The Impact of Hypertension on Women

By: Grace Chang

Women are at greater risk, since our vessels age faster causing the disease to progress more rapidly than males. Hypertension is a “Silent Killer”, as it can present no symptoms and many may not be aware that their blood pressure is elevated. Stress and lifestyle are major contributors toward hypertension along with family history, and for women, the onset of menopause with hormonal shifts.

Smoking, alcohol, caffeine, being 20 lbs overweight, sedentary living, and poor diet add to the risk factors. Nicotine elevates blood pressure and carbon monoxide from smoking robs our cells of oxygen. A single alcoholic drink per day for women creates higher risk for high blood pressure.

Pregnancy can precipitate hypertension, while diabetes augments the impact of high blood pressure due to early damage of blood vessels. Chronic stress, anxiety, negative emotional states, and activation of the sympathetic fight-flight-freeze nervous system raise blood pressure. When these states become habituated, the body’s response and homeostasis become maladaptive.

Excessive sodium and chemicals in processed foods, pollutants and toxins all add to the toxic load that causes chronic conditions of inflammation that irritate our systems. Disrupted sleep cycles interrupt our bio-rhythm and raise blood pressure, triggering the sympathetic fight-flight-freeze response.

Regular sleep allows the blood pressure to drop, since the parasympathetic nervous system is active when we are at rest and stimulates the vagus nerve for regeneration. A nutrient abundant diet provides vital components to cells and protects them from oxidative damage. Movement facilitates the circulation of oxygen and nutrients to cellular structures, and helps remove toxins from intracellular spaces to keep them fresh and clean.

Besides lifestyle components, we can harness ancient techniques to lower blood pressure by activating the vagus nerve. One of these methods is breathing through the left nostril by closing off the right nostril. This exercise turns on the parasympathetic to put the brakes on an activated stress mode.

We can use simple hand postures to create new circuits to shift our bio-rhythm and facilitate self-healing. One easy posture is wrapping the thumb to form a fist in Shakti Mudra. This allows for prana to recirculate and be brought inside the body for healing.

The 4-8-4 Breath, four seconds inhale, eight seconds hold, four seconds exhale, can be used with the hand posture. By bringing rhythm into breath while holding this hand posture, we activate the vagus nerve to help normalize blood pressure. Dropping the breath rate to three breaths per minute switches on our glands to harmonize the cascade of healthy hormones, so bodily processes and blood pressure can be regulated.

Sipping hot water is another effective tool to create an internal terrain that supports health. Hydration is key in stabilizing blood pressure. Hot water hydrates intracellular spaces in 90 minutes while cold or ice water takes 6-8 hours. An easy practice is replacing other beverages with sipping hot water during the day.

The use of metaphysical music also creates change in your cellular system. Particularly, Dr. Joseph Michael Levry’s music has been shown to lower the need for pain medication in children undergoing cancer treatment. Certain kinds of music become powerful tools to change the vibration of our neurons to positively impact health.

RECAP: Three ways to down-level blood pressure:

  1. Shift bio-rhythm by using the 4-8-4 & left nostril breath
  2. Hold Shakti Mudra for 1-5 mins to mitigate stress, and lower blood pressure
  3. Play metaphysical music and sip hot water to shift your internal terrain for health.

By introducing simple changes, adding small daily doses of healing in our lives, we can reverse stagnant conditions and habits to create new spaces for health and vitality.

We are not simply a statistic. We are vibrant beautiful contributions to ourselves, our families, and our communities. All change begins with us first. So, start today. Be the change you desire to see in our world.

Note: It is important to have clear and honest communication between you and your physician or healthcare team to help you make informed choices about your health.Grace Chang comes from a background of conventional nursing and alternative healing, her main focus is validating the potency of modalities through independent research.

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