Stress is a main factor
Hypertension can be well treated with Ayurvedic medicines when the person is willing to take self-responsibility and make changes in lifestyle and nutrition. The reduction of stress is very important to disburden the heart.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the symptoms of disorder in the cardiovascular system. The heart is the center which provides the body with the essential life energy. From the heart, the blood is pumped through the body to nourish and feed it.
In Sanskrit, the heart is called Hrdaya. “Hrd” means receiving, “da” means giving and “ya” is being translated with regulation. Receiving, giving, regulating – the work of this fascinating muscle cannot be described in a better way. It receives the blood from the body, enriches it with oxygen in the pulmonary circulation and gives it back to the body – and a “secret force” keeps it going.
«Hypertension is one of the modern civilization diseases.»
No other organ charmed literati, philosophers and scientists like the heart. Its importance goes far beyond its physical functions. It is seen as the seat of the soul and the feelings.
Even today, knowing that feelings and thoughts arise in the brain, it is obvious that they have a close connection to the heart and lead to measurable physical responses. Fear, for example, speeds up the heartbeat and the heart rate. In frightening or extreme stress situations, adrenaline, a stress hormone, is released to prepare the body for an imminent escape or fight. This healthful survival mechanism can lead to hypertension in persistent stressful situations without regeneration phases. The body no longer comes to rest and stays in tension.
Stress is one of the main causes of hypertension in Ayurveda. Lack of exercise and overweight due to unhealthy nutrition such as too much and irregular food intake, hard to digest food, too fat and too much meat, are also among the triggering factors for high blood pressure.
High blood pressure
The following food should be avoided:
- Greasy and oil-baked foods
- Conventional table salt; Use salt sparingly depending on your type of constitution
- Yogurt only in small quantities and not in the evening
- Too much ghee and oil
- Red meat
- Cold food and drinks
- Frozen food, canned food, warmed up food
- Excessive consumption of alcohol, coffee, tea (black and green)
- Smoking has absolutely to be avoided!
The following food has a strengthening effect on the heart and the circulation:
- Wheat, barley, rice
- Eggplant, pumpkin, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, carrots, onions, green beans, leafy vegetables, (small) radishes, mung dal, lentils
- Grapes, ripe mango, pomegranate, amalaki, dates, almonds, sweet apples
- Ginger, turmeric, asafoetida, dill, caraway seeds, cumin, pepper, garlic, ajwain, saffron, rock salt, basil
- Honey, milk, sesame oil, ghee, cow’s milk with ginger
- Food prepared as fresh as possible with market fresh ingredients
- Breathing exercises under instruction
- Regular yoga practice
- Relaxation and meditation
- Adapting daily life to a healthy rhythm of life
- Daytime sleep as well as mental and physical strain should be avoided
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A ticking time bomb
It is remarkable that much time – counted in years – can pass, until hypertension becomes noticeable through its symptoms. Already during this time organ damages may occur. Many persons do not know that their blood pressure is too high. Therefore, information about this danger is extremely important. When it is recognized at an early stage, high blood pressure can be treated successfully in most cases, even before it can show symptoms such as dizziness, headache, nosebleeds, palpitations, heart stumbling, shortness of breath, sensory disturbances, tinnitus, blurred vision, nervousness and sleep disorders. In women, an increase in blood pressure frequently comes up with menopause. Often the symptoms are attributed to the hormonal change, but they can also arise due to high blood pressure. Make sure that the symptoms are clearly differentiated.
The tissues become brittle
When coming into the second half of life, the tendency to high blood pressure increases due to old age, because the elasticity and the strength of the tissue decreases. High blood pressure is considered to be a serious disturbance that must be medically clarified in relation to hormonal disorders, kidney, vascular or metabolic diseases – not only through a family doctor, but through a specialist for internal medicine. However, the causes of chronic high blood pressure are less commonly found in the secondary step of an illness or the intake of certain medications such as contraceptives or rheumatoid drugs. High blood pressure is rather one of the modern civilization diseases. Ayurveda treats hypertension on the basis of
«Many people do not know that their blood pressure is elevated.»
dosha theory, incorporating the latest findings of pathogenic (disease-causing) factors. According to the symptom pattern of the disease and the constitution of the person, the dosha dominance is determined, which decisively helps to find the appropriate detoxification procedure.
