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Want To Lower Your Blood Pressure By 20 Points? Try This Exercise…

Want to know about an exercise that can lower blood pressure significantly? We’re talking as much as 10-20 mmHg. No, it’s not an endurance exercise. No, it’s not strength exercise. It’s actually an exercise you can do anytime and anywhere. It’s called isometrics.

What are Isometric Exercises?

Isometric exercises, the kind where you contract large muscles without actually moving the body part, may help reduce blood pressure in healthy people, a study shows. And something as simple as squeezing your inner thigh muscles together while you sit would qualify.

That’s right. Isometric exercises can be done anytime, anywhere, and they don’t require you to bend or lift. In a handful of studies, folks with normal blood pressure who did three 15 to 20 minutes sessions of isometric exercises every week for 10 weeks experienced more than a 10-point plunge in their systolic blood pressure. And their diastolic pressure fell almost 7 points. Not bad for not lifting a finger! Simple things like doing a static hand grip, flexing the bottoms muscles, or doing leg squeezes all count. In the research, the three weekly sessions included doing multiple 2-minute rounds of isometric exercises like those, with 1 to 3 minute rests in between.

In one study a hand grip spring dynamo-meter was used for IHG (Isometric Handgrip) exercise training. A total of 30 normal healthy volunteers in the age group of 20-40 y were enrolled for the study. Exercise training protocol consisted of five 3-min bouts of IHG exercise at 30% of maximum voluntary contraction separated by 5 min rest periods. The exercise was performed 3 times/wk for 10 wk. Subject’s blood pressure was measured before and after exercise.

There was a significant reduction in resting blood pressure following 10 wk of exercise training. Both Systolic and Diastolic blood pressure reduced significantly.

In the mid-1970s, the U.S. Air Force asked Dr. Ronald Wiley, an expert in heart and lung physiology, to find a way to keep fighter pilots from losing consciousness when flying the F-16 fighter. This jet could accelerate so fast that the G-forces it generated made it difficult for the pilot’s heart to pump blood to the brain, causing vision problems, trouble thinking, and blackouts.

One of Wiley’s strategies was a hand grip that pilots could squeeze to boost their blood pressure enough to maintain circulation to the brain. As he worked with pilots, he was struck by a contradiction ” Those who practiced with the hand grip for a few weeks lowered their resting blood pressure.

Types of Isometric Exercise

Plank Bridge

Lie down in the push-up position and place your elbows under your chest. Rest your body on the floor. Now, the entire weight of your body will be concentrated on your forearms. Push up your body and count to 10. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times. This is one of the simplest forms of isometric exercises, and it can be performed daily.

Isometric Push Up

Get into the pushup position as before and lie down with your arms extended. Lower your body to the halfway position and hold for about 10 seconds or count slowly until 10. This exercise can be repeated for 2 or 3 times, depending on your fitness level. Most isometric exercises are not very tiring, but you must take it slowly if you’re a beginner.

Isometric Bicep Exercise

This is the simplest type of isometric exercise, and it can be easily done at the office. Put your hands under the desk and place them against the tabletop, with your palms up. Now, press against the tabletop, keeping your elbows tight against your ribs. Hold your hands in this position for 10 seconds or count slowly until 10, and then repeat 2 to 3 times.

Isometric Shoulder Raises

For this exercise, you will need a pair of dumbbells. Hold one dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise both arms upwards from the side until they’re parallel to the ground. Hold them in this position for about 10 to 25 seconds, and repeat 2 to 3 times. If you find it difficult to raise both hands at the same time, you can start by raising one hand at a time.

Ball Squeeze

The ball squeeze exercise requires only a tennis ball or any other small ball. Hold the ball in one hand and squeeze it for 60 to 90 seconds. Place the ball in your other hand and repeat the squeeze for the same amount of time. Repeat the exercise three times with each hand.

Athletic Gripper Hold

Athletic grippers can be found at nearly any sporting good store. Grippers generally come in different resistances so you’ll have to choose one appropriate for you. Ideally, you should use one that you are able to squeeze for two minutes before your muscles fatigue. Hold the athletic gripper in one hand and squeeze it for two minutes then switch hands and repeat the exercise. Complete the exercise twice with each hand.

Practicing isometric exercises offers various benefits to our body and they are:

  1. Isometric exercises help in strengthening and conditioning muscles.
  2. They aid in strengthening dormant muscle tissues on isolated muscles.
  3. They improve one’s control over the body.
  4. Improve body posture and spine alignment.
  5. Help in preventing injury.
  6. These exercises are used in injury rehabilitation.
  7. Help in the development of lean muscles.
  8. Improve bone density and make them strong.
  9. Increase resistance power and endurance ability.
  10. These exercises activate all the major units in the body.
  11. These exercises can be done anywhere and anytime.
  12. Most isometric exercises do not require any equipment, or at most a set of dumbbells is enough.
  13. Help in graceful aging, keeping body posture straight and erect even in the old age.
  14. These exercises can also be done by elderly people and are considered good for them.

