High Blood Pressure — Hypertension — no matter what you call this silent killer, it still seems to be a bit of a mystery to everyone — even the medical professionals have not been able to explain its sudden onset.
Throughout my life, my blood pressure was completely predictable. It was always 124/72 give or take a number in either direction; when I was a teenager – in my twenties, and even when I was 8 months pregnant with my first child.
Then suddenly – one day – about nine years ago, my blood pressure reading suddenly skyrocketed. It was so high that I was urged to go straight to my doctor for treatment — or risk hospitalization, or even a stroke.
Coincidentally, I had been on a program for several months that required me to have my blood pressure monitored three times a week. The record showed a continuous history of normal readings – with no problems. So it was a real shock to suddenly find myself having to take daily medication for the first time in my life.
As a baby-boomer, I had been quite proud of the fact that I was one of the few in my age group that was not on some kind of medication for some age-related illness.
Although I can’t remember exactly how high my blood pressure was that day, I do remember that both sides were in the triple digits. Not quite enough to be hospitalized – but very serious.
The medication only managed to keep my blood pressure within the moderate to severe stages of hypertension. I considered a reading of 160/89 as not too bad a day.
Even when my doctor doubled the dose of medication I was taking, my readings only came down to high 150s/high 80s.
In January, when I went to get my prescription renewed, you can imagine my amazement when my doctor told me that my reading was 118/68 !!!!
I had to get her to repeat the numbers. I was simply stunned and thought that I had heard her incorrectly.
“That’s pretty good” she said. She never did ask if I had any idea what might have caused this change — or even questioned the reading on her machine — instead she just renewed my prescription and sent me on my way.
I left her office in shock and went straight home to test my pressure with my own blood pressure cuff and found the same amazing reading. I continued to monitor my pressure over the next couple of days and the readings stayed in the same range — always in the normal or even optimal level.
No, I had not suddenly dropped a lot of weight and no I had not taken up a new healthy activity and yes I was under a great deal of stress and no I had not suddenly reversed my age by 20 years.
The only change in my life was that I started being treated by an acupuncturist, Susan Harvey, over the previous six weeks. She had treated me three times prior to the day of my amazing news at the doctor’s office.
When I relayed this information to Susan at my next appointment she was not surprised at all. She talked about blockages in my systems and how my chi was now moving more freely, and a bunch of other stuff that I didn’t totally understand and don’t actually remember.
That was in February 2017. It is now July 2017. I have continued to monitor and record my blood pressure on a regular basis. The results have remained in the normal range.
After discussions with my doctor, I have now reduced my medication by half and I continue to monitor my readings at home on a daily basis.
I plan to continue with the acupuncture treatments and hope to cut the prescription in half again if things remain good — with the ultimate goal to get off medication altogether.
Medical doctors are often very suspicious of alternative, non-traditional types of medicine — but this is not the first time that I have found great success by following a different path.
I was surprised to find that my doctor did not dismiss the idea that the acupuncture might be improving my blood pressure — she agreed that something had caused the improvement and she encouraged me to continue going for acupuncture treatments.
I will keep you up to date on any new information about this story.