When a patient first comes to us with medical concerns such as hypertension, we begin with a
detailed history and requesting their medical records. After we review these items, we have
extensive consultation with the patient to determine the gaps, deficiencies, anthropometric
measurements, Ayurveda profiling to determine the body type and blood screening as markers
which is often the lead cause of bigger issues.
The real question is to determine what is causing the hypertension in the first place. Similar to diabetes (type II), the patient’s lifestyle is often blamed. In the integrative and functional medicine approach, the management of hypertension includes not only the long-term management of high blood pressure, but genetic, environmental and micronutrient factors are included in the assessment of the underlying cause.
Non-pharmaceutical supplements plus lifestyle changes are a powerful combination. If you can control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle and natural supplements recommended after careful assessment of your body type, you may be able to reduce, delay or avoid medication altogether.
Integrative and Functional medicine involves various interventions involving diet and supplements that has an impact on nourishment, elimination, metabolic correction and detoxification, backed by yogic-exercises and patient education.
Non-invasive Ayurveda and Naturopathy therapies such as hydrotherapies, Ayurveda body based treatments for waste elimination or body purification therapies enhances the blood circulation and helps in reducing the elevated blood pressures.
Control of daily stress being one of the goal, regular emotional freedom techniques and meditation sessions in the treatment plan helps to calm your mind and helps in reducing adrenal influx into the blood.
Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. High blood pressure happens when
there’s an increase in the blood’s pressure on the arteries. If this high blood pressure is
persistent (chronic) it has serious implications. It is a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack, and chronic kidney disease. If hypertension goes untreated, studies show that blood pressure
will continue to rise and cause irreversible damage to the arteries, vision and kidneys. Hypertension has few symptoms — until it’s too late. This silent killer affects over one billion
globally. This deadly disease has a wide scope of victims, but if caught early, it can be managed
effectively. Hypertension is one of the most preventable causes of chronic illness and
premature death worldwide
Blood pressure is the force that a person’s blood exerts against the walls of their blood vessels (arteries). This pressure depends on the resistance of the blood vessels and how hard the heart has to work. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
1. Primary, or essential, high blood pressure: is the most common type of high blood pressure. For most people who get this kind of blood pressure, it develops over time as you get older.
2. Secondary high blood pressure: is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. It usually gets better after you treat that condition or stop taking the medicines that are causing it.
Conventional approach of Hypertension
According to Ayurveda Vyan Vayu (The vyana vayu, is one of the five energies which governs
the nerves, veins, joints and muscle functions and is a connecting force of energy, supporting
the function of the other four energy system), responsible for blood circulation. In hypertension
there is predominance of Doshas. Hypertension is often worsened by the experience of
continuous stress. Hence stress management plays an important role for the management of
Doshas are the metabolic function that are divided into three metabolic types (tri-doshas). Doshas are derived from the Five Elements and their related properties. Vata is composed of Space and Air, Pitta of Fire and Water, and Kapha of Earth and Water. People are thought to be born with a combination of doshas. There are usually one or two dominant doshas which determine our physical, mental, and emotional characteristics.
Ayurveda's tridosha theory identifies principles of motion (vata), metabolism (pitta), and structure (kapha) as discrete phenotypic groupings. Researches have proved that there is a genetic connotation to tridosha theory of individual prakriti types. The dominant dosha is the reason why, for example, one person may not be able to tolerate humidity or oily foods while another person may have no reaction to them. In Ayurveda, each of the doshas thrives under a specific diet, lifestyle, and exercise regimen. An imbalance among the doshas can be corrected by changing diet and lifestyle factors. If left unchecked, an imbalance can lead to illness
These are the causative factors for primary hypertension, which mean it does not occur as a
result of any other disease. Diseases like Diabetes, Renal disease, Obesity, etc. are secondary
By all these causes the blood gets accumulated with toxins. The vitiated doshas will negatively influence the quality of blood. The blood flow is influenced by Vata. And the quality of blood is affected by vitiated Kapha as well as pitta dosha. So there is high-pressure exertion on the walls of the blood vessels.
