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normal blood pressure
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relaxation techniques
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systolic pressure
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Yoga For Hypertension
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Yoga For Hypertension

What is this Hypertension? Most of us know the answer – the high blood pressure situation in which the blood pressure level in our arteries is increased beyond the normal, acceptable limit. Then what is the normal or acceptable level? The normal blood pressure is considered as 120/80 even though in adults, it may go up to 140/90 which is the acceptable limit. Beyond this limit, anything is high blood pressure (or low blood pressure as the case may be) especially above the age of 40. When the heart beats, it pumps blood through the arteries which goes to various parts of our body and the pressure which is exerted by the blood on the walls of the blood vessels is the blood pressure. So, when the pressure is high there are chances of blood vessels bursting or the work done by heart to pump the blood is more. This can cause serious health conditions and damage to our internal organs.

In the measurement of blood pressure, the two numbers represent Systolic (peak) and Diastolic (minimum) pressure in the arteries. So, 120 represent the Systolic pressure and 80 represent the Diastolic pressure. If 120/80 is the normal blood pressure, 139/89 is considered as the pre-hypertension and anything above 140/90 is known as high blood pressure or hypertension. Therefore we may take 140/90 as the border line. A person having a regular blood pressure of 140/90 (or near) is at high risk to turn to a hypertension patient.

To keep the blood pressure under control, you must check your BP at regular intervals, follow a diet, lead a moderate life and practice some relaxation techniques such as Yoga and/or meditation. It is natural to see a hike in the blood pressure level if measured in the evening and night times. This is also due to the fact that the human body would have done a lot of work during the day. The ideal time to check the blood pressure is when one is fresh in the early morning before giving much work to his body and after having a sound sleep (this is the resting pressure).

It is found that 40% of people above the age of 40 especially men are under the risk of hypertension and related problems. Rather than taking medicines, yoga and relaxation techniques should be practiced on a daily basis. Once you start taking the medication, your body gets adjusted to the medicinal reactions and does not do anything on its own to control the high/low blood pressure. You cannot stop the medication once you have started it how mild dosage you are taking.

People who overwork, work under pressure, who are overweight, lazy and who do not care their body especially their heart are susceptible to hypertension. A very high protein rich diet, overuse of alcohol as well as tobacco, lack of exercise, high work pressure, atmospheric pollution, aggressive nature are all contributing factors to have hypertension.

The blood pressure depends upon the following factors.

• The cardiac output – volume of blood pumped by the heart

• Blood volume – amount of blood in your body, which can vary on various conditions

o You may lose blood during an accident or you may have fluid loss due to diarrhea and vomiting. This can decrease the volume of blood in your body

o The sodium level is not properly controlled by the kidney due to problems in its working, then your blood volume may go up

• Quality of the blood vessels – the arteries become harder as age increases

o With people (young) having a flexible or elastic arteries, when blood passes through them, the pressure is absorbed by the walls of the arteries or the pressure is buffered out, thus lowering or stabilizing the blood pressure. As age increases and arteries become harder, there will be more pressure exerted by blood on the walls of the arteries

• The diameter of the arteries

o Arterioles, which are small arteries carrying blood have the ability to alter their diameter depending upon the needs of the situation. They narrow down their diameter when an increase in pressure is required and opens wide when the pressure has to be lowered. This is called Sympathetic Nervous Stimulation and is controlled by the Autonomic Nervous System. Sympathetic stimulation increases the blood pressure and Parasympathetic Stimulation decreases BP. So, the Sympathetic Stimulation contributes to the increase in Blood Pressure.

When a person is under stress or tension, the sympathetic stimulation increases and when he/she continues to live a stressed life, his/her blood pressure keeps at higher level.

Headache may be a sign of high blood pressure. But it is quite possible to show no symptoms of blood pressure (without any particular signs of headache or others) for a normal person until he/she undergoes a checkup. So, regular checkup of blood pressure is a must. It is quite normal to see a variation of blood pressure between rest (morning) and end of the day. Blood pressure must be monitored at the same time of the day to get an average pressure level. Anxiety can give rise to the blood pressure level and the anxiety during the blood pressure check up as well can increase your blood pressure temporarily.

Low blood pressure sometimes can lead to dizziness and fainting while standing up. So, if you have any such conditions, it is advisable to do a blood pressure checkup. This is when the blood pressure level goes below the normal 120/80 mark.

There are chances of your kidneys getting damaged due to high blood pressure which can lead to other serious problems and therefore it is very important to keep your blood pressure under control.

There are several Yoga Poses very much helpful in controlling the Hypertension.

• Sukhasana – Easy pose where one will be straightening his body in a sitting posture and relaxing the muscles, straightening the spine and allowing slowing down the body metabolism. This is normally done with breathing exercises

• Ardha Matsyendriyasana – Where twisting of spine is done half to the left and half to the right. This will help in relaxing and strengthening the spine

• Pavana Mukthasana – This is an exercise performed with strict breath control. Pavanan means air or wind in Sanskrit. Muktha is release. So, when we do this we do controlled inhale and exhale of breath along with bringing our knees to touch our nose or forehead

• Shoulder Stretch – Shoulders as well as upper back is relieved of stress by doing this

• Ardha Kadi Chakrasana – Exercise on a standing posture relieving stress on legs, arm and the whole body

• Vakrasana – Relieves stress on spine and lower back

There are some breathing techniques called Pranayama suitable for relaxation.

• Naadi Suddhi Pranayama

• Seethali Pranayama

• Seethkari Pranayama

• Bhramari Pranayama

Caution: Never do yoga without the guidance of an experienced yoga practitioner. All postures are not suitable for everyone and therefore prior consultation and guidance is very much required.

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