“Chiropractic Lowers blood Pressure” – Addressing this Myth
In 2006, a landmark study for chiropractic was done in at the University of Chicago. It was published by one of the world’s leading authorities on hypertension Dr. George Bakris, and it was featured in the world’s leading hypertension journals. The study showed that a special type of chiropractic adjustment was able to have the same blood pressure lowering effects as 2 blood pressure medications. It received quite a bit of Major media attention from shows like Good Morning America and websites like WebMD.
For many, it was a major publicity for chiropractic as a well known scientist, publishing in a reputable journal, had finally shown that adjustments can treat things besides the normal variety of uncomplicated neck pain, back pain, and headaches.
However, it left out this very important fact:
It’s Not About the Adjustment, It’s About the Cause
Too many people want to make it about the adjustment, or the procedure that lowers blood pressure. People talk about it like it’s a special blood pressure lowering procedure, when this is simply not the case. By that logic, you can take someone with normal blood pressure, do the adjustment repeatedly and their blood pressure should change with the increased dosage.
Here’s what the headline should say:
“An Atlas Problem May Disrupt Normal Blood Pressure”
Here’s the truth. Structural chiropractic isn’t about treating high blood pressure. In fact, getting your Atlas corrected may actually INCREASE your blood pressure if you have LOW BLOOD PRESSURE or HYPOtension. The goal of a Structural Chiropractor is to correct underlying shifts in the spine like Atlas Displacement Complex. High blood pressure may be a Secondary Condition in certain cases of Atlas Displacement.
Over the years, I’ve taken care of dozens of patients who experienced changes in their blood pressure when they’ve had their atlas corrected. In fact I have to tell certain patients on high doses of blood pressure medicine, that their blood pressure may drop substantially and that they should speak to their doctor if their pressure drops too low. This can sometimes lead people to feel a little dizzy or light headed after an adjustment.
Why? How does it work?
In several blog entries, I’ve talked about the importance of maintaining healthy circulation of blood and cerebral spinal fluid to the brain and spinal cord. The reason this is so important is because it can effect how your brain controls your body.
When the atlas shifts out of place, then the arteries and veins of the head and neck become compromised. If your brain does not think it’s getting enough blood, it’s going to do what it takes to increase blood pressure to ensure it’s survival. While yoga, meditation, cutting sodium, and supplements may lower blood pressure as well, they don’t have the ability to fix a shift in the upper neck.
That’s why it’s so important that the chiropractor actually uses tools and measurements to determine how much the neck has shifted out of place, and that they measure it’s correction. Without these measurements, a change in pressure can just as easily be a placebo and short lived.
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