Management of primary hypertension
The first and foremost approach in Ayurveda is to avoid the causes (prevention). Then the vitiated doshas are treated respectively. If the dosha vitiation is extreme shodhana chikitsa is followed, which means cleansing therapy to remove excess doshas and ama (toxins) from the body. It is also known as waste elimination or body purification therapy
This treatment plan aim to restore equilibrium, boost overall health and wellbeing and stimulate agni (digestive fire). This cleansing process varies from a person to person based on his body type (dosha prakruti). By these cleansing therapies, doshas attain a balance, then shaman therapy is done. Vasti is done for Vata, Virechana for Pitta, and Vamana for Kapha dosha. Types of cleansing (Shodha chikitsa): Bahya-Snehan, Saravang Swedan, Shirodhara, Vaman, Virechan, Basti.
Shaman or shamanic therapy is considered as a holistic or non-linear approach to diagnosis and healing. Psychedelics are employed to improve psychological resilience in the face of stress or trauma, typically in the case of depression, and anxiety, which includes consuming kashaya, tablets, medicated water, etc. Prayers and daily chanting helps. Blood purifying herbs like ginger, garlic, cinnamon, Basil, etc. are highly effective in preventing hypertension. Dietary & lifestyle changes are recommended in Ayurveda. Improper life style and unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and stressful life increases the chances of hypertension.
Yogasanas have a positive influence on controlling the movement of prana Vata or circulation in your body. Breathing exercise or Pranayama is found very effective in controlling elevated blood pressures. Amazing results are seen when this is practiced daily.
Meditation can control your anger, stress –anxiety / depression. This reduces the adrenal influx into the blood. So blood flow is not altered in any manner. The normal circulation is maintained so as the blood pressure. Daily practice can improve the general well-being of the body.
Daily regimen (Dinacharya), Seasonal regimen (Ritucharyapalan), Rejuvenation therapy (Rasayana), Code of conduct and ethics (Achar Rasayana) plays an important role for the management of hypertension. That means healthy diet, exercise, avoids smoking and alcohol etc. will maintain blood pressure
Management of Secondary Hypertension
If hypertension occurs secondary to a disease, then disease-specific treatment has to be followed. In short, if you are diabetic, then we treat your diabetes first, automatically your blood pressure will be normalized.
Ayurveda approach to the disease is according to the breaking of pathogenesis which should not be overlooked
Naturopathy science focuses on non-pharmacological intervention in individuals with
hypertension. Management of hypertension should be in line with prevention and treatment
because the risk factor are not just at the physical level but also at the mental and social level. Lifestyle modifications is the first step in management of hypertension alongside
pharmacotherapy. Addressing these challenges and changing patient behavior requires an
intense lifestyle intervention in a structured and enabling environment using an integrated
approach of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies.
The modifications include stringent dietary changes too. Regular exercise (two times a day) in the form of Yogic exercises and select breathing exercise are taught to the patients who practice under the supervision of qualified yoga teachers. Emphasis is given on ‘Asanas’ (yogic postures) which have an effect on weight reduction (especially reducing the abdominal fat stores). In addition, patients are encouraged to do aerobic exercises like walking, swimming.
So the objective of management in Naturopathy is as follows
1. Primary care In essential hypertension, prevention and treatment should begin with in early phases or at onset morbidity and mortality. Since essential hypertension is asymptomatic, regular screening of hypertension is crucial. Other measures at primary level include patient education and awareness about the disease process along with adoption of natural way of life, changes in lifestyle through fasting followed by healthy natural dietary pattern, simple yoga forms with combination of exercises, massage therapy and rest and relaxation with sound sleep.
2. Secondary care The objective of secondary care is effective treatment. The management includes counseling, therapeutic massage, hydrotherapy, detailed natural diet plan, therapeutic yoga, acupuncture and acupressure. In case of secondary hypertension the cause should be treated.
3. Tertiary care The objective of tertiary care is to reduce the risk of damage to end organs and control the cause of secondary hypertension. The conventional pharmacotherapy and naturopathy should work together to produce preventive and therapeutic effects. After the treatment plan is administered, patients will be followed at least for one year after 3 months.
As a part of natural healing and using functional medicine as an approach to discover the underlying reasons for health conditions involves evaluating possible causes. To find what is causing a patient’s hypertension, functional practitioners need to consider:
Functional medicine approach believes that Hypertension is not always caused by increased
levels of LDL or low HDL. In fact, there are multiple clinical factors that could be contributing to
a patient’s hypertension. In fact, low HDL and high LDL are one of the risk factors for heart
disease but out of 100 patients with heart disease, only 30 will have high LDL. This supports our
reasoning for testing multiple different areas to ensure we get to the root cause.
Anthropometric measurements along with blood investigation allow us to create personalized plans and help patients who are suffering from hypertension and other similar health conditions
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