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The Doctor is In: Learn to understand high blood pressure

By By Tim Holcomb
June 18, 2013 at 1:18 a.m.

Tim Holcomb

Medications for high blood pressure are effective for lowering your blood pressure numbers, but if you take them away, you still have high blood pressure.

They don't necessarily fix the problem, and some people complain of the side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness and loss of libido, not to mention the toll they take on your liver.

Many people try alternatives to medications to keep their pressure down. Some get results with supplements like CoQ10, garlic, minerals or herbal remedies. Some respond to eating a low-fat diet and avoiding excess salt.

As great as nutritional and herbal supplements can be, there are plenty of people with stubborn cases of high blood pressure who continue to have high numbers if they try to discontinue their medications. These are the stubborn cases of hypertension that nutrition by itself won't bring down.

What is needed are some basic actions to get through, including losing weight, exercise and drinking plenty of clean water along with using nutritional supplements that are specific to the needs of each unique person. Supplements should support the heart, the vascular system and the kidneys in particular.

People who want to get off their high blood pressure medications should do so with the prescriber's agreement and supervision. You should never suddenly stop taking them. It should be done with small reductions in the doses while monitoring your pressure to allow your body to adjust.

This is the better way in order to prevent a rebound effect or when the pressure jumps up temporarily. When the pressure stays normal after reduction of the medication, you can proceed with further step-by-step reductions to the minimum dose necessary or possibly completely off the drug.

If you have done the basics and tried nutrition for at least a year and your blood pressure still remains high, then yours is one of the stubborn cases.

The cause may be hypertonia, which is caused by the effects from chronic physical or emotional stress upon the nervous system and circulatory system. It negatively affects the entire body, altering the blood chemistry, lowering the oxygen levels in the body, impairing the function of the nervous system, tightening muscles to cause painful trigger points and disrupting the digestive function - virtually everything.

Common symptoms of hypertonia beside high blood pressure include dizziness, memory problems, chronic fatigue, heart palpitations, chest and/or head pressure, headaches, nervous irritability, sexual impotence and constipation as well as other symptoms. The typical sufferer is suffocating and reducing his or her oxygen supply - bit by bit.

An effective cure for hypertonia is amazingly simple and natural - deep breathing exercises.

As described by Dr. L. Tirala, who wrote "The Cure of High Blood Pressure by Respiratory Exercises" years ago, these exercises can dramatically improve the functioning of your entire body, increasing oxygenation, changing the body chemistry for the better, relaxing and balancing the nervous system and improving energy levels.

The procedure is relatively simple. Lie down in a comfortable place such as your bed or couch. Do not have any constrictive clothing that can interfere with your breathing. Start with breathing in slowly and gradually through your nose and expand your belly upward.

This brings air into the lower part of the lungs. Then slowly and gradually breathe in a bit more and expand your chest to fully bring air into the upper part of your lungs. Then breathe out through your mouth.

As simple as this procedure is, it is still a challenge and takes practice. But the results are worth it. Practice this breathing exercise for five minutes three times each day.

Eventually, you can do this sitting or even standing up. You will know when you have gotten good at this exercise when you can hum the letter "U" for a count of 20 as you exhale.

If you are dedicated to this exercise, within a few months the effects of stress and hypertonia should subside, allowing your blood pressure to come down to normal levels.

Dr. Tim Holcomb is a nutritionist, pharmacist, naturopath and chiropractor in Victoria.

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