The vata dosha is decisive
Special attention is drawn on the vata dosha, consisting of the elements wind and ether, as most of the causative factors for heart diseases in Ayurveda are due to vata dominance. Vata dosha is responsible for the control of blood circulation and the supply of the heart muscle with nutrients. Its balance determines the vitality of the heart.
If the vata dosha is disturbed, important transportation functions are hindered and weakened. In addition, it reacts very fast to external influences and stimuli, as it is strongly linked to the nervous system. As a result, dosha dominance manifests itself through mental and concomitant symptoms, such as anxiety and fatigue.
«In women, the blood pressure often increases in the climacteric period.»
Kapha dosha, formed by the elements earth and water, cares for the undisturbed, smooth mobility of the heart through the pericardial fluid. This dosha dominance is often shown by obesity, arteriosclerosis and a kapha constitution.
Pitta dosha is determined by the elements fire and water. From the Western point of view, it is comparable to an electrical stimulation in the heart muscle. This dosha dominance is especially evident in pitta constitution and shows as aggression.
According to Ayurvedic understanding malnutrition and an unhealthy lifestyle are the causes of an imbalance and must necessarily be changed for healing and prevention purposes.
Harmonize and stabilize
One of the most important therapy pillars in hypertension is the harmonization and stabilization of the psyche through the reduction of rajas, the principle of activity, restlessness and dynamic movement. At the same time sattva – purity and balance – has to be strengthened. Specific enema, relaxing manual therapies, stress reduction, meditation, yoga and conversational therapy are provided. In addition, the stabilization and strengthening of the heart muscle and the treatment of the vessels are most important, and should be treated according to the prevailing type of constitution by means of purgation and/or strengthening treatment. A cleansing cure (Panchakarma therapy) is highly recommended to loosen and excrete slags accumulated in the tissues (Ama). Ayurveda medicine assumes that hypertension below 160/100 mmHG can be well balanced with Ayurvedic applications if the patient has the disposition and willingness to change his/her lifestyle and diet and consistently do so in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle in self-responsibility. Hence, diary records of progress and achievements can be very supportive and motivating.
If you are suspected of having high blood pressure, get a sphygmomanometer and control your blood pressure every day at the same time in the morning and in the evening. It is good to do this in phases of rest, as meals, stress and fatigue are reflected in the reading. Use a diary in which you record the results, and keep track of any particular stressful situations of the day or eating abnormalities. If the records are strongly volatile, you can easily track coherences. If your suspicion of high blood pressure is confirmed, please contact a holistic doctor of your choice for a health check-up and submit your observations to him/her. A health check with hemogram, thyroid scores, pulmonary function test and exercise ECG will give you certitude. Have the results explained and handed over. This helps other therapists also to treat you professionally.
The pressure in the blood vessels and the heart chambers depends on the pumping power of the heart, the resistance of the vessels and the blood volume. The blood pressure is measured with two values. It is about the pressure prevailing in the blood vessels and heart chambers. The reference for healthy blood pressure is 120/80. The first figure indicates the systolic pressure of the heart, with which the blood is pumped out of the heart by contraction. The second figure indicates the diastolic pressure, the lowest pressure prevailing in the arteries, while the heart refills with blood.
Treatment with the therapist of your choice should give tangible results after three consultations. Keep a diary of your daily routine and diet. If the values do not change verifiably or side effects of the treatment occur, you should definitely look for interdisciplinary cooperation with other medical specialists. The wide-ranging repertoire of Ayurvedic medicine treats both the symptoms of the disease on the one hand and on the other hand it helps to correct the causes.
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