High blood pressure is a common condition that affects nearly half of all Americans. Unfortunately, high blood pressure often leads to more serious conditions like cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure (also called hypertension), don’t worry. There are many ways you can reduce your blood pressure to healthy levels naturally.
Here we’ll share some simple lifestyle tips for reducing blood pressure through the lens of holistic Chinese medicine. Then, you’ll learn about the Best Chinese Medicine herbal products that can help you keep your blood pressure under control.
Why Do We Get High Blood Pressure?
There are many different reasons why we may develop high blood pressure. Let’s take a look at the most common underlying causes of high blood pressure:
Stress causes a temporary increase in blood pressure. The trouble is, most of us feel stressed all the time. This not only keeps blood pressure elevated, but it usually means we’re more likely to engage in stress-relieving habits that impact our cardiovascular health (like smoking, drinking, or eating junk foods).
The Standard American Diet is notorious for causing high blood pressure. Unfortunately, this leads to more serious health issues like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
The main dietary cause of high blood pressure is too much sodium. Sodium causes the body to retain fluids, which leads to increased pressure on the arteries. Likewise, too little potassium can also cause an imbalance in sodium and put excess pressure on the heart. Heavy drinking is also a common cause of high blood pressure.
People who are inactive or overweight are more likely to have higher heart rates (and therefore higher blood pressure).
When we are still, the heart has to work harder to force blood out with each contraction. This puts increased tension on the arteries and the blood pressure increases.
High blood pressure tends to run in families. Certain races are more likely to develop high blood pressure early (such as those of African descent).
Certain health conditions or medications
Some health conditions, like kidney disease, naturally cause an increase in blood pressure. In other cases, the medications we take to manage our health result in increased blood pressure levels. If you are managing a health condition or on medication to manage your blood pressure, speak with your doctor about how to use natural blood pressure remedies safely for your unique situation.
4 Chinese Medicine Tips to Reduce High Blood Pressure
Along with acupuncture and herbal medicine, Chinese medicine offers some helpful lifestyle advice for anyone hoping to manage their blood pressure naturally. Try these tips, or reach out to your local acupuncturist for a more tailored treatment plan:
1. Exercise daily and maintain a healthy weight.
A regular exercise routine is essential for anyone, but especially anyone looking to keep their blood pressure under control.
In Chinese medicine, exercise is one of the main pillars of health. Exercise not only keeps you trim but helps ensure your qi and blood are flowing smoothly, which takes the pressure off your heart and arteries. Exercise is also a great way to blow off tension and stress.
Most health professionals recommend about 150 minutes of exercise per week to manage blood pressure. Thankfully, there are many ways to get your exercise in. Try walking, climbing stairs, jogging, or bicycling. Even household chores like cleaning or gardening count!
Want to truly tap into the Chinese medicine way of life? Take up a blood pressure-reducing practice like tai chi or qi gong.
2. Eat a balanced and simple diet.
High blood pressure is often related to a diet with too much sodium and not enough vitamins and minerals (especially potassium). In Chinese medicine, the flavors and temperatures of food are also considered. Those who have high blood pressure may be eating too many salty, spicy, hearty, or rich foods.
To reduce your blood pressure, eat a more balanced diet. Avoid processed foods that are full of salt and additives. Instead, fill your plate with a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Use plenty of herbs and spices to flavor your foods without using excess salt.
3. Switch from coffee to herbal tea.
Caffeine has been shown to increase blood pressure – even in those without hypertension. If you struggle to keep your blood pressure under control, make the switch from high -caffeine beverages like coffee and energy drinks to herbal teas.
4. Do a daily foot massage.
A relaxing foot massage before bed is a great way to calm the nervous system and bring excess energy down to the feet. But it’s not all about relaxation; clinical studies prove that foot massages can reduce blood pressure levels in those with hypertension.
Many effective acupressure points for high blood pressure are located on the feet, including Kidney 1 which is on the sole of the foot. This point can be used to relax the mind and balance the energy of the Kidney and Liver to restore blood pressure balance.
When doing your daily foot massages, just be sure to avoid massage oils with peppermint essential oil. Peppermint has been shown to increase blood pressure in some individuals. Instead, opt for more calming oils like lavender or bergamot.
Chinese Herbal Medicine for High Blood Pressure
Chinese herbal medicine has no shortage of high blood pressure formulas. Here are three commonly used formulas to help you improve your cardiovascular health.
Jiaogulan is an adaptogenic herb that is used to restore healthy blood pressure, manage blood sugar, reduce “bad” cholesterol, and slow the signs of aging. Along with improving heart health, Jiaogulan also reduces stress and soothes the mind.
This formula is best for those who are looking for a simple way to improve their overall heart health and age gracefully.
Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan is a unique formula in Chinese herbal medicine. It works by calming what Chinese medicine practitioners call “wind.” Wind can stir in the blood vessels and cause issues like tremors, dizziness, headaches – all common symptoms of hypertension.
This formula is best for those who have high blood pressure along with symptoms like dizziness, tinnitus, blurred vision, palpitations, insomnia, twitches, spasms, tremors, or pain that moves around the body.
Luo Bu Ma Pian is a Chinese herbal formula that lowers blood pressure by enriching the heart’s yin and blood. It is a potent antioxidant that can help improve overall heart health and high blood pressure.
This formula is best for those who have high blood pressure as well as water retention or edema.
Reduce Your Blood Pressure, Improve Your Life
We live in a stressful world. That means we need to be savvy when it comes to managing our stress and protecting our hardworking hearts.
Along with these healthy daily habits, Chinese herbal medicine can help you live a healthier life by reducing your blood pressure naturally.
And here’s the best news: a healthy heart makes for a long, healthy life. When you give your heart the care it needs, you’re making an investment in the quality of life for your future self!
Shop our collection of high blood pressure formulas to give your heart the helping hand it deserves.