As with any new exercise routine please speak with your family practitioner to see if you are able to start this practice. For those diagnosed with high blood pressure, I would start with the isometric hand grip exercises. Isometric exercises using the plank or weights can cause spikes in blood pressure. Again please consult your physician.

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1278.cfm

FAQ

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Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Some insurance does. You need to check with your insurance plan. I do not accept insurance except no-fault and workmen’s compensation, but will give you a receipt you can submit to your insurance company for reimbusement.

How old is Chinese Medicine?

Chinese medicine goes back over 3,000 years

How does it work?
Chinese medicine uses tiny needles and herbs to help nurture the body back to health by helping resolve energy imbalances.(See history of Chinese medicine for more information).

What are the needles like?
Only sterile, disposable needles are used so there is no risk of infection. We use a needle once, then dispose of it.

Acupuncture needles are small and hair-thin. They are solid, not hollow like needles used by doctors. The end of an acupuncture needle is smooth and rounded. Acupuncture needles are not designed to cut the skin. Instead, when an acupuncture needle is inserted, the round edge pushes the tissue aside without cutting it. Acupuncture needles are so thin it’s as if they can glide through the spaces between the individual cells of the body.

US FDA Regulation of Acupuncture Needles
In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed the experimental status tag on acupuncture needles.The FDA reclassified acupuncture needles, regulating them as it does medical devices such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes. Acupuncture needles must now be manufactured according to single-use standards of sterility.

Does it hurt?
People experience needling differently. There are different styles of needling. I needle in Japanese style which says to gentle insert the needle under the skin, and the qi will rise to the needle. Acupuncture needles I insert are rarely described as painful, and can be quickly adjusted if the patients does feel discomfort. If any sensation is experienced during insertion, it is often compared to a mosquito bite and disappears very quickly. Once the needles are inserted, they may be manipulated to obtain a mild “Qi” sensation. This is how an acupuncturist engages the energy in your body in order to help balance it. Often people describe their sensations as warming, heavy, numb or tingling. I take great care to make my clients very comfortable so that they can relax while the needles are in place. The more you can relax during an acupuncture treatment, the better the results. Many people even fall asleep during treatment.

Following treatment it is common to feel a tremendous sense of relaxation and calm.

Do I have to believe in it for it to work?
No. Acupuncture works whether or not you think it will. Acupuncture is even used successfully on animals and children. They do not understand or believe in the process yet they get better anyway. A positive attitude helps with any type of therapy but it is not necessary to believe in acupuncture (or to feel it working) for it to work.

Since positive expectations and belief in a particular therapy help to increase therapeutic results, I encourage you to raise any concerns or doubts you may have about acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. I’d like to help you to better understand acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine so that you may have the most positive healing experience possible. You are invited to contact me today, and I will personally respond to any questions or comments promptly.

Do you use herbs?

Yes, although my primary training is as an acupuncturist, I have also been trained in herbal medicine, and sometimes use herbal formulas to support the acupuncture treatment.

How do herbs differ from western medicine?


Chinese herbal formulas tend to be much gentler than western medicines, and work to not only help relieve symptoms, but to help return the body to balance and equilibrium, so that herbs will not be needed further. That is why we often modify the herbs as treatment continues, since the body starts to shift towards being healthier, and therefore the herbs are modified to meet the changing needs of the body.

Can I take Chinese herbs when I am on medication?

It depends on the medications you are taking. This would have to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

How quickly can I expect to feel better?

In general, I tell my patients they should start to feel the benefits from acupuncture in 2-3 treatments. If the problem is acute, sometimes improvement is felt after 1 treatment, and may only need 3-5 treatments to resolve. If the problem is chronic and long term, it may take a many treatments to help resolve.

How often should I be treated?

Typically I treat patients once a week. If the condition is acute and painful, I may want to do treatments 2-3 times per week for the first couple of weeks. The benefits of acupuncture treatments tend to hold longer as you receive treatments, so what typically happens is that my patients start to need to see me less and less, so after a while they only come only periodically for maintenance.

Does acupuncture always help?

No, but it usually does. If you do not feel any benefit after 3-5 treatments, then acupuncture may not work for you.

What should I wear for the treatment?

Just wear loose fitting clothes that can be easily rolled up above your elbows and knees.