The Chiropractic Secret to Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure
Like most of our body’s functions, we don’t give our blood pressure much thought unless there’s something wrong. Unfortunately, high blood pressure (also called hypertension) can exist in the body for years without exhibiting any symptoms until reaching a moment of crisis. The sad result of this is that, for most people, the only warning they get that they have dangerously high blood pressure is when disaster strikes in the form of heart attack, stroke, or aneurism.
The main takeaway from this is to get your blood pressure checked annually. But there’s another lesson here, too: rather than wait for your blood pressure to increase until the danger’s at your door, there are many things that can help you keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. In addition to getting proper exercise and eating healthy, recent medical research has uncovered a previously-unknown link between chiropractic medicine and heart health.
The Chiropractic Connection
To put it simply, blood pressure is under the control of the nervous system, and there’s a strong connection between the brainstem, the upper cervical spine (C1-C2), and blood pressure. The vagus nerve is in the lower part of the brainstem (the medulla oblongata), and it affects unconscious functions within the body…including, critically, the rhythm and contraction of the heart!
Because of this connection through the nervous system, subluxations in the upper cervical (neck) region of the spine can have an effect on the vagus nerve. In other words, trauma or misalignment within the upper spine can reduce the functionality of the part of the brain that keeps your blood pressure in check, leading to spikes in blood pressure or even contributing to heart failure.
What Chiropractic Medicine Can Do for Your Blood Pressure
Fortunately, treating misalignments in the spine and neck are what chiropractic medicine is all about. Adjustments to the T1-T2 area can help affect the sympathetic nerves that go to the heart that are involved in rising blood pressure, adjusting this area can dampen the signal overload resulting in lowering blood pressure. Between the direct connections of nerve fibers to the heart and the vagus nerve coming off the brainstem, keeping these pathways in check in help lower blood pressure overall considering that the high blood pressure is in part related to subluxations or poor communication of the nervous system as a result of chronic misalignments.
Considering the risks associated with high blood pressure, neglecting this brain-body connection can be disastrous. Especially if any risk factors associated with hypertension apply to your lifestyle—smoking, obesity, stress, regular drinking, or suffering from another chronic illness—seeing a chiropractor can be a real lifesaver!