In the US, about one in three adults suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure). If that statistic from the CDC isn’t shocking enough, the website also notes that barely over half of these hypertensive patients have the problem under control. It is no wonder that heart disease and stroke are such prominent killers in the US. How can you protect yourself and find a natural treatment for hypertension?
We’re about to consider the science behind a study that revealed a special chiropractic adjustment called an atlas adjustment has the potency of taking two different blood pressure medications to get this deadly issue under control. Let’s take a closer look at the natural way to relieve hypertension.
The Upper Cervical Chiropractic Study on Hypertension
A study performed in Chicago, Illinois in 2007 should have gotten a lot more attention than it did. After all, who wouldn’t want a natural way to relieve high blood pressure (except for pharmaceutical companies, of course). If you managed to miss the study entirely, as many did, we’ll provide you with some of the highlights here.
25 patients experiencing an early stage of hypertension were part of the study. Each underwent upper cervical chiropractic care. This is a subspecialty of chiropractic that focuses on the top two bones of the spine. Precise measurements are taken using modern diagnostic imaging techniques. X-rays may be used both before and after adjustments to determine the degree of the misalignment and to see if the correction was successful. The adjustments that are used to correct the C1 and C2 are so gentle that 25 patients could be put in a control group. No one would be able to tell who was getting a real adjustment because the technique used involved little to no force.
The study continued for 8 weeks. The patients who received the actual treatment saw a greater average drop of 14 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and 8 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) when compared to the placebo group. None of the 50 patients were taking medication for hypertension during the study.
Even the doctors who were leading the study were shocked by just how much of a benefit the patients were receiving.
It is interesting to note that this study ended up occurring almost by accident. The lead researcher had a colleague who noticed that some of his patients were able to reduce or even stop taking their blood pressure medication after chiropractic care. As a result of seeing this in the field, researchers knew they had to try to repeat the results in a controlled setting. Amazingly, they were able to do so.
How Does the Atlas Affect Blood Pressure?
The question that is probably on your mind now is: How does the alignment of the atlas (the top bone in the spine) have an effect on blood pressure? That’s a good question, and there are a couple of factors in play.
For one thing, the atlas surrounds and protects the brainstem. This is the part of the brain that all of the electrical signals in the body have to go through. If a misalignment puts pressure on the brainstem, just about any function of the body can be thrown off, including blood pressure.
Secondly, the alignment of the cervical spine can affect blood flow to the brain due to the fact that each of these vertebrae has tiny loops of bone called vertebral foramen. The vertebral arteries pass through these loops on the way to the brain. So it makes sense that nervous system, as well as vascular function, can be affected by a misalignment.
The fact of the matter is that the study noted above is not the only proof that this natural method works. For example, another upper cervical chiropractor published a case study involving a 57-year-old-man who had been dealing with hypertension for 5 years and was on medication for it. What were the results of upper cervical care? The patient was able to stop taking his blood pressure medication after 16 adjustments.
Why Aren’t Doctors Recommending Upper Cervical for Hypertension?
That’s another good question. Maybe it has something to do with the 37 billion dollars that are spent each year on blood pressure treatments. Upper cervical chiropractic isn’t a pill that needs to be taken every day. It doesn’t even involve an adjustment that needs to be performed every week once the atlas starts to hold in place on its own. Medicine is big business in the United States, and that makes natural and cost-effective options unpopular among “experts.” But the fact is that studies show it really works.
We encourage anyone who is dealing with high blood pressure to give upper cervical chiropractic a try. Obviously, it would be unwise to stop your medication on your own. But why not try this natural method and see if your blood pressure is lower at your next physical? You may find out that don’t need that hypertension medication anymore, or you may be able to switch to a lower dose (which is always good for reducing side effects).
To learn more about upper cervical chiropractic care and how it can be used to treat hypertension naturally, contact a practitioner in your area today. An upper cervical examination may be your first step on the path to getting your blood pressure back under control in a safe and natural way.