(c) Patty Inglish MS, 1986, 1995, 2011.
I worked with blood pressures for around 25 years, a lot of it in a medical setting and it can be pretty frustrating.
One doctor at OSU medical college told us he thinks it rises a little above 80/120 naturally as we age, so that may be a comfort. Another doc told us that some people have what we would call high pressure, but it’s natural for their particular bodies.
In an injury and chronic pain rehab clinic, we found that these things could raise body blood pressure beyond the range desired, pretty often:
• Consistent and intermittent chronic pain. A lot of people that were sick or injured seemed to have HPB. Workers Compensation clients had it the worst – chronic pain, long legal proceedings, family members badgering them to return to work.
• Overexertion in rehab exercises (at least at first).
• Changing work demands or constant demands to increase work production or sales. Also, bosses or companies changing rules too often; and sending mixed messages, especially to those in pain. Personally, I always thought an uncooperative work group – or study group at school – did it over time.
• The stress of poverty and low income.
• The sounds of sirens particularly, and some loud, sustained noises and music.
• Certain medications and supplements (differed by the person; could be any of them)
• Too high a salt intake – that’s common and it included just about all say and related sauces and cooking sauces. We also found many people allergic to MSG and some of them had headaches and slightly elevated BP when they ingested it.
• Coffee and other caffeine – but not everyone is affected
• Alcohol intake too high (2 drinks a day, docs say is average).
• Overweight, although I knew and know heavier people with lower BP numbers
• Being around abusive people
• Clothes that are too tight – especially after eating; and this caused a few headaches for some (actually this is particularly true for women with too-tight bras)
• Too many bright lights
• Too much noise
• Too many visitors; being in crowds
• Too much clutter, but if a patient could make one small area at home that was rather open and full of fresh air for relaxation, they were pretty good on BP
• Anger in some individuals
• African, Hispanic, and Native American heritage
Here’s what raises mine for a short time:
- As a restaurant manager, too many hours worked per shift and only 6 hours between shifts did it.
- Landline loud-ringing telephones did it.
- Now: too much noise, too many people, not having at least 2-hours of alone time in a quiet place nearly every day. Hearing a long string of profanity or hearing profanity every other word from someone – other than the low-level “damn” or “hell” raises it. I don’t eat much salt, but eating too much at a meal will raise it.
- Relaxation done every day, in addition to enough sleep. Deep breathing, stretching, and relaxing music are good. There are some visualization techniques that sometimes work.
- Diet changes and Exercise increases – especially range of motion and flexibility.
- Sometimes drinking more water or herbal tea flushes out retained water and reduces blood volume, reducing BP.
- I don’t hold to Feng Shui, but it works in arranging living spaces sometimes to lower BP in some people. It can work.
- Blood pressure medications – there are a lot now. Clonidine is used for BP originally, but also helps OCD, ADHD, Tourette’s and some other neurologically-based conditions, so there may be a connection with all the conditions it treats well.