Total Heart Health
High blood pressure, or hypertension increases your risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure and kidney disease. It also contributes to hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, a central risk factor for heart disease.
In modern medicine it usually impossible to hard to pinpoint the exact cause for of high blood pressure, but these factors to increase your risk: stress, obesity, salt for some people, age and family history. Physical inactivity and alcohol abuse may also contribute. Chronic stress is considered a major contributing factor. Many people find their blood pressure rising over time, because their stress levels keep increasing.
Unless your blood pressure is very high, you may not know you have it. High blood pressure often isn’t detected until damage has been done—it’s sometimes called the silent killer. Only 60 percent of people with high blood pressure know they have it; the other 40 percent don’t know they have a potentially lethal medical problem. For many people, the first warning sign of high blood pressure is a heart attack. No one is completely safe from high blood pressure. Anyone can suffer from hypertension, even young people.
About half of those who know they have high blood pressure use conventional treatments to try to keep it under control. And only about 50 percent of those people have it well controlled.
Doctors usually try to control hypertension through drug therapy. Research shows these drugs are 50% less effective in reducing heart attack or death than expected, possibly because they don’t cure hypertension. Because of the adverse side effects of drugs, more doctors are recommending life style modification. This may include reduced salt intake, weight loss, exercise, and diets high in vegetables, fruit and whole grains, and low in saturated fats.
Unfortunately, most people are not able to stick with these lifestyle programs. That could be because they don’t relieve stress, which is a major contributing factor, and they don’t address the root causes of high blood pressure.
How The Total Heart Health Program
Lowers and Prevents High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, has the same root cause as the other risk factors for heart disease. Over time, your body loses the connection with its inner intelligence because of unhealthy habits or environment. This results in a specific mind/body imbalance, at the most basic and subtle level of the body. If this imbalance continues, it eventually manifests as disease, such as hypertension.
The Total Heart Health Program identifies the root causes of high blood pressure, and uses simple practices that restore balance at the most subtle levels of the body.
In Ayurveda, the body functions and processes are governed by three main principles, which are related to mind, body and environment. Vata is the principle of movement, Pitta is the principle of transformation or heat, and Kapha is the principle of structure. That means that there are three main types of high blood pressure—Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Examples of How Imbalanced Vata, Pitta
and Kapha Can Raise Your Blood Pressure
Vata: Taxing the mind with too much mental work or stress can aggravate Vata. So do not getting enough sleep, working late or watching TV late at night, constantly dividing the mind by doing two things at once (such as talking on the phone while cooking or driving), or rushing from one thing to the next.
Pitta: Emotional stress and too much spicy, salty or sour food are some of the factors that may aggravate Pitta. When Pitta is out of balance, people have less capacity to cope with emotional challenges, and blood pressure may go up.
Kapha: Sluggish digestion, lack of exercise and a poor diet with too much saturated fat and processed foods can lower circulation and raise blood pressure.
Total Heart Health offers individual diet, herbal preparations exercise, programs and behavioral recommendations to improve cardiovascular health and reduce stress. In addition, one of the most successful THH programs for hypertension is the practice of the Transcendental Meditation®. The Transcendental Meditation program relieves chronic stress, a major contributing factor to high blood pressure. Over the past 20 years, our Institute for Natural Medicine and prevention in collaboration with major medical centers around the country have conduced a series of randomized controlled trials on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on lowering blood pressure. These studies have been published in leading medical journals, such as the American Heart Association’s Hypertension and the American Medical Association’s journal, Archives of Internal Medicine. The results have shown that this element alone of the Total Heart Health program may lower blood pressure as much as drug treatment for hypertension but without the harmful side effects. And along with lowering of blood pressure, there are positive side benefits for your mind, body, and even your environment.
The Total Heart Health program offers complementary approaches of diet, herbal supplements, exercise and behavioral routines according to your specific type of mind-body imbalance (also called dosha type). In addition, there are powerful environmental approaches to help make your home and office balancing for your blood pressure and the rest of your mind and body too.