Meet Sam. Sam suffers from constant tooth problems. Cavities, decay, disease -you name it, he's got it. Sam spends a lot of time at the dentist and keeps The Wrigley Company in business with all gum he buys to control his bad breath. When friends suggest to Sam that if he brushed his teeth and flossed, maybe his tooth problems would go away, he scoffs at them, pops a handful of gummy bears in his mouth, and heads off to the dentist for yet another filling.
Sounds crazy right?
Now meet Sam's cousin, Billy. Billy has high blood pressure. He tweaks his diet from time to time and tries to exercise a few times per week (okay, once per week). But not to worry. Billy spends $600 per year for blood pressure lowering meds that make it hard for him to breathe and cause erectile dysfunction. Also crazy, but unfortunately a very familiar story.
According to the CDC, 1 in 3 U.S. adults has high blood pressure. In 2010, high blood pressure was estimated to cost the United States $93.5 billion in health care services, medications, and missed days of work.
Have you ever stopped to think what is actually happening when someone is taking a blood pressure medication? Is that BP medication fixing the problem? If it was fixing the problem, then a person should be able to stop taking it and have a normal/healthy range, right? But that's not what happens. As long as the person is on the meds, the numbers appear normal; when they go off the meds, the numbers get scary again. Obviously, that is not fixing the cause for the high blood pressure. The sympathetic stress response is still engaged. The medication is doing zero about that.
Fortunately, there is a way to address the cause of high blood pressure instead of just slapping Band-Aids on the symptoms.
Chiropractic is a natural approach to healthcare that respects the body's ability to heal and function the way it was designed to do. A number of scientific studies have demonstrated that chiropractic adjustments lower blood pressure as well or better than drugs.
A study reported in a 2007 issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension showed that chiropractic adjustments to the upper neck lowered blood pressure as well a two-drug combination therapy. Fifty people with high blood pressure underwent an 8-week course of chiropractic treatment. During those two months, systolic blood pressure (the top number in the blood pressure reading) fell an average of 17 points! Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) fell an average of 10 points. Medications? None. Side effects? Zero.
A more recent study, reported in the April 2012 issue of the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, involved 42 people with various levels of too-high or too-low blood pressure. Again, chiropractic adjustments to the upper neck were applied. And again, the blood pressure problems were addressed in significant ways. In this instance, hypertensive (too high) patients experienced a decrease in blood pressure, and hypotensive (too low) patients experienced an increase.
So what does a chiropractic adjustment have to do with blood pressure? The researchers hypothesize that misalignments/subluxations of the Atlas vertebra can affect blood flow in the arteries at the base of the skull. This might sound strange, but chiropractors aren't surprised. For more than one hundred years, chiropractors have demonstrated how misalignments in the spine interfere with messages the brain is trying to send throughout the body via the nerve system. Correct the misalignments, and the messages get through. We get results -without side effects.
In the office, just this week, a person's eyes (and jaw) were opened wide to the benefits of chiropractic. This person, like many, was on high blood pressure medication to "control" it. Did a consult, history, exam, etc.; found and noted significant subluxation/misalignment at C1. We took a BP reading before the adjustment, and it was a little high (even on medication). Adjusted subluxation at C1 (the Atlas...the first vertebra in the spine). Took another BP reading post adjustment. The systolic (top number) dropped 15 points. The diastolic (bottom number) dropped 5 points. That's notable/documentable change in physiology. That's awesome! This kind of stuff happens here and at chiropractic offices around the country every day. What does that have to do with back pain? Nada. Pass it on. You may change someone's life.
Skeptic? The best place to start is a consultation with a licensed chiropractor. Skeptical people are usually the ones who haven't seen a chiropractor, or ones that went just a few times expecting immediate pain relief.
Listen up. Chiropractic treatments won't cure anything. Adjustments will only improve and help allow the innate ability of your amazing nervous system to function as intended. Your body will cure it, heal it and maintain it when it stays plugged-in. Give it the right fuel, enough rest, plenty of water, exercise it often and keep its master system (nervous system) clear and connected. That's my prescription. Live it.
Yours in Health,
Dr. David R. Mason, D.C.
Be Fit. Eat Right. Think Well. Get adjusted.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.