09 Feb An MD’s Unsuspected Remedy for High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure affects as many as 1 in 3 Americans. Because of its prevalence in our society and the dangers it presents, it is worth your while to look into sustainable ways to lower your blood pressure. A study conducted at the University of Chicago Hypertension Center suggests that regular chiropractic adjustments lower blood pressure as much or more than taking two medications.
Of course it is always best to take preventive measures and to make lifestyle changes to reverse the damage, but in the meantime, chiropractic care offers a solution that might surprise you- it certainly surprised the MD who conducted the study.
About the Study
Dr. Bakris conducted a pilot study with 50 people to determine if chiropractic adjustments actually affected blood pressure. His reason for doing so was that a fellow MD had told him of an interesting phenomenon occurring with his patients. This MD had been sending his patients to a chiropractor for other reasons but found that many of his patients who additionally had high blood pressure were experiencing a decrease in blood pressure. This prompted Dr. Bakris to investigate further.
Over an 8-week period the 50 patients stopped taking blood pressure medications and received chiropractic adjustments instead. Half of the patients received real chiropractic adjustments and half of them received a placebo adjustment. Those who received the real adjustments experienced a 14mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 8mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) than the patients who received the placebo adjustment.
Dr. Bakris was shocked. Bakris said, “When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn’t believe it. It was way too good to be true…the statistician said, ‘I don’t even believe it.’ But we checked for everything, and there it was.”
What Does the Atlas Have to do With High Blood Pressure?
The atlas is a doughnut shaped bone at the top of the neck that holds up
your head. Its name comes from the Titan Atlas in Greek mythology who was said to have held up the world. Needless to say, it is very important that this bone stays in alignment. “At the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If you pinch the base of the brain — if the atlas gets locked in a position as little as a half a millimeter out of line — it doesn’t cause any pain but it upsets these centers,” said Marshall Dickholtz, DC, in an interview with WebMD. He has been practicing chiropractic in Chicago for over 50 years.
Medical studies have shown that an injury to the atlas can affect blood flow to the arteries. High blood pressure occurs when there is too much pressure pushing against the walls of your arteries when the heart pumps blood. Knowing this, it makes sense why a specific and gentle chiropractic adjustment of the atlas vertebrae would result in lower blood pressure.
How Chiropractic Care Helps
When the atlas is out of place and the brain stem has pressure, your arteries are likely to contract. When this happens, the pressure on the walls of the arteries increases. Chiropractic adjustments can realign the atlas as well as heal long-term injuries that make that atlas susceptible to misalignment.
The adjustment to the atlas is very specific. Dr. Dickholtz summed it up well saying, “…we are spinal engineers,” and “We use mathematics, geometry, and physics to learn how to slide everything back into place.”
High blood pressure has many contributors, but if you are diagnosed with it then there is a chance that your atlas is out of place and you may be able to reduce or completely stop taking medications with regular chiropractic care. Of course, other lifestyle adjustments are necessary, but getting your blood pressure under control and ceasing the use of medications that can lead to other health complications is your most sustainable, safe and side-affect free solution.