The regime is quite simple and it works all the time:
- Acupuncture treatments on a regular basis. Acupuncture can lower BP immediately. I have seen a drop of 20 points by needling one single point. Does the BP stay at that level? No, but it teaches the body the relaxation response and there is a cumulative effect over the course of treatments. Acupuncture may be the most costly item in this regime but considering that it is a tonic for body mind spirit, and that related health problems can be addressed in the same sessions, it is a great investment.
- Breathing or qigong practice is essential to gain voluntary control of autonomic processes including BP. This is the most important part of my work with patients. Patients learn to regulate not only their BP, but their moods and emotional responses. Fifteen minutes practice twice a day is recommended.
- A proper low salt diet is essential. Most of my patients are already on a healthy diet. For those who need diet adjustments go with the DASH diet.
- Many Chinese herbal formulas are useful for lowering BP. One I use often is chai hu jia long gu mu li tang. It is not a one size fits all formula. The choice of herbal formula is based on disease pattern diagnosis. Consult a trained herbalist.
- For supplements, go with coenzyme Q10 & pycnogenol, which is Mediterranean pine bark extract. Olive leaf extracts & green tea too if you enjoy them. I recommend Tai Chi Green Tea which is prepared from baby tea leaves and is delicious. It will elevate your green tea experience to a new dimension. All diet supplement products in the market are not equal. Don’t buy price. Seek recommendations from a knowledgeable health professional.
- The rest is exercise & a healthy lifestyle.