When people relate their high blood pressure (or other health issues), they often say, “It runs in the family” (heredity). What I have found that “runs in the family” is the lifestyle—the food, the eating patterns, the lack of water, the beverages, the lack of exercise, the use of drugs… So, while “Heredity loads the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger.” So what are some lifestyle issues that relate to high blood pressure? Here are the top ten.
- Sodium intake. Most people have heard that salt is the big player in high blood pressure—as far as diet is concerned. Salt is chemically sodium chloride (NaCl). Few understand that it is the sodium (Na) part of salt that is the main problem, and many foods are high in sodium not just the food we add the table salt to. Celery is high in sodium compared to other vegetables, but still so low you would have to consume a number of heads to equal half a teaspoon of salt. Salt is hidden in all processed meats and other packaged foods, unless it specifically says “Salt Free.” It is in breads, pasta, pasta sauces, crackers, condiments, pickled foods, salted nuts, seafoods, soy sauces… It is of note that Japan, with its high consumption of soy products, has typically had a high ratio of hypertension. But, while we expect salt (salt added to food, and salt hidden in food) would be problematic, most would not suspect how insidious the sodium problem can be.
- Years ago, when I worked as a hydrotherapist, I was assigned a patient with chronic hypertension. His case was so severe he had been put on medical leave from a large Florida hospital where he worked as a physical therapist. The doctors where I worked at the time, felt they so well understood the hypertension complex that they guaranteed their patients their blood pressure would come down in a matter of a week once they began their lifestyle program. Along with the salt-free diet, they included some of the things I mention below. This patient also happened to have chronic sinus congestion. As the lifestyle counselor and therapist I decided to try some simple water treatments to see if one would help with the congestion, including a hot foot bath and a salt water snuff. The hot foot bath was enjoyable but not so productive. I tried the salt water snuff—snuffing some warm salted water through the nose. It seemed to help but… A week after arriving the patient was still experiencing elevated blood pressure, and when the counselors had their weekly meeting, the doctors were surprised that the blood pressure had not come down significantly with this particular patient. “Brother Dinsley how have you been treating this patient?” I repeated the standard program of diet, exercise, rest, etc. “What treatments are you giving him?” Before I answered I realized what the problem was. It was the salt water snuff. Enough dissolved salt was trickling down his throat to keep his chronic hypertension active. I learned then that in such cases even slight amounts of sodium can keep the blood pressure elevated, such as found in toothpaste or mouthwash. Within a few days of eliminating all sodium, as expected, the blood pressure came down to normal.
- Dairy products. Few people know that dairy products are high in sodium content and can, and do, aggravate some cases of high blood pressure. So, how much do you love your milk, cheese & ice cream? More than the high blood pressure?
- Drugs. Culturally people turn to a pill to solve health problems. Pharmaceutical drugs are all classed as toxins. The philosophy of drugging with poisons is ancient and is still practiced today by 21st century allopathic medicine (contemporary drug medicine). The “toxin” given to treat some unwanted symptom, poisons some entity of the body. The body responds to toxins in different ways. These body responses override the drug effect producing a desired effect. It is these desired effects produced by the body that are credited to the drugs by the drug companies and drug pushers. For example: you have a fever and the doctor gives a drug to “poison” the body’s temperature regulator, and the body responds by lowering the fever. Absolutely nothing is done for the cause of the fever and the illusion is that the drug has cured the fever. In the case of high blood pressure, a drug may be given that poisons the body and the effect is to cause the blood vessels to dilate (open), the blood pressure comes down and the illusion is the cause of the high blood pressure is solved. Nothing could be further from the truth. As with all drugs, hypertensive drugs do not cure anything, they are poisonous to the body and their effect is strictly illusionary. It is the body alone that heals. As the body attempts to compensate the effects of the poison, over time the body has less and less ability to compensate for the poison, and there is less and less benefit. The doctor increases the dosage or looks for a “newer,” “better” drug. In the case of hypertensive drugging, the result is a boon for the drug company as their drug pushers recite “Expect to be on this for the rest of your life.” But as you learn more and more about your body’s physiology and anatomy, and how to cooperate with your body in its God-given capacity to heal itself, your drug bill will get less and less.
- Exercise. Everyone knows how important exercise is, unfortunately exercise has become a spectator sport—watching someone else work out. What is surprising is that body and mind get tremendous benefit from even moderate exercise—we don’t have to compete in an Iron Man event. Twenty (20) consecutive minutes of moderate exercise on a daily basis satisfies many of the body’s needs. Walking is the exercise that can’t be recommended enough, and it is easy to increase one’s endurance. See Progressive Walking Program. As for high blood pressure, walking can be both preventive and curative. Begin a walking program today and stick to it. If you decide (for 7 days) to daily walk only 10 steps, or the distance between two power poles, or one block, and turn around, then do just that, not one step extra… until you begin your next week.
- Water. Now if you are going to exercise, your body will require more water. Americans, and people everywhere it seems, are chronically dehydrated. They drink all kinds of beverages except water, and maybe for good reasons. If the water is bad, contaminated with chlorine, fluoride, bad smell, or taste, then invest in bottled water or a water purifier (Remember, we sell activated charcoal for all kinds of water filters). Endurance is directly related to water intake and blood pressure is also. The less hydrated one is the thicker and more sluggish the blood, and the heart has to work harder to pump it. That can contribute to elevated blood pressure.
- Clothing. Did you know that if your extremities are cold, the heart has to work harder and up goes the blood pressure. In fact drug companies have used a physiological feature of the body to develop hypertensive drugs. Of course to test the drugs you have to test it against the real thing. So researchers have drug trial participants lower their arms in ice water for a period of time. The large blood vessels in the arms restrict, up goes the blood pressure and in go the test drugs. Every day people expose their limbs to cold weather or cold drafts and to a greater or lesser degree the blood vessels in the limbs restrict and to a greater or lesser degree impact the blood pressure. How do you know if your limbs are cold? Using one’s own hands won’t work. But if someone checks under the arms or inside the thighs and the skin is cold to the touch, it is a certainty the blood vessels are restricted and the blood pressure is being affected.
- Nature. Tests have shown that TV viewing raises catecholamines—the stress hormones. And of course stress raises blood pressure in already sensitive people. On the other hand showing patient still pictures of nature on the TV screen lowered the stress hormones. The conclusion: the real life scenes of nature that the Creator God has crafted work even better at lowering stress—and blood pressure. “Exercise is exercise” some think. Walking a treadmill or a crowded city mall is just as good as down a forest trail or along a beach. Hardly. But, a treadmill is much better than no exercise.
- Activated Charcoal Testimony for extremely high blood pressure. This is not something I would have ever recommended, at least not until I heard Mrs Wicky’s Testimony.
- Trust in God. People everywhere are burdened with all kinds of mental and emotional stresses that claw away at their physical health, not just mental health, and elevated blood pressure, if not a direct result, becomes a related issue through food binging, alcohol and other stimulants (aka “anti-depressants”). People are overwhelmed with super human burdens and the only supermen/women are on the movie screen. God is regularly left out of the picture as modern sorcerers dole out their psychotropic drugs as people desperately try to find a way to cope with mounting problems. All the time, God, from His great and calm eternity, waits for us frail mortals to ask for some of His infinite help. “Cast all you care upon Him for He careth for you.” “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Try talking to God for yourself (aka “prayer”) You don’t need a psychiatrist or a priest. Call 24-7-365, God is available. “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out”. The only condition, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”