Different Approaches to Lower Blood Pressure

You’ve heard the saying “everyone’s an individual”, but for the most part, it’s been just a cliché, with no actionable information.

In this module, you’ll learn how to tailor the advice in the previous modules to your body.

As I’m fond of saying in my seminars, “if you’re not assessing, you are guessing.” So start assessing.

What do you assess? Your blood pressure. Measure it twice per day for a week, and track it in an Excel document, or wherever else you want. During this week, don’t change anything. Don’t change your exercise, nutrition, supplements or medications.

After you’ve recorded your blood pressure for a week, note a few important measurements:

  • Your average blood pressure
  • Your highest systolic blood pressure 
  • Your highest diastolic blood pressure 
  • Your lowest systolic blood pressure 
  • Your lowest diastolic blood pressure

Why are we so anal about it, as to separate the systolic and diastolic? Because different approaches may affect one, but not the other.

After that one week of getting a baseline, you can decide what you want to do:

  • The scientific approach 
  • The fast approach
  • The hybrid approach

The Scientific Approach

With the scientific approach, you only make one change at a time. Pick whatever you want, from any of the previous modules – pick a supplement, pick a food, pick a form of exercise. Doesn’t matter. As long as it’s just one.

Implement that consistently for a week, while continuing to track your blood pressure.

If after a week, your blood pressure dropped, keep it going for another week, and another and another, until your blood pressure stabilizes. 

Once it stabilizes, add to it. Either do more of what you were already doing (so if you were already doing cardio 3 times per week for 30 minutes, try 4 times per week for 30 minutes. Or try 3 times per week for 40 minutes), or keep what you were already doing, and add something different (keep the cardio, and add garlic, for instance).

Once you’ve done that, keep tracking your blood pressure. As long as your blood pressure continues to drop, keep what you were doing. Once your blood pressure has been stable for a week, implement the third change. Keep going like this until your blood pressure has normalized.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this method.

Advantages:

  1. Sustainability: if you implement changes one-by-one, you’re more likely to stick with them long term.
  2. Certainty: because you’re only changing one thing at a time, you know for sure what’s driving your results.
  3. Caution: your blood pressure is unlikely to drop too much,too fast 

Disadvantages:

The only big disadvantage is speed. Because you’re only making one change at a time and waiting for results to stabilize, it can take several months to normalize your blood pressure.

The Fast Approach

With the fast approach, you throw everything in this program at your hypertension at the same time: exercise, nutrition and supplements.

As you’re doing that, keep monitoring your blood pressure twice per day.

But a word of caution: don’t include every single supplement in the supplement module here. You can combine exercise with nutrition, and one supplement, but I wouldn’t go above that, because there’s the risk of your blood pressure dropping too much, too fast, which can predispose you to fainting, lethargy and weakness.

If your blood pressure normalized after 1-2 weeks, congrats! You’re done making changes. If your blood pressure dropped, but hasn’t normalized, and is still dropping, don’t change anything. Wait for your blood pressure to stabilize before making additional changes. If it’s still dropping, and you implement additional changes, it could drop too low.

But if your blood pressure has stabilized after throwing everything at it, and it hasn’t normalized yet, try additional measures, like:

  • Increasing your exercise
  • Increasing the amount of blood pressure-lowering foods you’re eating
  • Increasing the dose of the supplement that you’re currently taking
  • Maintaining the same dose of the supplement that you’re already taking, and adding another one.

Like the scientific approach, the fast approach does have advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

  1. The most obvious: it’s fast. You could literally normalize your blood pressure in 1 week to 1 month.
  2. Motivation: it’s pretty motivating to see fast changes.

Disadvantages:

  1. Speed can be an advantage, but it can also be a disadvantage. Your blood pressure might drop too quickly and can predispose you to fainting, lethargy and weakness.
  2. Lack of certainty: you don’t know where the results are coming from. Exercise? Nutrition? Supplements?
  3. Sustainability: the more changes you make, the less likely you are to stick with them. But about 5% of people have the personality type to make rapid changes and keep them long-term.

The Hybrid Approach

If you want more speed than the scientific approach, but not so fast that it would drop your blood pressure too low, too quickly, the hybrid approach may be for you.

You don’t implement changes one by one, as in the scientific approach, but you don’t throw everything at it either, as in the fast approach.

You start with just two changes. Pick any two:

  • Exercise and nutrition
  • Nutrition and 1 supplement 
  • Exercise and 1 supplement

The rest of the process is the same. After selecting which two changes you’ll be making, keep measuring your blood pressure.

As long as it’s dropping, don’t change anything. It will stop dropping at one of two points:

  • Your blood pressure is now normal (around 115/75 mmHg)
  • Your blood pressure is lower than before, but still higher than it should be.

If your blood pressure is now normal, you’re done. No other changes need to be made for your blood pressure. Of course, if you’d like to make additional changes for reasons other than blood pressure, you’re welcome to.

If your blood pressure is still higher than it should be, implement one more new change, and see if that change results in lower blood pressure after a week. If yes, keep it going, until it stabilizes. If not, replace the change you made with a different one.

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