recommendations for you.
After several months of treatment and lifestyle adjustment, patients will see a reduction of blood pressure by 10-20/ 10-15 mm Hg. It may even be greater depending on the patient's health condition and any related symptoms. The practitioner should monitor the changes and adjust the treatment plan as needed and patients should continue monitoring blood pressure on a regular basis.
So, what is the appropriate range for blood pressure? In 2020, the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) issued the relevant standards for hypertension management, suggesting that the basic standard blood pressure is < 140 / 90 mm Hg, while the best standard for young and middle-aged people is < 130 / 80 mm Hg, but not < 120 / 70 mm Hg.