As we move towards the fall and winter, consider regular saunas. Recent studies have confirmed that it can lower blood pressure (1), improve respiratory conditions (2) and it reduces all-cause mortality (3).
If you have hypertension (elevated blood pressure), consider acupuncture. We have helped many patients lower their blood pressure. For example we had a patient just last week that came to us with a diagnosis of postpartum hypertension. Her systolic blood pressure was 150 and her doctor wanted her to start anti-hypertensive medication. She was concerned about taking the drugs while breastfeeding and wanted to try acupuncture first. The day after her first acupuncture treatment her blood pressure was reduced to 120 (normal). While this rapid of a change happens more often with relatively acute presentations of hypertension, it is indicative of how powerful acupuncture can be in treating certain cardiovascular conditions. Acupuncture can also have significant influences on chronic hypertension, though it often takes a series of treatments. Studies have confirmed these effects (4).
If you decide to add saunas to your health routine (and it’s probably a good idea for most), there are some caveats to be aware of:
“Contraindications to sauna bathing include unstable angina pectoris, recent myocardial infarction, and severe aortic stenosis. Sauna bathing is safe, however, for most people with coronary heart disease with stable angina pectoris or old myocardial infarction. Very few acute myocardial infarctions and sudden deaths occur in saunas, but alcohol consumption during sauna bathing increases the risk of hypotension, arrhythmia, and sudden death, and should be avoided.” (5)
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